January 2019

role of the teachers in the 21st centrey

Role of the teachers

Today’s life has been involved with technology, and learning and teaching would not be exceptions. Many teachers believed that existence of technology is essential in the classrooms in technological area (Nim Park, & Son, 2009). Even they are expected to use it, and be innovative in using technology (Li, & Walsh, 2011).Although the Internet is one of the best unlimited resources, it gives more information to the students compared with what the teachers can provide them. So, a problem has been raised here with the role of the teachers in technological environments. Indeed, when educational system is shifting from traditional to modern and technological system, the role of a teacher plays a pivotal role to save their fame. Whether teachers should be as they have been traditionally, or not would be a concern. On the other word, attending to a classroom, teaching, providing materials, and the other traditional roles that they have abided by, could be accepted in the world of technology, or they have to be changed. In fact, it would be the series issue to be taken into consideration. In one study a teacher said that in the technology-oriented classrooms teachers’ role is to assist the students to use technology in order to do their exercises and assignments (Nim Park, & Son 2009). In another study also it has revealed that teachers should help those students who could not study on their own (Kondo, Ishikawa, Smith, Sakamoto, Shimomura, & Wada, 2012) in the learner-centered pedagogy. Then can we call a teacher as a helper? As Machnaik, (2004) mentioned “My role as a teacher was to be a guide, coach and facilitator” (p.4).

Regarding teachers a helpers, when the information can be derived from the Internet then everyone who knows technology and can help a learner could be a teacher. So what teachers can do especial for students? This would make teachers’ job more challenging.

Sometimes teachers are seen as the selectors of technological tools among many of them in technical markets (Darling-Aduana, & Heinrich, 2018). In another words, teachers might also be a chooser of materials, as Li, and Walsh, (2011) believed that “although there are a huge number of CALL products available for EFL teachers, it is up to teachers to decide what they can use in class. There are many who believe that teachers are responsible to provide authentic materials from the Internet for the students’ needs (Nguyen, 2008), however, teachers would not be the best option for making these decisions. Why technology could not be replaced in order to provide authentic materials to do it. Because integration of teachers’ feelings such as lack of concentration and knowledge, impressing with situation, and etc. would lead them to choose an inappropriate materials. The validity of the materials should be determined by a system and provided by a team of experts during long term effort rather than by a teacher in a week, a day, or a moment. How teachers look at technology in education is crucial.

There are many different ways for integrating technology with education. For instance, whether they use it practically or theoretically. As Hargrave and Hsu (2000) reported that “significantly more emphasis was placed on integrating instructional technologies into the curriculum than on using technologies for teacher productivity or personal use” (p.303). The five reasons that teachers use technology are to motivate students, to make them ready for the future, to take interesting resources, to make students concentrate, and finally to help teachers enjoy and become more skillful (Ertmer, Addison, Lane, Ross, &Woods, 1999).

Or in another study it is believed that computer is used by teachers for “sentence structures, grammar and vocabulary (86%), to present pictures, sounds, images and videos (84%), to provide drills and practice exercises (65%) (Li, & Walsh, 2011). In this study the teachers assume that the use of technology in the teaching learning process “requires no change to their teaching approach”. These are the teachers’ views on the usage of technology in the classrooms. Honestly, in order to take the whole benefits of technology in education a systematic change is essential in teaching and learning approach, especially teachers’ role; otherwise, only a simple educational material is added into the system.

In spite of the fact that many teachers use it for providing activities and materials (Nim Park, & Son (2009), it is not an only way to use technology in teaching and learning process. One of the reason that technology has not helped education effectively by teachers would be because of giving nothing back to it. In another words, teachers and technology relationship should be mutual. When they take something they have to pay it back may be in another manner. This is the nature of technology that you should be a starter, then it will change everything magically. In a study it has drawn that in-service teachers have used technology for developing their knowledge not for shifting teaching and learning process to be better (Turgut, 2017). Imagine that someone wants to use a new phone to make a communication with one of his friends, the first step is entering his number, and then they can talk, chat, or do whatever they want. Indeed, what goes around comes around. When most of the teachers acts as takers, so nothing would be remained at the end. This is like a circle and this actions would lead teachers to back to square one. İşler and Yıldırım, (2018) believed that “teacher education programs should provide pre-service teachers with the opportunities of becoming the designers of technologically mediated materials” (p.145). Hence, teachers’ role might be changed into a designer or a collector of information, which will lead to designing special software or programs. Moreover, what if we would see teachers as the analyzers. In another word, the learners take information from the Internet or a software, then teachers check their performances, analyze them, and give them feedback. Considering this issue that teachers work back of the scene and control students’ progresses would decrease the stress of those who are concerned about the way a learner could learn from a machine not a human. It could be changed into a global teaching and learning if teachers record their students gaps plus the related solutions in a place like the Internet, where is available for the other teachers around the world to be benefited. After a while a bank of analyses of the learners’ problems would be created, and the gaps would be filled by teachers’ suggestions. So that learning a language would not be a difficult process anymore, due to knowing the gaps of the learners’ difficulties, which could be solved even in a second. It would be a good idea to prevent fossilization also. As positivism believe in observable results, the bank of students mistakes information could be collected which would be the clear documents. Moreover, as Chomsky said Universal Grammar has two parts principles and parameters, we may find some similarity in principles among learners’ errors and mistakes that are common among all learners, which lead teachers to provide an eternal authentic pattern for teaching based on the learners’ weaknesses.

Actually, there are many teachers who are afraid of technology to be replaced with them (Al-Kahtani, & Al-Haider, 2010). Meanwhile, they have to be aware that an efficient educational system based on technology would be more demand on the knowledge of the teachers rather than traditional one. In fact, as everything the role of the teacher should be shifted too in the world of technology. So there would be no place to be worried for the teachers. Because teachers would be responsible for the other duties which they might play a role back of the scene not physically attending to the class. They might not be responsible to present information physically, because the longer they physically attend to the classrooms, the more they will be compared with the ocean of resources of information, so they might lose face gradually.

According to Jonassen and Wilson (as cited in Machnaik, 2004) “teachers must relinquish at least some of their authority” (p.219). Actually technology leads teaching and learning to the learner-centered method, so that teachers have to give them some of their traditional roles to the students.

Teachers even would be known as learners, as Crawford, (1978) stated “If knowing as a process of transformation is participation in a human vocation, then teacher participates in that process as a learner among learners” (p.104). So it might make a problem, in a way that students do not want to learn from someone like themselves. As Powers & et al., (2012) have explained accessing to a wide source of information paves the way for the learners to even check their instructor’s knowledge; accordingly, they have stated that the traditional relationship among them would be totally different. As a result, teachers could not be an only authentic resources who could be relied and trusted easily. This challenge makes teaching process more difficult for the teachers. There would be no choice for them, unless changing their role. Providing educational software, collecting information and designing drills and exercises, analyzing students’ performances, making the patterns of teaching based on the learners’ mistakes and errors, and some other duties like these would be the teachers’ roles in the technological area. The influences of teachers’ feeling could be abandoned when they use the observable results with not having face to face interactions with the learners. Teachers may make a mistake or they might have some errors, however technology helps to avoid them if teaching and giving information is done by it. Even for evaluating the learners, or analyzing their performance teachers would have no bias on different students. Teachers would evaluate them based on what is recorded as their performance not based on some other factors which may interference due to the nature of a teacher as a human being such as feelings. In another words, teachers might be trained to be as blind checkers who could see the results and nothing else. For instance, sometimes teachers are angry due to some personal problems, and it would effects on the evaluating their students’ performances as well; however, technology and machines helps them to ignore their emotions and see what they should check as a blind checkers.


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