Published On: Sat, Mar 23rd, 2013

When Modernity Leads Education Astray

By Abdelmjid Seghir

Morocco News Tribune


There was an immense focus on moving towards modern teaching methods during my teacher per-service training. Most of my trainers emphasized the fact that we would be teaching 21st century students now and that old methods of teaching were surpassed, as a result.

Of course, the emphasis on the use of current methodologies and the integration of technology is completely justified in today’s world. You just can’t keep depending on “chalk and talk” when your students have access to state-of-the-art technologies. Therefore, being modern as a teacher implies that you are not the center of attention anymore. It’s the learner who should be speaking, acting, moving and doing virtually everything.

Also, being a modern teacher means that you are prone to integrate technology in your daily practices. This change has been accompanied by a paradigm shift in our perception of the modern teacher. Nowadays, teachers are thought of as prompters, guides and facilitators of learning instead of owners of knowledge. However, this is not what’s happening in many so-called modern schools.

Unfortunately, I have noticed that some teachers understand modernity differently. Many teachers might resort to technology either to impress other people (supervisors, teachers, parents, students…) or to just work less and get the job done effortlessly. What’s more unfortunate is that these practices are being legitimized and widely adopted by our students. As a result, instead of doing real and valuable research, many students just copy, paste and print articles from the Internet and bring them to class the next day.

In fact, they don’t even do it themselves; they just go to a Cybercafe and ask the owner to do their homework for them!

As a matter of fact, there is no harm in making the job of a teacher easier, but teachers should understand that while technology helps and provides many interesting tools and solutions, it can never replace the teacher.

Similarly, copying articles from the Internet doesn’t compensate for a student’s lack of hard work. I also believe that it’s up to the teacher to explain to their students the ethics of using technology.

After all, technology is out there to provide information and make our lives easier not to think for us and cancel our roles.

To cut a long story short, I believe that no matter what you use in your classroom, it would require just as much effort. So, if you’re opting for technology to spare your efforts, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, there is more to teaching than just clicking, scrolling up and down and pressing the “Play” button.

Abdelmjid Seghir is a teacher of English, writer and public speaker. He holds a BA in TEFL and ICT from Ibn Zohr university, Agadir in 2010. His areas of interest include a variety of topics such as ICT, education, culture and cultural issues, photography and sports. His articles, papers and short stories have been published in many paper-based as well as electronic outlets. These include the American Language Center’s magazine “Oasis” and MATE’s (Moroccan Association of Teachers of English) 2012 conference proceedings. Seghir speaks in seminars and gives presentations at MATE’s conferences on a regular basis.




  • Lynne Diligent

    I believe technology has a place in the classroom when it SUPPORTS, in a useful way,what is being taught. Technology for its own sake is no better than a movie filled with special effects, yet lacking in plot!