There is no doubt that education and the learning process has changed since the introduction of computers. The search for information has become easier and amusing, and connectivity has expedited the data availability. Though expert systems have made computers more intelligent, they have not yet become a substitute of the human interaction in the learning process. In my opinion; what can be expected, is a change of the teachers’ role but not their disappearance from the classroom.
Nobody can argue that the acquisition of knowledge is more fun and easier with computers. The mere activity of touching and exploring this device constitutes an enjoyable task for a kid. This, accompanied with the relaxing attitude and software interactivity, usually conduce to a better grasping of new knowledge. At a higher educational level; the availability of digital books, simulator and other academic materials, provide the student with an ever accessible source of information, that otherwise would not be at hand.
But, besides the increasing complexity and behavior of intelligent software, which is usually embedded in the academic digital material, the need of human interaction in the learning process will always be present, at least in the foreseeable future. There is the necessity for a human being to be able to determine what the specific needs of each individual are. The expertise of a teacher in how to explain and adapt complex concepts to different individuals can hardly be mimicked by a computer, no matter how sophisticated its software is.
As computers are becoming a common tool for teaching, teachers should be more aware of their role as guides in the acquisition of knowledge rather than transmitters of facts. They have to be open minded to the changes that are taking place, keep updated and serve as a problem solvers in the learning process, thus allowing students to discover the facts for themselves.
To summarize, in my personal view, teachers play and will play an important role in the classroom, especially at the primary level. No matter how complex computers become, there will be no replacement for the human interaction, but in the way how this interaction takes place.