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Are teachers the next endangered race?

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Automation in education 

Are teachers the next endangered race?

With automation, robots are getting better and better at doing their jobs. They have taken over the areas which once belonged to the human race- taking food orders at restaurants, coal mining to fixing parts at an automobile manufacturing plant. So the big question arises- will they replace our teachers to shape young minds? It’s strange to imagine yourself in a class where a robot is giving you lectures and is scrutinizing your assignments! Education stratum is a layer encompassing administrative tasks, maintaining records and scheduling instructional activities are ready to cover themselves with automation, teaching, on the other hand, is not yet giving up. Going by the reports of McKinsey & Co in examining the states of all the sectors, “…the technical feasibility of automation is lowest in education.”

A Key Challenge

Education is not a task; it involves more than just focusing on strengthening the ability of a pupil. It’s the process of preparing them for work and life ahead, hence maximizing the human potential. Education takes over the robotic future with one key differentiator called empathy- the fine line between human world and machines. From Kindergarten to university level, a teacher’s place remains synonyms- the root of life guidance and career mentorship. Therefore, human interaction remains crucial foundation pillar of the education society which is quite impossible to automate. In order to get the task done, AI should have knowledge about natural human language, emotions, empathy and should be able to make stimulating decisions under any circumstances which seem quite unattainable in today’s scenario. But it doesn’t mean that the AI specialists aren’t trying! Jill Watson, an IBM-powered artificial intelligence is a teaching assistant from Georgia Institute of Technology. The chatbot is being implemented in universities around the globe and holds 97 per cent accuracy in answering students’ queries. Soaring digits of online students is another indication of the progress made.

TASKS A ROBOT CAN DO TASKS A ROBOT CAN’T DO
•Order instructional or library materials or equipment

 

•Perform student enrollment or registration activities

 

• Assign class work to students

 

• Document lesson plans

 

• Maintain student records

 

• Write grant proposals

 

• Set up classroom materials or equipment

 

• Schedule instructional activities

 

• Select educational materials or equipment

 

• Prepare tests

 

•Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress

 •Advise students on academic or career matters

•Encourage students

•Serve on institutional or departmental committees

•Train staff members

•Apply multiple teaching methods

•Assist students with special educational needs

•Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs

•Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance

•Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs

•Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge

•Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs

•Plan educational activities

•Plan experiential learning activities

•Develop instructional objectives

•Establish rules or policies governing student behavior

•Evaluate performance of educational staff

•Evaluate student work

and many more…

 

Source: McKinsey&Company

Emerging as the backbone

A combination of human expertise with AI’s proficiency is the dire need of our flawed educational society. Instilling automation alone won’t fix the issues like – outdated curriculum, short-term knowledge and the conventional way of teaching. We require working on educational content, strategy, guidelines and other policies before digitizing the system, transforming it for better. Automation as a learning tool instead of a teacher can harness the transformation of our educational sphere is looking for.

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