July 27, 2012 – My wife and I hosted our second Jerome Statesman and Leadership Academy gathering tonight. In the course of that meeting, we watched the following 2010 TED Global presentation by Sugata Mitra:
Starting at approximately the 4:10 min. mark (continuing to the 4:35 min. mark), Mr. Mitra relates details of a discussion held with Arthur C. Clarke, in which Mr. Clarke said, “a teacher that can be replaced by a machine, should be,” and “if children have interest, then education happens.”
I have a good friend, a public school teacher, who has very deep—and I think legitimate—feelings about the notion of replacing teachers with computers (or any machine, for that matter). While I suspect that Clarke was referring to a method of handling performance problems and not necessarily decrying the need for human interaction in education, where do you feel the line between human interaction and computer-mediated instruction should be drawn in educational settings? Which settings?
Also, in considering Clarke’s second observation about interest and education, what do you believe is the role of technology in stimulating and maintaining interest in learning?
Does anyone have something to say in response to either or both of these questions? They are, once again:
1. Where do you feel the line between human interaction and computer-mediated learning should be drawn in educational settings (which specific settings)?
2. What do you believe is the role of technology in stimulating and maintaining interest in learning?