Computers as tutors?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 | education | 3 Comments

(Created by Kobus van Wyk using www.MakeBeliefsComix.com)

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Let them eat cake …

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 | Computer Usage | Comments Off

There is some dispute as to whether Marie-Antoinette really said, “Let them eat cake” when she was told by a messenger that her people were starving because they had no bread to eat.

Perhaps we will never know if she used those words, but it seems like a good line to use – particularly in view of the news that there will be an estimated shortage of 94 000 teachers in South Africa in six years from now.

It has also been reported that there is a current shortage of about three million teachers in the whole of Africa.

Who will be teaching our children?

If there is no bread … let them eat cake!

Many people balk at the mere suggestion that computers could be used in place of teachers. Please note: I am not suggesting that we replace teachers with computers. We do not have enough of them – soon we will be 94 000 teachers short (not counting the many incompetent ones currently in the system). But I do suggest that we seriously consider using computers in place of those teachers that are not there .

This topic has been repeatedly discussed on this blog. But talking about the issue is not enough – since we are facing a crisis, it is necessary to put into action clear strategies to use available technology to support an ailing education system.

We have cake (computers); with lovely filling (superb educational software); covered with cream (the rich resources of the internet); and the cherry on top – very smart interactive electronic whiteboards.

So, things are not as bad as they appear to be – in the absence of bread, let’s give cake to the little ones.

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