The hunter-gather evolution lasted millions of years; The agricultural evolution lasted thousands of years; the industrial hundreds; the technological evolution is just decades old right now, and the exponential growth is advancing quicker than consciousness can comprehend.
As technology has always been ahead of education, the best way for the teachers to keep up might come down to the way they have recently been teaching. The virtual and self-directed style of learning we now see a lot more of with the help of our new friend COVID-19 may, in fact, be the best way to help teach the teachers how to utilize and introduce the latest tech in education to their students. Tech such as Artificial Intelligent (A.I.), Virtual Reality (V.R.), Augmented Reality (A.R.), and cloud-based learning is just getting started in the the classroom and quickly enhancing.
Teaching jobs could one day in the near future be lost to these same new technologies. Artificial Intelligence took off in 1956 when Herbert Simon created the Logic Theory Machine program. In 1997, Dell’s Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer, beat Gary Kasparov, the world’s best chess player at the time. Today, machines are much faster, smarter, and able to administer progressively complex jobs. Virtual and Augmented learning is well-matched to students in STEM fields, allowing teachers admission to virtual dissection, examining microscopic organisms, and many other educational apps. A.R. and V.R. technology also lets students circumnavigate the world and travel to historically significant moments virtually, it also allows students wander the cosmos without ever leaving the classroom. A simple distinction between Virtual and Augmented reality is Virtual Reality (V.R.) blocks out the physical world. It transports the user to a simulated world. In contrast, Augmented Reality (A.R.) creates a digital layer over the physical world. Despite the difference, both technologies signify a fundamental shift in information presentation because they acknowledge people to participate in what Toshi Hoo, Director Emerging Media Lab, calls “experiential media” as it is different from today’s representative media.
Google’s mini. Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s HomePod are now found in many people’s houses across Canada and the rest of the world. They too hold classroom applications. These motionless assistant robots give students quick answers. They can also be used to organize polls for classmates. Students can chat with others from all over the world, they can play educational games, amongst many other abilities.
There is no universally decided determination of which tech is considered emerging, including with or without humans. To keep the teaching jobs alive for now, one of the best answers could be a teacher tech company relationship where they work together with tech companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Samsung, and others to learn the newest technologies and create futuristic lesson planning. This would help the technology companies, students and the new generations coming up.
As technology is in its infancy and exponentially growing, and with the education system behind in technology as it always has been, tech is taking away more jobs every day. Tech can change faster than the teacher trying to learn the older version of that technology, and by the time they do there is now a new version replacing that one. Meaning the responsibility of the teacher knowing the latest tech for education might come down to the teacher. Thankfully the tech we use today in the classroom has many options to learn for free, quickly, and efficiently. There is now an “app” for everything. There is now a ” How-to YouTube video” to learn virtually anything.
I still like the old fashion way of reading a hardcover book and highlighting and writing out by hand the best ideas. I still intergrade tech by typing it out on a word doc to edit it further. I save it in different files and things like a google doc as well. There has not been one thing in 16 years of reading where I haven’t learned what I wanted to know through a book. I learned to code apps through YouTube videos. As we now see in the early data that students overall have done better in school now, through the virtual and self-directed learning styles. If set up correctly, teachers could learn the best tech for education in similar ways. There could be time allocated in the school day where the teacher learns during their time through recorded classes, have people available for help when needed, etc.
Kids still need to learn to communicate empathy and to maintain curiosity about people who are different. Just because a lot of schooling is done online through computers instead of in the classroom, kids should be taught not to disconnect from emotions and empathy when communicating through technology. Love is the answer.
The observable universe is 13.8 billion years old. The earth 4.5 billion years. In another half a billion years or so, the sun will have expanded out far enough, evaporating all the earth’s oceans. Making life on earth impossible. Meaning if consciousness decided to wait 10% longer to evolve, it wouldn’t have evolved at all.
Nosulich, H., Mukan, N., & Mukan, O. (2020). FOLLOWING L&D TRENDS: CONTINUOUS LEARNING IN CANADA. Scientific Journal of Polonia University, 38(1-1), 172-179. https://doi.org/10.23856/3823
Parkay, F., et al. (2017). Becoming a Teacher. (5th CDN ed.). Toronto: Pearson Education Canada Inc