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Would this solve teacher shortages - almost at a stroke?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Nonentity, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Whatever the causes, surely this 'solution' however unpalatable, is better than going without a teacher owing to the shortage?
  2. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    My original answer to that was:
    However my preferred solution would be the Canadian / Australian solution, which is to make teaching an attractive enough profession that there is no teacher shortage. If they can do it, why can't we?

    PS - I do think that we have much bigger problems with our education system, and it's one that any Aussie, Kiwi, Canadian or American teacher can tell you about in very short order - and it's much more serious than teacher shortages.

    PPS - you do know that the US and IB have been doing this for years already? Look up Pamoja (IB) or online High Schools (US).
  3. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Wow- it's almost as though OP works for a company which has an online, off the shelf learning platform with assessments, evaluation, target setting and reporting features to promote...

    And is doing a great job creating a buzz on a forum of a well renowned publication.

    I'm walking away now... I'm way too cynical.
    JL48, mathsmutt, colpee and 1 other person like this.
  4. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Yes and effectively you're calling me a liar. I said I am a teacher. I have deliberately stayed away from mentioning any one specific subject or level. Also I have not even hinted at the names of any online suppliers. Also I said that I have only recently come across online programmes.

    I was wondering whether Head Teachers would even be ALLOWED to replace (i.e. not fill a vacancy) a teacher with online progarmmes. No-one has mentioned that
  5. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    I think I've worked out which bit on nonentity the nonentity is.
  6. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

  7. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    Just as an off-topic aside, I think I should point out a couple of spelling mistakes @Nonentity. I realize that commenting on the grammar etc of others is a bit of a no-no, but I'm taking the risk that you'd appreciate it.

    Firstly, the simple past and the past participle of "lead" is "led", as in "he led the team", or "the evidence has led me to believe..."

    Secondly, when talking about software, it's usually a "computer program", as opposed to a "television programme".

    Please don't take offence - I wanted to get the first point in particular off my chest.

    Going back to the theme of the thread, I think we as a nation need to decide what we want our education system to do. I've mentioned this before in some thread. Personally I think many within the government would like to privatize education completely, and sell it off to their friends, in the standard Tory way. If teachers can't be dispensed with completely (the ideal solution), then a reasonable alternative would be to have them all on minimum wage, on zero-hour contracts. The current teacher shortages shows that the plan is progressing nicely.

    So, following the Tory model, the online route would be perfect.

    If (and this is a huge "if") we wanted to truly "educate" the population, the online route would not be a realistic option.

    The only question that remains is: "what do we want?"
    JL48 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  8. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Thanks for the heads up re grammar

    You say if we want to 'educate' then the online route is not realistic. Remember that I am suggesting the online programmes complement i.e. (as an example) 3 lessons with programme and 2 in a much smaller class, with a human.

    Also, this thread is about an either or situation.

    So would you say a teacher shortage, stressed teachers, recruitment costs, over-full classes and a stream of supply teachers is a better option?
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    I really don't like your two choices here. Automation or the above.

    My worry is that we'll get the teacher shortage, stressed teachers, recruitment costs, over-full classes and a stream of supply teachers in addition to the wonderful on-line courses. Except of course a lot less pay and status than the pitiful pay and status already applied to teachers.

    Problem is that I can't see a solution to my worries, I merely reject your solution which isn't really good enough. There's no return to the happy days when teachers actually taught and were appreciated for such.

    Is that my role in the near future .... Cassandra/whinger? Or failing that ICT technician and kid-shouterer?
  10. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Well if the teacher is not being replaced by a human you certainly wouldn't get the recruitment costs.
    As there's little waiting time for the online products there'd be little usage of supply teachers and/or cover
    Splitting the class into small groups would reduce stress and improve outcomes.

    But this all assumes the online courses ARE 'wonderful'

    Maybe not yet (I don't know) but their time will come...
  11. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    Option 1: status quo
    Teacher shortage, stressed teachers, recruitment costs, over-full classes and a stream of supply teachers.

    Option 2: online option
    No teachers required, so no teacher shortage, or stressed teachers. Huge shortage of IT people. Anyone decent would leave very soon to greener pastures, taking whatever experience and expertise they had with them. Recruitment costs of hiring IT people. IT infrastructure costs, as well as disaster management when whole system goes down (and it will). Behavioural problems not addressed - kids won't have the patience or motivation to interact with the online material and teach themselves. Supervision of hardware quite possibly becoming an issue. Software costs, with unknown pricing. Considerable risk of vendor lock-in, with real possibility of little incentive of vendors to maintain software, leading to e.g. outsourcing, introduction of bugs, etc. Dependence on particular platforms. Lots of things I haven't even thought about...

    I'm not knocking online learning. I think it's brilliant, if used appropriately. (I could quite happily spend the rest of my days with YouTube videos on all manner of subjects.) I'm questioning the competence of those in charge who will oversee it. They'll screw it up bigtime - of that I have no doubt. The evidence is irrefutable; they've got a proven track record. After all, there'd be absolutely no need at all for all this pointless data nonsense if things were properly run.

    So, given the choice of option 1 or option 2, I personally would indeed go for option 1. At least there are some teachers employed, even if they are all supply, filling in for those teachers who have been capability'd out, or are off with WRS etc.

    If I was one of the cronies of the government, ready to cash in on the forthcoming privatization, I would go for option 2 without hesitation.
    racroesus and JohnJCazorla like this.
  12. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Looking at Option 2...

    No extra teachers required and not only no extra stress but actual stress reduction as classes now smaller. Fewer behavioural problems as there are now smaller classes plus, remember, these are kids who have grown up with tech stuff. Also no recruitment costs. Thus freeing up of funds eg £25000 for teacher and £5000 for recruitment. I haven;t looked at licence fees but I saw one site where individuals could do A levels at £50 a time. So, a class of 20, perhaps £800 x 4 = £3200, so another saving. Recruitment of IT people and supervision may well become a problem, I agree, though.

    But teacher shortages are a problem too
  13. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Lead commenter

    I think you're hugely overestimating the benefits of having grown up with tech stuff.

    I've grown up with tech stuff, in many ways. OK I didn't have YouTube and Wikipedia when I was younger (and I wish I had), but I had a computer, and messed about with programming.

    Today's kids have grown up with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, etc. I don't see how much of that helps in the hard work of learning certain things. We should pick a topic - I don't know, let's say quadratic equations. I haven't researched this in any way whatsoever. If we decide that student X should learn about quadratic equations (e.g. factorizing, or deriving the formula), I don't see how fluent usage of Facebook, or being highly skilled at Candy Crush, is going to help in the slightest.

    If you can direct me to some resources that magically take the hard work out of learning about such things, then great. In the same way, I could learn all about tensors, general relativity, functional analysis etc without putting in any hard work. It'd be truly wonderful.
    JL48 and colpee like this.
  14. Laphroig

    Laphroig Senior commenter

    My experience of online learning has been that the course is of limited quantity and poor quality on systems that cannot cope.

    On another tack, how long has the OP been teaching? In what setting? See their second thread on here. A dead horse is being flogged here methinks.

    Like @slingshotsally, I'm cynical. My spidy sense has been tingling since page 1. The op has been a member since 2002 and these two threads are their only contribution to date.
    slingshotsally likes this.
  15. Laphroig

    Laphroig Senior commenter

    Oops. Just found another thread by the OP. A busy little bee.
    zizzyballoon likes this.
  16. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    Hours spent on facebook have acclimatised pupils to hours spent watching a screen and interacting.

    Taking quadratic equations as your example, I 'think' there's a whole load of Maths videos (Kahn?) out there that if integrated into an online course would mean a) pupil watched video for 10 minutes b) then answers questions c) computer marks them. I googled 'Maths A level online' and numerous alternatives came up.
  17. Nonentity

    Nonentity New commenter

    I don't know why you're so interested in me or my background. It's all irrelevant. I am just thinking aloud about using tech instead of waiting around for the right teacher when there's a shortage. I thought I would post here and see what other people thought. I have not looked in detail at any courses and certainly have nothing to sell.
  18. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Technology is being used in every sector of education at all levels, and in quite innovative ways. Generally though, what they have in common is a classroom and a teacher.

    What you seem to be trying to argue is that because a relatively few motivated adults can learn remotely, that it is an obvious model for school learning in general. I would say quite confidently that it is not. So much of 'tech' learning is boring, untargeted and demotivating, and usually not much more than clicking NEXT on a scorm packaged lesson. Tedium and feeling of isolation can set in very quickly.

    Any good learning system needs not just expertise in design and delivery but needs to be dynamic in ensuring that learning is happening and adjusting focus, changing the approach coaxing and encouraging the student, and sensing if something is wrong, even if it is denied. Also it will include peer learning and working things out with others to come to reasonable but perhaps very subjective conclusions - i.e it is mostly a human and emotional experience that requires human feedback and interaction at the point of delivery. All teachers and students use tech and most, virtually every day - but tech is really just another form of chalk, duster and reference book - just tools to help the human experience, very definitely not the experience.
  19. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    You mean like Jill Watson- https://pe.gatech.edu/blog/meet-jill-watson-georgia-techs-first-ai-teaching-assistant
    I know that it is a scary thought but in the future more of education will be done by inteligent computer systems.
    colpee likes this.
  20. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Sticking a child in front of a computer will only teach them how to deal with computers, straightforward questions.

    It will not teach them how to think creatively, practical problem solving, teamwork, ethics, morality, adaptive behaviours, listening skills, speaking, mixed media, non-computer based art forms (painting, sculpture etc), how to play an instrument, kindness, conversation, body languages, resilience, empathy, how to deal with set backs, how to cope with emotions, how to express feelings appropriately...

    Education isn't just about passing exams. IT should be a part of the toolkit, not the only thing in the tool box.

    The future will not be about sitting in front of a box...


    Judge your value not by what you own, but by what you create-


    We've have astronauts, we need adaptive, creative, collaborators in all fields, futurnauts.

    Gove started the education cull by creating a hostile environment for teachers and children.

    This idea is a reductive education.

    Really, is this what our children deserve?
    EmanuelShadrack, Laphroig and colpee like this.

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