Great Teachers or Great Technology?

Matt Miller, Washington Post columnist and host of KCRW’s “Left, Right and Center,” moderated a debate hosted by The Broad Center during its alumni forum in Los Angeles this past November, around the motion that “Great teachers are more important than great education technology.” Debate participants included Nakia Towns, Director of Human Capital Strategy at Knox County Schools in Tennessee, and Heath Morrison, Superintendent of Charlotte Mecklenberg School District in North Carolina, for the motion and Gloria Lee, Chief Operating Officer at New Schools Venture Fund, and Kwasi Asare, Executive Vice President of Everfi, against the motion.
The majority of us are in full agreement that technology will never replace the value of teachers. We also agree, that enough good or bad teachers in a row can change the course of a student’s life. Yet, today we have the opportunity to explore the ways that technology can improve inefficiencies, expand educational offerings, and leverage expertise to the benefit of student learning and access.
Both sides presented a compelling debate full of personal testament to the ways that educational experiences changed the course and trajectory of learning. Watch the video below to learn how audience polling changed as a result of this lively debate.
The debate raises valuable questions around the following:

  • What makes a great, effective teacher?
  • How do we shift the paradigm of teaching to a profession?
  • What are the misunderstandings in the construction of student learning?
  • Why don’t we have enough exceptional teachers in the system?
  • How can technology expand reach and fill gaps in teaching capacities?

Each side selected solutions that addressed concerns around:

  • Student-teacher relationships
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Differentiated teaching and learning; and
  • 21st century skills.

Does it have to be an either or: great teachers or technology? How can technology not only improve learning for students, but help us develop and facilitate more exceptional teachers in the system? What do you believe is the most important school-based factor of student learning?
View the video below:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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1 Comment

Jaininder Minhas

I agree that great technology can never replace great teachers but technology can indeed go a long way in enhancing the teaching practices of great teachers all over the world. With so many online learning platforms available, one can easily use them to enhance the learning process. I would like to mention here about WizIQ which is one such online learning platform that is specially designed for the purpose of education and connects educators and students through its WizIQ Virtual Classroom technology. It enables teachers to deliver interactive, engaging course content to students via live synchronous meetings or recorded classes, all through an easy-to-use interface. Used for everything from teaching hybrid courses at major universities to offering guitar lessons one-on-one across thousands of miles, WizIQ is an incredibly flexible tool for delivering and enhancing any type of training or instruction.

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