The Rise of Technology in the Two Decades

The contexts of teaching have changed since the last century. The classroom has evolved from the humble one room schoolhouse to a virtual classroom. With this enormous change come changes in the role of the teacher.

What we have seen is the phenomenal rise of technology in the two decades; it has taken place against a complex backdrop of cultural and social change, advances in technology and shifts in educational theory and practice. We see new tensions, new requirements, new pressures and changes in the environment socially, economical and technological, this has led to modified teaching jobs.

In my experiences students have become more difficult, less motivated, more requiring, more inclined to defend their rights than to fulfill their duty. The administration or the educational authorities are making more pressure for greater accountability. Bodies such as the Adult Learning Inspectorate (FE) and the Quality Assurance Agency (HE) oversee standards and assessments, and incorporate both inclusive learning and teaching strategies, and effective use of information and learning technologies (ILT), within their remit. There it seems less and less social recognition of the teaching job… The question is are teachers prepared for these changes and pressures? The traditional picture I have of the teacher as the “Master of the knowledge” with an institutional power is disappearing. What we see now is a new style of teachers: leadership style seems more appropriate to respond to those challenges. This implies new competencies: the emotional competencies. Those changes remind us that the teaching act is not only a cognitive action but also and first a social and affective action where emotions interfere in the class and work atmosphere.

Education, along with all public services in the UK, also faces calls for greater accountability, Accountability that in essence is a positive and productive step but in the larger frame of things damages the profession as ones actions stereotype the whole profession and not to mention taint it. Different educational disciplines enjoy various learning styles, delivery techniques, Resources and Support. Flexible Learning requires support but no teaching, Distance learning requires Resources and support but not 100% teaching, Practical Professions like medicine and accountancy require Teaching as well practical learning opportunities. What the article is stressing time and time again is that there is no denying that the future and existence of HE and teaching is intertwined and that there is no substitute to the teacher in such learning environments all other supporting profession and resources and technologies are important and have their place but the human presence in HE shows no sign of diminishing no matter how strong, professional, research proven, quality focused the proposal may be.

On the contrary there is a greater need for experienced and Un-experienced practitioners to be trained on a standardized platform which may be beneficial to them and to the institution as sometimes a change process may be required to benefit institutional needs and enhance sustainability.

Another issue which forces Education establishments to focus on is the volume of service it has to provide and commit to as each year the no of applications in HE are increasing. This leads to the subject of cost to be discussed, to counter this the role of a teacher is carried out by supporting professionals through personalized teaching. The cost of specialist teachers personalized delivery compared to a supporting professionals cost is tremendously higher hence more and more supporting teachers roles are being created to counter and keep under control the ballooning cost. Another theory for all parties involved is that the word “Teacher” is over emphasised, the important thing is that “is effective learning being accomplished” because that is the main issue here and Priority.

As described from different points of view but the statement remains the same that Education, teaching, delivery, core competencies, Resources and practice are evolving, with the introduction and expansion of the e-learning components and supporting teacher roles in all professions the road to the future is a very uncertain one.

The changes which have taken place in recent years and which continue to shape the educational landscape of the UK Higher Education sector pose many new challenges for teaching staff. Nonetheless, perhaps because of rather than in spite of these challenges, it is evident that there are unique opportunities for the enhancement of teaching and learning in the higher education sector. The current emphasis on student-centred teaching, on promoting inclusion, and developing criticality all contribute towards improving the student experience and towards maximising learning potential. It is anticipated that the present trend towards collaborative learning which emphasizes key skills (such as ICT, communication and numeracy) will hopefully address a concern expressed by employers for many years by ensuring that graduates are better-prepared for the workplace. In conclusion I would state that various changes would occur when a fundamental shift in education is required and hence the future we need to be careful of how we implement strategies and policies when in HE as it importance to any nation is Paramount.