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Can Machines and Teachers Co-Exist?

How can the latest and greatest trendy EdTech enhance the teaching profession rather than overtake it? We are years beyond the first MOOC course being created and smartboards being initially rolled out. However, EdTech professionals and educators alike are still learning how to best integrate automated technology with the art of teaching.

“We’ve spent billions building ‘learning algorithms’ that allow machines to emulate an ever expanding array of human skills, but only a fraction of that on helping humans outlearn the automation supplanting us in the workplace,” according to Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal.

“What we need is a revolution in educational technology, one designed to leverage machines not merely to replace humans, but to enhance us.”

Mims says that investing in K-12 education technology is necessary, however, he believes that the same amount should be invested in human intelligence as well.

“At the core of the coming revolution in how schools should function and what classrooms should look like is this simple observation: It is a waste of time to ask teachers to deliver information and test students on it when that task can be reassigned, at least in part, to software,” according to Mims.

In essence, machines can be just as effective tutors as humans in certain circumstances in Mims’ opinion. However he doesn’t believe that it means replacing humans in the classroom. The belief is that a teacher’s time can be better spent on “working on group projects, peer instruction and individual monitoring.”

As Max Ventilla, former Google engineer, father and founder of AltSchool put it, there are countless ways in which technology can’t enrich vital needs in student progression.

“If kids are in front of a tablet all day, it’s not really going to prepare them for the most important parts of their education, which are character skills, social and emotional learning and the ability to apply what they’re learning in the real world, in a decontextualized way,” says Ventilla.

 

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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