Book review: Should Robots Replace Teachers?

TES | September 22, 2019

Just because something seems inevitable doesn’t mean that it will happen. Those of us who work in schools are told, almost weekly, by government, writers, and (God, help us) edupreneurs that artificial intelligence (AI) is about to transform our dull, utilitarian, suburban ways of teaching into something creative, gleaming, virtual and global. We are regularly informed by people who never have to worry about student behaviour or school budgets that education has to be disrupted and “Uberised”. Meanwhile, teachers will come and go, not talking of the learning platform Michelangelo, getting on with planning lessons, teaching children to read, write and other pre-analogue skills that, with frustrating predictability, somehow manage to produce the people who seek to question their value in this machine-driven age. We wait. And while we wait, we mark some more essays. We wait some more. An internet minute begins to resemble the director’s cut of a Samuel Beckett play. The fact is that the AI revolution has not been actualised for most teachers. Indeed, it is not yet re-booted and suited, let alone ready to work in our schools.

Spotlight

Today’s higher education institutions are encountering many challenging and complicated issues, including increasing student enrollment in their education programs and expanding an infrastructure—such as a Learning Management System (LMS)—in order to accommodate increased enrollment and diversified classes, and to support student learning and faculty teaching (Dobre, 2015). To meet the need for a supportive learning environment in higher education institutions, various types of LMS vendors such as proprietary LMSs, opensource LMSs, and cloud-based LMSs have been introduced into higher education institutions (Dobre, 2015). The adoption of LMSs is a noteworthy phenomenon in higher education. Nearly 99% of higher education institutions currently adopt and run an LMS (Dahlstrom, Brooks, & Bichsel, 2014). According to an Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) survey, 85% of faculty use an LMS with 56% using it on a daily basis, and 83% of students use an LMS with 56% using it in most or all courses (Berking & Gallagher, 2016; Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap, 2015).

Spotlight

Today’s higher education institutions are encountering many challenging and complicated issues, including increasing student enrollment in their education programs and expanding an infrastructure—such as a Learning Management System (LMS)—in order to accommodate increased enrollment and diversified classes, and to support student learning and faculty teaching (Dobre, 2015). To meet the need for a supportive learning environment in higher education institutions, various types of LMS vendors such as proprietary LMSs, opensource LMSs, and cloud-based LMSs have been introduced into higher education institutions (Dobre, 2015). The adoption of LMSs is a noteworthy phenomenon in higher education. Nearly 99% of higher education institutions currently adopt and run an LMS (Dahlstrom, Brooks, & Bichsel, 2014). According to an Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) survey, 85% of faculty use an LMS with 56% using it on a daily basis, and 83% of students use an LMS with 56% using it in most or all courses (Berking & Gallagher, 2016; Brown, Dehoney, & Millichap, 2015).

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