Essay 242 – In which areas are teachers more important?

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 242

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Computers are increasingly used in education. In which areas do you think are computers more important and in which areas are teachers more important?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

Computers, without any doubt, are now essential in many areas of life – research, modern banking, retail, communication, and information exchange among others. However, this is not true for education, as far as I am concerned. At a simple level, some subjects may be better taught using computers, but to explain important concepts, human teachers are still indispensable.

To commence with, to teach a few subjects, computers can be useful when they are used by educators and pupils. Elementary mathematics, elementary language learning and any area which requires a student to memorise basic facts through repetition are well suited to computer learning. The computer can be programmed to provide an endless number of simple questions, and as the student answers these questions, the facts are learned and reinforced.

However, in the learning and practice of more complex ideas, the computer is not adequate. A computer can evaluate an answer as right or wrong, but it cannot determine why. It cannot find out why a student is making mistakes and then represent important concepts in a different way so the student will understand. It cannot determine at what stage in a mathematics problem the student has made an error; it can only indicate that the final answer is wrong. Tasks involving reasoning cannot be taught by computers, as there are too many variables for a computer to deal with successfully. In all these cases, a human teacher seems indispensable teaching.

To conclude, while computers may be useful as a tool for practising simple skills, they are not an essential feature of modern education, because they cannot monitor a student’s grasp of concepts nor evaluate a student’s reasoning. Until further developments in computers are made, the human teacher will remain indispensable.

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