Will Online Education Reduce the Amount of Teachers in the public school system?

by Dr. Craig Levan
(Cumming, Ga)

Will online education reduce the amount of teachers in the public school system?

I have come to the conclusion that a majority of the teachers in the public school system do not have a clue as to the amount of online education companies that are trying to position themselves within the k-12 and higher education system.

The old guard feels that direct teaching is the only way to educate the masses and allow creativity to occur in the classroom. Their thinking could be compared to a doctor using a bottle of whiskey and a butcher knife to perform an operation.

They need to accept the fact that technology can increase teacher productivity, streamline assessments, create effective media presentations, and produce diagnostic reports that analyze the modalities of student learning.

In the past twenty years, doctors have had to be trained on new medical equipment that has been instrumental in saving lives through effective data analysis, patient monitoring, and faster diagnostics.

Did we lose more doctors because of the technology? How can we compare this technology curve to the one we are seeing in the educational field?

Technology can increase productivity and be more effective in analyzing more data within a given time frame. For example, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has developed an online program that creates an all inclusive online program called pinpoint ( http://www.hmhco.com/content/forsyth-county-schools-chooses-houghton-mifflin-harcourt%E2%80%99s-pinpoint-suite-transform-teaching).

A few districts in the state of Georgia have signed on to various pilot programs that can be tested in their district. Pinpoint is offering an easier format for creating an individual program for students.

Teachers can’t offer the same type of instruction that HMH is offering. They don’t have the time or the skills to develop an individualized learning management system.

So what does this mean about the number of teachers that the system will need in the future? In my opinion, those teacher’s that are willing to learn the technology, and develop their skills in a new format, will continue to have a viable position within the teaching field.

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