Last week’s essay prompt for the high-level students:
Do you agree or disagree:
Robots should replace humans as teachers in the classroom.
I had 27 students complete the essay. Twenty-six opposed robot teachers. Many seemed violently opposed.
The single student of mine who supported robots-as-teachers? A boy in a ninth-grade, born in the fall of 1998, according to his profile on the institute’s staff website. I have not had him in any class before. So far, he strikes me as shy and not particularly intellectually-curious. His reasons for supporting robots: They are “disinterested” (fair, not taking favorites) and will “always have the correct information”.
Apparently, there have been some so-called “robots” used in classrooms in Korea for two years now:
The 29 robots, about one metre (3.3 feet) high with a TV display panel for a face, wheeled around the classroom while speaking to the students, reading books to them and dancing to music by moving their head and arms.
The robots, which display an avatar face of a Caucasian woman, are controlled remotely by teachers of English in the Philippines — who can see and hear the children via a remote control system.
I don’t think they actually fit the criteria of being robots, though.