Will technology replace teachers?


We live in a modern world where devices are slowly coming to replace more tedious human processes. For most of our daily tasks, there’s now an app. These apps are powered by smartphones, tablets and even virtual assistants who enable us to execute activities at lightning-fast speeds. Those studying foundation or intermediate phase teaching will know that technology has fast become a helpful tool in the classroom.

From driving learning concepts to making light work of classroom admin, technology performs several important functions. With machinery slowly taking the place of many man-powered functions, is technology going to replace educators? We’re taking a closer look into the matter below.

Whether you’ve chosen foundation or intermediate phase teaching, you’ll be aware of the smart boards and projectors that help every teacher deliver a lesson. Whilst most of the benefits of technology are positive, many are making certain roles within the school environment redundant.

For starters, there’s the accounts department that used to be run by admin professionals. Today, many schools have cut down on the number of people employed in these positions. Instead, the accounts department can be run almost entirely by automated software. This generates and delivers invoices, sends reminders and tracks payments. Some would even argue that this limits the amount of human error when it comes to a school’s finances.

Does this effect extend to teachers? Can educators be replaced by the technologies that they use to help them teach? The answer is no. Although digital may enhance the abilities of teaching professionals, the physical presence of a teacher is still required in order to make a lasting impact on young minds. Machinery cannot pick up on social cues and body language that signifies learning disabilities or even worse, troubles at home. This is because technology doesn’t have an emotional understanding of students, but with the advent of the artificial intelligence age, who is to say when this will change.

In our minds, the role of a teacher is one that could never be replaced by devices, no matter how evolved the tech that powers it. The role of a teacher is to do more than impart knowledge. It’s to provide education that sticks. This in itself is an art form that few people can master, let alone technological innovations. With this in mind, technology should be considered a tool or resource rather than a replacement for the person in front of the class.

When you consider your favourite teacher, you’ll remember exactly why he/she made an impact on you. More often than not, it wasn’t because of their speed or in-depth knowledge. It probably was in the way that they engaged with you and made their subject hit home in a way that only you could understand. Through this human connection, you were able to learn and form a bond with your teacher. How would technology ever be able to deliver that? Whilst technology can make educators more efficient by simplifying their daily lives, it is clear that it will never completely replace them.

Become a game-changer that leads the next generation

If you’re interested in teaching our nation’s children, you need a degree that will take you further. For more on the IIE Bachelor of Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching at The IIE’s Varsity College, please visit our website here. Here, you’ll learn more about what this IIE qualification offers graduates, what modules it consists of and how you can apply for a place.

Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). South Africa’s leading private higher education provider that’s registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).


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