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: