The Irreplaceable Role of Educators in Higher Education
Head of Product
March 10th, 2022
We can all agree that no technology however smart would ever be able to have the cultural impact that the Greek philosopher and educator Plato had on the world, from his time as a widely recognised and respected teacher in Athens to the present moment. Plato was the founder of the first higher educational institution in the Western world and his philosophical teachings are still deeply rooted in our world today.
Plato, and all the other great teachers throughout history, are a testament to the irreplaceable role of educators. In recent years, there’s been debate around whether technology will eventually replace the role educators serve in education. We’re here to give an answer: no. Technology will never replace the invaluable role teachers play in the classroom, and in society at large, and here’s why.
The Importance of Educators
Students are making fewer human connections as technology continues to play a larger role in the classroom. The fact that many educational institutions were forced to switch to online learning in 2020 and 2021 adds to this problem. This is where the vital role of educators becomes apparent.
While educators were historically only valued for being the keepers and bestowers of knowledge, they serve a much greater purpose. In a higher education space, many educators serve as mentors and supporters for their students.
For many students, attending college or university is the first time they’re away from home. However, they have educators to model after and fill in the role their families previously filled. Educators help students succeed in their careers by teaching professionalism, good values, discernment in the job market, and other skills earned from years of experience in their specific industries.
Additionally, educators are often the deciding force in whether students take a genuine interest in their learning journey, push their limits, and apply to intimidating internships. Just a few words of encouragement and support from an educator who is deemed as a mentor by his student can make a huge difference in the student’s long-term success.
Why technology can never replace educators
Many high-value educators serve as connectors between the different industries they have developed deep ties in throughout their career and the institution at which they currently teach. These connections work as a win-win scenario for the institution and different companies because they create the possibility of partnership for class projects, internships, and other vital workforce experiences that aren’t otherwise readily available to students
If educators were to be replaced by technology, students simply wouldn’t receive the well-rounded education a professor offers. They wouldn’t learn intangible values from experts who have years of knowledge in their students’ career of choice, have the added support of a mentor who is rooting for them and wants to see them succeed, and have access to the connections that mentor provides into the student’s desired career and industry that can open fruitful opportunities for internships and employment post-graduation.
However, it wouldn’t be fair to entirely disregard the importance of technology in the classroom. In fact, technology is vital and serves an important role because it can assist educators in elevating the learning experience.
How the right technology creates elevated education
With the right technology, educators can amplify the most important parts of their jobs and automate repetitive tasks that get in the way of their teaching duties. Today’s automation software combines AI to answer commonly asked questions so educators can focus on the more complex discussions necessary for deeper learning in the classroom.
Other repetitive tasks technology can help educators with include grading assignments, monitoring student progress, and offering suggestions to make curriculum shifts based on learning analytics gathered by the software. Learning Management Systems (LMS) can also streamline communication channels to ensure students are staying updated on all relevant announcements, important test dates, and assignment due dates.
The aleX Solution
The Adaptive Learning Experience (aleX) helps educators build learning communities by engaging students in conversations through questions. aleX is conveniently built within the widely popular Microsoft Teams platform, offering an easier setup and integration than any other comparable software.
What makes aleX particularly effective is a powerful analytics engine and an AI learning assistant called QBot that:
- Automate responses to common questions by creating a centralised self-building knowledge base that leverages the questions from interactions with students to accelerate the acquisition of knowledge
- Leverage analytics to provide educators with insights that address individual student needs
With aleX, educators are able to engage students in conversations that go beyond the lecture material whilst ensuring that any common questions can be immediately answered for the students without educator intervention. In addition, analytics provide key information for educators to tailor the delivery of material and student experience.
While the debate of educators versus technology continues, we’d like to offer an alternative solution: educators embracing educational technology advancements and partnering with the right technology to create the highest quality experience for students and educators alike. Only this way will we be able to move forward and redefine what it means to be a educator, for the better, in the world of tomorrow.
Book a demo with our team to learn how aleX can transform the teaching and learning experience at your institution today.