Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Human Touch

Technology is being pushed as the answer to all that ails the school system. Smart boards will bridge the gap between the knowledge that is being taught and that which is being absorbed by the child. Tablets will make everything clear. ARIS will provide all the data necessary to figure out why Johnny cannnot learn.

Technology does nothing to give kids what they really need--the human touch. Kids need to know that the person teaching them cares about their success. These kids need to know that we are proud of their successes and want to help erase their failures. They need the human touch, something that no amount of technology will ever add to the classroom.


NYC Educator said...

You're absolutely right. And they'd get a lot more of that with smaller class size and fewer overcrowded schools. However, not only won't NYC kids get that, but with the draconian cuts proposed by Mayor "Children First" Bloomberg, they won't be seeing any smart boards either.

NYC kids get everything they need, except when times are bad. Or when times are good.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the most important thing in a child's education is the Human Touch. But there is no better way to utilize that human touch by understanding as much as you can about a child. How does she/he best learn? Are there students in my class that were ever classified as Sp. Ed.? Any former or current ELLs?

But you have to believe in different learning styles. If you don't believe in different learning styles then technology or anything else will make a difference in your approach.

I believe the best educators use a combination of "differentiated" instruction with the human touch.

Love your blog...

Kim Hughey said...

You are so right. Our district is being overwhelmed with new technology that is supposd to solve all of our problems. Last year every student in our high school was handed a brand new Mac laptop. What a disaster. Our test scores took a huge nose dive.

Right now, our math department has so many new resources that they want us to use that it woud be impossible to figure them all out, let alone use them in the classroom.

Here's the answer: effective, experienced teachers, parents who support and encourage their child's education, and a community that holds its teachers and the educational process in high esteem.

BTW, love the blog. I am a huge fan and have been lurking here a long time. I've finally jumped into the blogging world and I'm trying to learn the ropes.

Anonymous said...

nice picture of your cat I like cat pictures.

Kim said...

The human touch is sooooo essential. At our faculty meeting last week, our principal reminded us all that getting to know our students, and caring about them, may make all the difference to that student who is depressed, worried about his family situation, or thinking of dropping out. I do what I can, and I see it work!

Anonymous said...

Do you believe all kids learn the same?

Pissedoffteacher said...

Absolutely not, but in the environment I work in, there is not a big chance to individualize.

Anonymous said...

is it too difficult to address multiple learning styles in large classes?

Pissedoffteacher said...

It is extremely difficult to address different learning styles in large classes, especially when you have kids with attention deficits and who just plain act out if you are not in control 100% of the time.

Anyways, it is too difficult for me. Maybe a better teacher can handle it.

JUSTICE not "just us" said...

How can I be "human" when I am being treated inhumanly?
How can I show compassion when I am treated with contempt?

It seems to me that by introducing this "corporate model" of and increasingly privetized(spelling) public school system "humanity" is not a factor.

You should've have seen with the reverence and fetish ardour Klein and Liebman spoke about the ARIS system that will tell you "everything" about your charges in front of you, at this past week PEP meeting at Tweed. They even produced a young corporate type newbie Math teacher who lovingly talked about how ARIS is helping his students. The newbie "talks" to ARIS on his laptop from home. I am sure he does not talk to his colleagues but he talks to the 81 million computer system! Remember HAL from 2001: A Space Odessy?

"I have seen the future and it does not work." Zardoz (1973)