Robots as Teaching Assistants

Robots as Teaching Assistants

Hi everyone! It’s Laura here, the Apprentice Research Assistant at CASCAID Ltd, and I have some information for technology lovers and teachers!

Technology is a dynamic market – it’s always changing. There are always new phones, computers and software coming out every year, but these new advances may be closer to home; robots could be your child’s new teaching assistant.

The TES and BBC News have published articles on how robots are coming into schools and taking over the traditional way of teaching using robots and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.

Virtual reality is a simulation of an 3D environment that can be interacted by a person using special electronic equipment such as a headset with a screen inside.

This exciting new development is going to play an important role in helping 263 million children globally have an education who are currently not in school.

These robots could be teaching maths and reading in primary schools using the VR headsets. Children who are in the developing world can use these headsets to learn in a top school and start their education!

The 360-degree camera will give children experiences anywhere in the world of premium lessons from luxury schools which they may never have had experienced before.

Technology is now not a barrier in developing countries as the rate of people owning mobile phones have increased. This means that the costs of the VR headsets have little to no implications on the developing world.

What are the advantages of having robots as teachers?

Robots have many advantages; they never get tired or bored and can carry out small repetitive tasks with no complaints!

New technology has allowed a university in Atlanta to have a robotic teacher, called Jill Watson, to teach a postgraduate course to its students. Jill helps students with questions and provides feedback in quicker time than a human teacher.

The advancement in technology has allowed more powerful systems to complete more sophisticated tasks automatically.

The use of this intelligence has sparked Pearson – the global education company, to invest in a new digital project which will be released next year. It is an automated course where a student follows online lessons and artificial intelligence, like Jill Watson, offering assistance when they are needed.

Don’t worry – it is not planned to replace teachers, but can be used as a possible revision tool for students and give them some positive feedback.

However, is this a good thing?

There are some people who think that this new advancement may not work. Could computers give pastoral care to students? Would a student feel the same way if a computer gave them positive feedback compared to a human teacher?

There are also worries about how these computers could take jobs such as office or professional jobs, such as how they have replaced production line operatives in factories.

This advancement may also create a social divide as having these computers will be more cost effective then regular teaching.

Some doubts have also been raised as to whether a computer could recognise a creative student’s work and ask questions which may be ‘outside the box’?

Overall, I think that artificial intelligence is always evolving and giving 263 million children, including in the developing world, an education is a brilliant invention and I am excited to find out what happens next in the world of technology!

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