Totally untrue. There can certainly be cases of human teachers being partial to high-performing students - but technology can never make such discrimination. The same educational aides are available to the most advanced students as the laggards - the onus is on the students (and their instructors) to make the best use of them.
2) Present-day kids don’t need to be specially trained to use technology.
The fact that children of the present generation are totally at home with using video gaming consoles and mobile apps for kids does not imply that they do not have to be trained with new technology. The concept among many parents that their kids are ‘digital natives’ is nothing more than a misconception. Unless proper guidance is provided by teachers, even the best technological gizmos can lie useless.
3) Teachers need to focus solely on getting familiar with ed-tech.
The popularity of education technology worldwide has not brought about any such change in teachers’ focus. A professional school/college/university tutor has to find out how (s)he can use the available technology to improve the knowledge-transfer process in classrooms, and provide personalized help to each students. Becoming a computer whiz should never become the only objective of a teacher.
4) Education technology requires huge upfront investments.
This is partially true, but there should never be any comparisons between tech vs. non-tech teaching methods. For instance, many people feel that arranging for online video classes is a much more expensive proposition, than having a simple teacher-student classroom. What they don’t take into account is that, the overall faculty costs can be considerably lowered with the help of such virtual classes. What’s more - many institutes receive government aids and grants to sponsor the tools and gadgets they require.
5) Interactive tools invariably have great educational value
Not necessarily. Mobile application development companies in India and other countries regularly come up with apps with hosts of interactive features. Many of them involve random scrolling and clicking - with kids often not even understanding the reason behind the actions they are performing. The same goes with quite a few puzzle and quiz websites too (where the questions are often more silly than interesting). Every interaction between a student and an ed-tech gadget has to be of some value - (s)he should not keep tapping/clicking just for the heck of it.
6) The older a teacher is, the lesser (s)he is likely to use technology
On the contrary, experienced teachers are often more willing to adapt their class-management styles according to the rapidly evolving learning environments. Almost 3 out of every 4 teachers with more than a decade of professional experience have already molded their teaching methods, using the latest educational aides and tools. There is no reason to think that old-timers hate technology!
7) The human touch would soon be no longer required for education
Considering technology to be a substitute of expert human teachers and well-facilitated classrooms at colleges/universities would be a grave folly. In fact, as newer, better tools and gadgets start being used for educational purposes, the demand for instructors who can familiarize students with these aides is likely to increase. Even for junior and K-12 students, human guidance in education is irreplaceable. Technology can only complement it.
8) Technology hampers the social skills of children
Too much of anything is bad, and education technology is not an exception to this rule. It is hardly a good idea to let television, internet, Playstations and iPhone apps for kids form the entire world around a young child. However, this does not mean that the influence of technology on impressionable minds is, by default, adverse. Parents at home, and teachers at schools can easily ensure that gadgets and games are being used in moderation, and are not impairing kids’ social skills.
9) Not having technical expertise can put careers at a permanent disadvantage
Yet another myth that overestimates the benefits of education technology. Particularly among parents who are not that tech-savvy, there is a belief that technical knowledge is going to place their wards on a firmer footing in life - in general. The truth, however, remains that technology only serves as a convenient medium of learning - and it cannot guarantee successful futures. After all, brilliant students do emerge from relatively tech-less communities, where advanced ed-tech might not have even been available.
10) There is uniformity in the availability of education technology across the globe
The economic backgrounds of all students are not the same - and such disparities cause (and will continue to cause) differences in the availability of education technology. In addition, communities that are relatively poorer cannot compete in terms of technology usage in education, with the more well-off societies and nations. Specialized computer training centers and iPhone app development companies in India and other Asian countries have been started, but teaching methods in the US and the UK remain far more advanced. It’s all about making the best use of what’s available - expecting that the same technology will be available everywhere would be futile.
Finally, there should not be any set regulation for determining the number of students who would be sharing the same technological resource (for example, the same computer). The general belief that teachers and executive heads of academic institutes are always equally eager about the adoption of technology is also mistaken. There are misconceptions about the increasingly popular ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BOYD) concept too. Education technology is still at a relatively nascent stage, and myths about the field are not surprising - but we need to dispel them as quickly as possible.
Ross Smythe is the chief concept developer at Teknowledge Mobile Studio. He regularly writes on the web, specifically on various aspects related to education technology.