Tech cannot replace teacher-student bond

Social studies teacher Tay Peiyong with his students from Admiralty Secondary School, on August 16, 2017.
Social studies teacher Tay Peiyong with his students from Admiralty Secondary School, on August 16, 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

Teachers have a wealth of experience and life stories to share with students, and are sensitive to a student's feelings and needs, and technology will never be able to do what they do. Technology cannot deliver face-to-face communication, and is just a tool for teachers to use (Tech will never replace teachers: Ong Ye Kung, May 17).

Teachers can guide students in solving problems, whereas technology can only dispense the solutions that are provided to it, which can make a difference in the development of a student's critical thinking skills.

Teachers also encourage independent thinking and learning, and can be a positive influence and an inspiration to set and achieve goals. The trust between teacher and student creates the perfect learning environment.

Technology, by itself, cannot fully engage a classroom. It is the variety of different teachers and learning styles that keeps students interested.

Computers are becoming increasingly integrated into students' and teachers' lives, but while they are an excellent tool for providing information, having information readily available does not in itself encourage learning.

What is missing is human interaction.

Building a relationship with students motivates them to take the time to study and put in effort, and it is this empathy that technology lacks and that teachers can provide.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Tech cannot replace teacher-student bond'. Print Edition | Subscribe