We all know that mentorship is very much crucial to shape the career of every student. All the use of technologies and initiatives tend to fail when there is no one to guide.
No doubt digitalization of education system has tremendously helped students in their study and research. But if people say (as said in my discussions on LinkedIn) that “the explosion of information accessible and the skill to network openly with sources of information from a diversity of viewpoints makes the role of teacher irrelevant,” I am not going to buy that point, because I believe, in this digital era, the role of teachers has become more crucial than ever.
Some students argue that they do not need guidance from teachers. However, even if students think that they can get assistance from the web, are they sure that the source of guidance is authentic? Or do they really have the ability to judge what is wrong and what is right for them?
When a student steps down into digital world, their experience and conscious is not fully advanced, where they can make completely validates decision about usage of digital media and other things. Here, they need mentors the most.
In fact in an online discussion, some of the college students did agree to the fact that they require teacher’s guidance to understand the usage of technology better. They said, “we have plenty of information available on the internet on almost all topics. But it seems complicated without any proper guidance, we are unable to judge which one should to choose.”
What Experts Have to Say?
According to the Chief Executing Officer of TheHubEdu Tiffany Reiss, “We are no longer the primary sources of information for our students (and maybe we never were) but our jobs have now become about contextualizing that information and guiding students in the practical application and use of the information.”
In a parallel thread on same topic an educator said, “Google, YouTube, and/or Wikipedia can find you an answer to almost any question, no search engine or social media platform can be relied upon to put information into developmentally appropriate contexts. Absent adult guidance, most young people will turn to peer groups for validation of thoughts and ideas. The engagement of teachers and adults frames and scaffolds information in ways that student peer groups simply cannot.”
Overall it can be strongly agreed that nothing can ever replace the need of tutors or teachers even in this digital era.
Are Teachers Skilled Enough?
Larry Alvarado, President, SLS Success System highlighted a very important while discussing online. He said, “The role of teachers may be more important in some senses - BUT - the skills teachers need to handle the digital age and its possibilities and demands are changing.”
There is no doubt about the importance of teacher in this digital era, but the question is if the teacher is skilled enough to assist their students in learning technologies. It is extremely crucial for an online teacher to be more skilled, knowledgeable, and efficient in compare to the normal one so that she is able to answer the questions raised by her students.
Technology is evolving every day; therefore, they must have the ability to grasp new things more quickly or equivalently as compared to their students. In this web-based-learning culture, technical skills and critical thinking are equally important for a tutor, so that they can think out of box. If the teacher has all these qualities, then she will be capable of:
- Facilitating better learning in the classrooms and online environments.
- Effectively utilizing digital media tools to enhance students’ ability.
- Using global education platform perfectly for regular update.
- Working with students and help them to grasp new leaning opportunities.
In this digital era, teachers carry huge responsibility and in order to deliver those responsibilities they need certain set of skills. No doubt that if teachers lack technical expertise, they cannot contribute more in their student’s growth in the 21st century.