Jack Uldrich
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Learning From Robots

Posted in Education

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When contemplating the future, people need to keep a very open mind about what might be possible. Consider this article which describes how researchers at UC San Diego are developing facial recognition technology that can recognize if a person is having trouble understanding an educational lesson—say in mathematics or biology.

As the technology continues to improve, one possible implication is that smart devices and robots will become better and more effective teachers because they will be able to pace lesson plans to an individual student’s ability to comprehend the information which is being presented.

Longer term, it is possible that robots and other smart devices will become more effective teachers than even human teachers because the machines will understand each student’s learning idiosyncrasies and then present material in a manner which is optimized for that individual student’s learning style.

Now, I understand how discomforting the idea that a robot might be a better teacher than your old favorite third grade teacher, Mrs. Hubbard, ever was; but, as that wise American philosopher Yoggi Berra once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

For a more contemporary look at how technology is transforming education, I’d invite you to read this article which explains how Nintendo DS is helping Japanese students learn the English language.

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