We all hear repeatedly that technology is stealing our jobs, leaving us in the dust, while a computer can complete our work tasks quicker and more effectively. But, is this really the case? Because, while computers can perform routine tasks quicker and more efficiently than people, they are woefully inadequate at non-routine and creative tasks.
So what will save you from the onslaught of technology? It is simply knowing your profession or field so well that YOU find ways to automate it. When you make your job more efficient with tech, you are creating value for yourself. You find the routine tasks in your profession and you automate them. Then you perform the non-routine tasks yourself. Now that is truly efficiency and productively defined.
I’d like to apply this way of thinking to my area of interest — within education and learning. There are many problems that students face, and they can all be pretty well addressed with a conscientious and dedicated teacher, but it takes a lot of the teacher’s time and energy to address every student’s unique issues in learning. There are slower learners, who need a few more go-arounds until they master the content. A teacher could provide this extra guidance, but so could a computer. There are many excellent tutorials available to give students the extra guidance and practice that they need.
Consequently, there are accelerated students who could achieve more than what they are currently doing. A teacher could prescribe extra work on a regular basis, but this also takes a lot of time and energy. How about assigning them to a challenging MOOC (massive open on-line course) alone or in small groups with others of the same interests and abilities? For students showing a lack of motivation in an area, how about having them play a fun video game? The options are limitless as long as you know what applications are available.
The point is, of course, if you can’t beat them, then join them. Use tech whenever you can, and the applications will become clearer to you.