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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The future of teaching?

I want to quickly post about something that really disturbed and interested me when I saw it this week. Please watch this quick news broadcast about new teaching methods in Japan:

Now I'm sure many of you are thinking: "That will never replace me as a teacher." Well, maybe not, but let us look at the state of education around the world. We are moving toward greater and greater strictures upon education through systematic education and standardized testing. Many teachers are lamenting this standardization, and therefore either reacting against it, or teaching only toward the test so as to receive lauds and funding.

So if we desire a completely standard, "unbiased", inclusive classroom, knowing exactly what we are going to get from our child's classroom teacher, wouldn't a robot be the best option? A robot only follows its programming, and therefore could teach content in exactly the same way, and utilizing its data banks to provide other methods to present data to students. You know exactly what, and how your students will be taught, in a completely standard and systematic way.

Of course, many of you know I can not be serious about this assertion that we should be replaced by robots, the very idea is preposterous. However, people said the same thing when Starbucks went to computerized espresso machines so that it removed the variability that customers would receive from barista to barista. Now you can go to any Starbucks in the country and get that same over-roasted, burnt, too watery latté that you know and love.

Some day we may be replaced by androids, but until that day, I think all our jobs our safe; at least if you prefer to work outside of Japan.

1 comment:

  1. Nathan, this is absolutely incredible! I had just posted a discussion in another class on the idea of robots in schools. It ran more along the lines of having a teacher monitoring dress code so that teachers did not have the awkward task of telling students to cover up, especially the male teachers.

    The overall idea is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, students are paying attention because it's a new "toy" as my mother would say. I'd love to see an update after they've had a year of instruction, though! What happens if a students asks for an extension on an assignment? How many variations of responses does this thing have?!