How teachers can do what technology can’t

Published: January 22, 2016

 Bett Show always attracts a number of inspiring people from the education sector. Bett 2016 wasn’t an exception and today we are sharing one of our favourite speeches.
“How teachers can do what technology can’t”- one of the most interesting discussions at Bett 2016. It was presented by Tom Starkey who is a teacher and a columnist. He made some good points about the things that good teachers can do that any education technology can’t.

This is a topic that can definitely start a very controversial discussion, especially at the education technology exhibition. With all the latest technologies in the education sector, it can be easy to forget what the true role of a teacher is. Discussing topics like this can encourage people to remember that there will always be things that could not be replaced by any kind of technology.

 “It is a battle to be better than a computer because we are not given time enough to reflect on our own practice, to reflect on people in front of us. If a computer could do that, that would be great…”

It is important to look at both positive and negative things when talking about technology in education. There are some amazing things that technology can do to improve learning. For instance, different learning platforms can be used to make lessons more engaging, they can also be used for homework and assignments. Making lesson plans or even marking assignments can be done with the help of technology. However, as acknowledged by Tom Starkey, although technologies create some amazing learning opportunities for students, there will always be things that could not be performed by any kind of technology. Technologies provide information, but a teacher is someone who can motivate, encourage, give feedback, listen and help with building creative and curious personalities of children.
It can be said that technologies are there to provide information whereas teachers are important for guiding students on how to use that information and to provide any other support that could not be done by any kind of technology.
Check the video below for some more inspirational thoughts by Tom Starkey.

Miles Berry and Tom Starkey at Bett 2016 from Webanywhere on Vimeo.