One of those subjects that make me twinge: computers in classrooms can’t replace teachers. Students don’t just magically learn better or faster because they get more time with technology? I’m flabbergasted.
I’ve got to be careful here, since technology in the classroom pays 100% of my part-time job (and my full-time job probably wouldn’t exist if college students didn’t need access to computers and the internet). The part-time job is at a smaller k-12 district in east central Illinois dealing with the behind the scenes part of delivering the internet to the desktop, with Linux based web proxy servers, email, and other infrastructure.
In my limited direct dealings with teachers, I’ve noticed that some are able to use new tools better than others. Dealing with change is something we all have to do, some grasp it, become inspired and move forward. Others look at it as an obstacle and curse it. Most of us are somewhere in between, embracing what we like, dealing with what we must and resisting that which makes us uncomfortable.
There isn’t a magic box that we can place in the classroom to instantly transfer knowledge to students, there will always need to be an instructor who knows the material and is willing to transfer that knowledge to students using methods that keep the students interested. This isn’t always going to happen, some humans just have no interest in science (or math or english or wood shop or…), but we can hope that one instructor finds that at least one way to connect with one student.