by Mazimran Yusoff
I was having a discussion with my colleagues over lunch about the pros and cons of having machines run our lives.
Immediately I saw myself sitting down on my couch having robots serve my meals and cleaning up the house for me. It seems like a farfetched dream.
How about at work? As a teacher, can machines do my work for me?
At present, I already cannot imagine a workplace without my laptop. Imagine my students being taught by robots. That’s exactly what we are doing already with E-learning. Coming up with learning strategies where we do not have to be attending to the students physically. The role of the teacher will change from educating face to face to coming up with electronic learning materials that the students can access without having to come to class. Teachers will then have to learn to do programing. Pedagogy will shift from how teachers interact with students to how students interact with machines.
Physical presence is no longer essential as long as we are able to maintain a virtual/online presence.
Will such a system work in education? It is something we are all testing out as educators. Everyday, we explore how we can use technology in our work. We are increasingly turning to e-learning so much so that e-learning aka electronic learning is morphing (has morphed?) into mobile learning (m-learning).
M-learning is the phenomenon when students use their mobile phones or tablets as part of their learning. I myself will ask my students to use their smartphones on occasions to search for information for example.
While I believe that, unlike postmen, the teacher’s job may not be obsolete anytime soon, technology is changing how we teach.
Source: Erica Jarmon (2013, September 2) Mobile Learning: Mobile Tech in the classroom [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2Ly1FOHIa4