"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Will Robot Teachers Be Oligarchs' Next Bold Initiative?

Think of it! No retirement or health benefits, no salary, no resistance, no getting off-message, no departure from the script, unlimited abuse capacity, no reservations about working in communities where you have dodge bullets to get to school, and no faculty meetings for the school CEOs who can enjoy endless basketball games in between consultation with IT.

From Reuters:

Saya, the female humanoid robot, taught a science and technology lesson to a class of 10-year-old pupils at Kudan Elementary School in Tokyo.

With her neat brown hair, pink lipstick and skirt suit, the robot, created by scientists at Tokyo University of Science, has been designed to resemble as human a form as possible.

While Saya's creator Professor Hiroshi Kobayashi said the robot's main purpose was to highlight the joys of technology to children, he also said it would benefit schools suffering from a shortage of human teachers.

"In the countryside and in some small schools, there are children who do not have the opportunity to come into contact with new technology and also there are few teachers out there that can teach these lessons," said Professor Kobayashi.

"So we hope to be able to develop this robot so it can be remotely controlled to teach these classes."

Saya was initially created to work as a receptionist in Japanese companies five years ago but was recently reprogrammed by scientists into its latest incarnation as a schoolteacher.


  1. Anonymous7:34 PM

    It seems like the next logical step. Why bother continue turning human teachers into robots - just skip right to the real thing.

  2. Yeah, we had great success with robot teachers at Camp Nickleby. Ours, however, came from South Korea and referred to as RILFs. It really is the wave of the future in teaching technology. God help us all!

    Good news about Fresno KIPP!!!