Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Darn! A Direct Threat To Me!

Last year our school had 3 statistics classes--the first time in forever that's happened--and I taught them.  This year I have only 2, but next year I'm already scheduled for 3 very full classes.  This is good news for my job security!  Then I read this:
In experiments at six public universities, students assigned randomly to statistics courses that relied heavily on “machine-guided learning” software -- with reduced face time with instructors -- did just as well, in less time, as their counterparts in traditional, instructor-centric versions of the courses. This largely held true regardless of the race, gender, age, enrollment status and family background of the students.
Grrr!

I'm no Luddite, though.  If machines can do some of what I do better than I can, then it makes sense to use them.  I'm confident enough in my own abilities, though, to believe that there will always be a place for someone like me somewhere in the education field.

4 comments:

mazenko said...

The live teacher and human interaction will always be necessary in education - in fact, it's imperative. However, to expand opportunities and be more efficient, allowing online where it works, is a good idea.

Scott McCall said...

SkyNet is aware

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have three classes this year, too.

To within experimental error.

-Mark Roulo

Ellen K said...

Welcome to the world of Bring Your Own Technology. This is the philosophy behind it-the students learn on their own with a facilitator in a technology rich environment. Sounds peachy, right? But the endgame is that there are those who honestly believe children are tiny robots to be programmed. God help the kid who learned in a different way because that will be allowed less and less. And in the meantime, they can cut the number of teachers. I've seen this play out in community college entrance level courses and the results are that those kids who can't cope, lose. While the case can be made that if kids can't learn conventionally, they don't belong in college, watch as the same idea filters down to grade school. My co-worker is dealing with this right now with her first grader who happens to be dyslexic.