‘Robot vs Teacher’

  • Watch a video clip ‘Robot vs Teacher’ (Baxter, 2011). This clip was inspired by the Mac vs PC commercials, but kind of spiraled out of control from there. Then, read about ‘Technology vs Teachers: Can technology replace teachers’ (Bryant, 2016). Debate whether technology can replace teachers in secondary STEM classrooms.

Debate whether technology can replace teachers in secondary STEM classrooms.


1. Adams, K. I., & Petty, P. (n.d). Preparing teachers for the challenge of teaching and learning with technology: standards, strategies, and statistics.  Pearsonschool. http://assets.pearsonschool.com/asset_mgr/legacy/200727/2003_06Adams_401_1.pdf

  • Research indicates that teachers must use computers competently in their classrooms, both as vehicles of pedagogically sound instruction and for classroom management (Adams & Petty, 2003). However, the lack of time, access, and support needed for teachers to feel competent using technology in instruction may keep them from becoming comfortable with technology in their classrooms. The usual one-shot workshops organized to prepare teachers to teach with technology is inadequate.

2. Cox, M., Preston, C., & Cox, K.  (1999, September 2-5). What factors support or prevent teachers from using ICT in their classrooms? [Paper presentation]. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Sussex at Brighton. https://web.archive.org/web/20201127012826/http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00001304.htm

  • This paper report on the findings of a small project set up to investigate the factors which have contributed to the continuing use of ICT by teachers in their teaching. The factors which were found to be most important to teachers in their teaching were: making the lessons more interesting, easier, more fun for them and their pupils, more diverse, more motivating for the pupils and more enjoyable. Additional more personal factors were improving the presentation of materials, allowing greater access to computers for personal use, giving more power to the teacher in the school, giving the teacher more prestige, making the teachers’ administration more efficient and providing professional support through the Internet (Cox, 2000).

3. Science, technology, engineering, & math. (2008, September). SETDA. http://www.setda.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Science-Technology-Engineering-and-Mathematics-STEM-Report.pdf

  • This article introduces the importance for preparing our students for the 21st century by teaching them the importance of gaining knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

4. Technology vs Teachers: Can technology replace teachers? (n.d.). fedena. https://fedena.com/blog/2018/05/teachers-vs-technology-can-technology-replace-teachers.html

  • The range of technology used inside the classroom has boomed, with the rise of smartboards, digital textbooks and, most notably, the tools offered on the Internet (Bryant, 2016). But what does this continuing growth in education technology mean for teachers? Can technology replace the teachers? While many teachers are excited by technology and interested in the ways in which they can use it to enhance their teaching, others are concerned by its rapid development and wonder whether they themselves could eventually be replaced.

5. UNESCO. (2002). Information and communication technologies in teacher education. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0012/001295/129533e.pdf

  • The success of computer education in secondary schools depends on teacher preparation. However, research shows that a number of essential conditions that are necessary for successfully integrate ICTs into teacher education programmes are not in place. Teacher educators express frustration by stating, “I am having problems implementing our plan for infusion of ICTs because…” (UNESCO, 2002, pp. 72–114).

6.  Wu, Y.-T., & Anderson, O. R. (2015). Technology-enhanced stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Journal of Computers in Education, 2(3), 245–249. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40692-015-0041-2

  • With the rapid development of information and communication technology, educators and researchers increasingly highlight the potential merits of using educational technology to improve STEM learning outcomes. It is argued that video games have the potential to be used as a route to large-scale STEM education (Wu & Anderson, 2015).

7. Microsoft (2018) What is STEM? CS? Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digital-skills/stem-cs

  • This website explores the importance of STEM and computer science and how they relate to each other.

Optional Videos

1.  TEDxTalks. (2016, June 16). Should technology replace teachers? |William Zhou| TedxkitchenerEd [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/LIR60cgfOFU

The video is from a Ted conference by one of the speaker William Zhou, an educational technology entrepreneur who is a co-founder and CEO for Chalk.com. He shares his view points on the importance of having a physical teacher in a classroom and that technology will not replace teachers, but only enhance the teaching-learning experience in a classroom.

2. UCDavisEngineering. (2014, November 25). Sanjoy Mahajan: Principle-based use of digital technology to improve STEM learning [Video]. https://youtu.be/Ze4VM7h012M  YouTube. (1:01:38)

  • Introduces the concept of massive online open courses (MOOC) and the need for digital technology in teaching STEM. Based on principles of educational research and cognitive psychology, Mahajan explains how digital tools can help us improve teaching in a distance learning environment.

3. Tedx Talks. (2019, December 12). I’m not talking about robot teachers | Wayne Holmes | TedxOpenUniversity [Video]. https://youtu.be/PpvBbNsNqN4

  • In this video, Wayne Holmes talks about real applications of AI in education.


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