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The Future Includes Good (Human) Teachers

Posted on 11/19/2018

Girl looking at a robot

Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly beginning to change the world we know. China made the news recently when it introduced the world’s first AI “male” newscaster at an Internet conference. The AI newscaster learns from data from live broadcasts that is entered into the AI system. The newscaster, unlike “his” human counterparts, is available 24 hours a day to deliver the news. So what does this hold for teaching?

In an article by Andre Perry, the future of teaching still looks very human, and it’s mainly because of a teacher’s ability to teach students higher order thinking skills. There’s a lot of basic information in numerous areas of study that can be Googled and perhaps be delivered by AI “teachers” in the future, but it’s higher order thinking skills, the skills that many people feel will be important for the future of work, that teachers can impart to their students, skills that teachers utilize every day and can further develop themselves.

The specific skills Perry mentions are:

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-solving
  • Soft skills, such as social skills, mature judgment, and adaptability
  • “Compound” skills which require multiple competencies, such as digital literacy, computational thinking, and entrepreneurialism

Even though the future is very much about technology, what will set automated work apart from non-automated work is the ability of human teachers to pass along human skills and abilities. In our workshops and presentations, we at OTAN continuously discuss the benefits of blended learning, where the educator strives to balance what content can be digitized and left to students to study on their own, and what content requires face-to-face interaction and the human touch to be understood. No matter the advances in technology that will make it appear near human, there still will be a need for humans to learn key pieces of the human experience from one another. That is the role that good (human) teachers will play in the future.

Hechinger Report: The future includes good (human) teachers External link opens in new window or tab