Like it or not, teachers who are not IT-savvy may risk losing their jobs.
If they do not start developing IT skills, they may not be able to keep their students’ attention and interest in learning and this will inevitably affect their careers, said YTL Education chairman Lord Stewart Sutherland.
The training of teachers must evolve to keep up with technology so that it empowers them with the knowledge and skills to manage a “borderless” classroom of the 21st century, he said.
“We no longer need a teacher and technician to manage the class.
“Currently technicians are present in class to make sure the computers are in working order and that there is proper Internet connection, while the teacher is there to impart knowledge.
“However, when we have teachers who are IT-literate and have sufficient skills right from the start, there will be no need for two people to manage the class,” he said.
“It means the training, education and in-service support of the teachers have to fundamentally revise themselves,” he added.
While some teachers may see the responsibilities of creating, maintaining and updating contents online a chore, he said that they must accept that technology has become a major part of the lifestyle of young people.
He described it as a “generational” issue.
“That’s the way the world is. Teachers must know that young people live with technology. This has structured the way they live, their relationships, their entertainment and even their values,” he added.
Up-to-d ate: Teachers need to be IT-literate and have sufficient skills in the field these days, says Lord Sutherland.
Teachers who want to progress must realise that they have to be tech-savvy, shared Lord Sutherland, adding that they also needed to have the “human touch” and professional element.
He said that virtual learning would not replace face-to-face teaching but will instead enable it.
He said the use of virtual teaching would reduce the time teachers spent on administrative work.
“Instead of filling in forms, teachers will have more time for actual individual interaction which is essential,” he said.
Lord Sutherland said that teachers also had to remind and educate their students to be smart and responsible online media users.
A good teacher should impart good values to students so that they follow and observe online etiquette and rules.
He said adhering to such rules would benefit the youngsters in the long run, especially when prospective employers carried out background checks on them online.