Classroom Wall-E: Are Robot Teachers in our Future?

By Dominick Cooper, Director and Lead Creative Tutor of Launch Academy, Winner of the DaVinci Scholar Award, Nominee for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and University Guest Speaker

With recent movies like I-Robot, where armies of household androids turn rogue, and Prometheus, where an android learns ancient languages and manages a spaceship, robots are becoming a comfortable sci-fi fantasy.

But it’s more than fantasy. Human-like robots are being developed even now and, before long, they’ll
be in schools.

An example of the progress of android technology

While some would hail this as an infringement on humanity, I’m excited! But not for
the reason you may think.

Imagine it:

  • A system that can immediately alter its examples to the students’ specific multiple intelligences.
  • Whenever a student has a question, it would score its vast knowledge base and immediately know the answer.
  • It would be able to teach based on immediate assessments, carefully seeing which steps students understood and which they still needed help on.
  • If they needed to see more examples, students could come in after school or before school or simply connect to their “teacher” online. Their teacher would
    literally be wherever they are. A school with no boundaries.

But that’s not the reason I’m excited.

The art of teaching carries with it MANY skills – teaching, grading papers, classroom managements, planning lessons, collaborating with other teachers, motivating individual students’ strengths while filling in possible gaps in their education, and the list goes on. By analyzing which tasks could be automated and systematized (as in the case of an android teacher), it allows us to really analyze what the teacher tasks are that do matter.

Smarter curricula. Smarter Teaching. We like that around here.

What are your thoughts? What are some other ways androids may affect the classroom for good or bad?

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