[ExI] attn: spike esp. - robot teachers
spike66 at att.net
Mon Aug 28 20:30:53 UTC 2017
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of spike
Sent: Monday, August 28, 2017 12:40 PM
To: 'ExI chat list' <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: Re: [ExI] attn: spike esp. - robot teachers
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Subject: [ExI] attn: spike esp. - robot teachers
>…Hi BillW, great article, thanks, I agree with much of it. I disagree with the premise, in the first line:
>>…Why is educational technology such a disappointment?
>…It isn’t. Or isn’t now: good educational tech was a long time coming. But now, the online sources are available and it is excellent indeed…spike
Further thoughts please:
There is an old joke, short version: guy gets shipwrecked on a desert island with only a dog and a sow, after a few days, the sow starts looking tasty, but every time he tries to mount her, the dog intervenes, bites him in the ass, etc. This goes on for months, guy really is desperate, tries everything, can never get the dog to let him have his way with the sow, then one day he sees a boat go down, wades out and rescues a comely maiden who is so grateful for saving her life she vows she will do anything for him, aaanything he wants. So he has her turn away and hold the dog for a few minutes.
OK then, apply the lesson to modern education, shall we?
For so long we have had the factory model for education, which requires gathering a group of around 30 similarly-aged children and having one adult talking to them. Much of the earlier online curriculum was nothing more than video of good teachers lecturing. Later it was cartoon characters, lecturing. So we can try to create a robot teacher to continue that model of one person up front lecturing to a classroom, but it is too much like using the maiden as a means of restraining the dog.
We have new models of education which do not involve anyone talking. Or if so, few images of people talking are necessary: we can do plenty of history lectures using maps and animations, we can do plenty of math and programming education with animations and graphs, we can do chemistry and physics with moving diagrams, as is done with Khan Academy and some of the other online resources. We don’t need robots, nothing 3D, nothing non-virtual. We now have the animated CGI options that do not require talking humans. We need not continue the old models with the new tools, any more than we need to have the comely maiden hold the dog.
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