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Sep 14

Robots to transform education

An article in The Times reported that Anthony Seldon, former headmaster of Wellington College, UK, believes: “The imminent arrival of robot teachers will herald the greatest revolution in education”

“Personalised learning, facilitated by artificial intelligence, will mean that every student from Eton to the most deprived school in Blackpool, will receive education of a standard higher than available today”

Robots will be able to learn students’ individual learning styles, preferences, motivations, quirks and difficulties – and then tailor courses to their precise needs and speed of learning

Each pupil will be able to work at their own pace, not at the rate of the slowest member of the class

At present “we have a factory model of education whereby everyone arrives at the same time of day and moves up by ages, when it is transparently clear that a 13-year-old might be at the level of a 10-year -old in French and a 17-year-old in maths – but they sit in classes, with the teacher at best giving a 30th (?) of their attention”

By contrast, and in the near future, the electronic virtual teacher will follow a pupil all the way through school and higher education

However, Seldon thinks there will still be an important role for teachers

“They will no longer need to stand up at the front, nor mark work or prepare lessons”

“They will be organisers, structurers and discipliners instead”

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