Will interactive whiteboards make teachers redundant?

Sunday, January 31st, 2010 | Employment, IWBs

The prospect of losing your job can cause much anxiety.  When you see people around you being retrenched it is natural to be concerned about your own job security.

Teachers are not immune to layoffs.  When the government cuts budgets and there is talk about teachers being “in excess” and terms such as reorganization, downsizing and rationalization appear in the papers, panic sets in.

It is only natural that teachers wonder how the introduction of technology in schools could impact on their prospects of continued employment.  They may think back to the time of the industrial revolution – many mine workers and factory workers lost their jobs when machines were used for functions that they had performed before.

“Won’t computers take over my job?” some teachers may ask.

The answer to this question is an emphatic “no”.  Machines can take over manual repetitive tasks.  But it can not replace those tasks requiring higher order thinking – and teaching is possibly one of the most complex activities on earth.  Teachers are working with the minds of learners, shaping them, while trying to find the best teaching technique to match the learning style of each one of their learners.

You can use computers and related tools without any fear of redundancy.  When a carpenter replaces a manual saw with an electric one, does that make the human redundant?  Of course not – but it does make the carpenter more productive.  The same principle applies when technology becomes available in a school.

Don’t fear!  An interactive whiteboard in your classroom will never make you redundant.  The board needs you to operate it.

An interactive whiteboard may bring unexpected advantages to you when you face job insecurity.  If you become proficient in its use, you will be more marketable.  The high cost of training a teacher to become a skilled interactive classroom practitioner benefits you in two ways: when the school is firing, you are unlikely to be the one to go owing to the investment made in you, and when a school is hiring, it will be a bargain to employ you since you won’t need expensive training.

Your interactive whiteboard can be your best friend during economic uncertain times – treat it as such be getting to know it intimately.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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3 Comments to Will interactive whiteboards make teachers redundant?

Albie
Monday, 1 February, 2010

On this statement, I would like to “ensure” educators that my opinion is that educators will not be made redundant…….in fact……. when computers, printers, ADSL,scanners, servers and so on were deployed @ schools, educators “feared” for the WORST …. their jobs “WERE” ONLINE, Yes, Yes, Yes true, their positions @ schools rather came “online” and even more educators were needed due to the “more new equipment” in the school.

EIAWB cannot replace the educator, but strenghten the hand of the educator by having a lesson done by his / her hand. Even “more” educators will be needed e.g. some who have “technical skills” to fix the EIAWB and ALL its peripherals.

Albie 2x2x

Mark C
Tuesday, 2 February, 2010

Attending a Physics meeting today I can see why the pass rate dropped so tremendously. I was flabbergasted at what was expected of learners and educators from our gods on high called National. It actually makes a mockery of what Physics actually supposed to be. Chemistry was marked as if it was a language paper and not a chemistry one. There are too many things to discuss about catastrophe but suffice to say I think it would be a tragedy if educators are replaced with technology. Learners need educators now more than ever even if the latter are not up to scratch. The dearth of physics educators at schools is a problem the department has not begin to solve. ICT may assist in solving the problem partially, but what I encountered today I would be glad if I had an educator to guide me through the crap prescriptions (stumbling blocks) that National puts forth in the name of good education and then later has to back-track when it doesn’t work. It would be even better if the educator who guides me also has some ICT skills.
Sorry for going off the point but I think educators are getting a bum deal from the powers that be (educational experts included). You are damned if you do and damned if you don’ t. Policy they call it. I take my hat off to those hard workers who still toil in the face of adversity, IAWB or not.

Damian
Thursday, 4 February, 2010

It’s interesting how a teacher could become redundant without the use of a whiteboard. At a class meeting this morning, my son’s Gr3 teacher was marvelling at what a difference the whiteboard has made. However, when the power goes off or the hardware collapses, the higher grade teachers cannot go on with the lesson as ALL the learning material is on the whiteboard system, making the teacher “redundant”. But with the lower grades, the teacher can carry on as the skills that are being learnt are still very much analogue.

Of course, this is a bit of a tongue in cheek comment, but as the use of technology becomes more and more entrenched, when it’s not available, everything comes to a stop, and even the teacher who has become so dependent on the whiteboard, becomes “redundant” if no other method of instruction is used.

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