Picture this: You’re at home, sitting at your kitchen table and have just finished watching a lecture online about macroeconomics. At the end of the video, envision that you:

  1. Don’t understand anything that you’ve just heard
  2. Understand the concepts in theory but have no idea how they apply to your life
  3. Have a question about some of the points made in the class
  4. Some combination of the above

These instances crop up all too often in a society armed with pocket-sized supercomputers (like our phones). We have the near-instantaneous ability to transfer multimedia information, but, if your goal is education, it’s hard to decipher which information is really going to help you achieve your goals. Without support and guidance, learning is lacking from our round-the-clock information access.

Insight from Teachers = Knowledge

Real education is not simply a matter of disseminating information. Information can become knowledge, but it often requires access to to those who can help interpret that information. Luckily, individuals called “teachers” (/tēCHərs/) or “professors” (/prəˈfesərs/) are responsible for doing just that.

There are dozens of effective education models in practice today: one-teacher-to-many-students, one-to-one transfers of knowledge, individualized tutoring sessions, small-group guided discussions, and internships are some examples that immediately come to mind. The invaluable constant at the center of each model is a knowledgeable counselor — someone to turn to when learners’ intellectual gears get jammed up.

Teachers become increasingly important in fields where experience is the most important criteria for success — like nursing or business. Teachers have the capacity to offer insight, based on experiences, to help students contextualize the information they receive and ultimately reach greater outcomes than if a student were to try to learn the material on their own.

Without teachers, in other words, you’re basically watching a movie; with teachers, you’re learning the part.

As education technologies mature, companies like ours will be tasked with finding ways to make teachers — not just information — accessible on a large scale.