Technology is Shifting the Role of Teachers

Technology is shifting the role of teachers in the classroom.

Technology is changing what it means to have a career in teaching, and many educators are turning to digital tools to engage their students and connect what they're learning to their everyday lives.

"There's so much you can now do to innovate and adapt," Chris Merkert, who has been a science teacher for nearly 20 years, told Education Week. "It almost becomes addictive. I'm more enthused and involved than I've ever been. I can only hope that enthusiasm translates to my students."

Merkert is one of many teachers across the country who have made the decision to embrace the use of technology in the classroom rather than fighting it. He uses the extra time he's gained in the classroom to instruct students one-on-one or in small groups and answer their questions, instead of lecturing about general material.

"I'm no longer giving 40-minute lectures four times a day and wondering which class got the raw deal, or collecting and grading exams only to discover too late that they weren't getting it," Merkert told the source.

There is a fear among some educators that technology will begin to replace them and inhibit students' abilities to focus. However, research suggests that when used properly, technology can be a helpful teaching tool.

According to The New York Times, approximately 75 percent of teachers surveyed by the Pew Research Center said search engines and the Internet are having a "mostly positive" effect on the research skills of students.

What is clear is that technology isn't likely to go anywhere anytime soon, and anyone pursuing a career in teaching will need to develop effective ways to utilize digital tools to facilitate student learning.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.

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