Avatars and Robots As Our Future Teachers?


Not long ago, I was discussing the rapidly approaching reality of augmented school curriculums using Avatars, Online Lectures, and Robots. Sounds like a Science Fiction film, but this reality is coming faster than most people realize. I’d like to present some additional dialogue on this.

You see, an acquaintance asked if I’d heard of the concepts of avatars in teaching, and specifically pointed me to the MindShift educational blog, then he wondered my thoughts on the teacher-student relationship with the future of robots and avatars and if I believed online college lectures were the future. Interestingly enough, I do, and see all of these and more education technologies completely reshaping how we think of school. Let me now explain some of my experiences and observations.

Now then, when I went to the first DARPA Grand Challenge, at the banquet I sat with a lady from Florida who was a psychologist and at the table we all chatted about human-robot interaction, then later as I watched the work at Carnegie Mellon, MIT and in Japan with Asimo on emotional mimicking and mirroring, all of that made sense to me for emotional bonding, I get it. Indeed, I went to an interesting lecture at the University of Riverside in CA where Autistic Teaching researchers showed unbelievable success in the classroom, freeing up teachers from costly one-on-one teaching, which might be “appropriate” but hard to stomach for the taxpayers and school systems.

Then I watched the lectures on kids in Quora (Sp?) where they worked with Avatars and collaborated half way around the world. Yes, I have written on this topic, all those addressed in here in this article and how to use the synergy of it all by merely understanding how the brain thinks, learns, and synthesizes information. Kids really like this stuff, perhaps because it is new, and maybe they will not like it once the nuance wears off in let’s say 15-years when robots are pervasive in all aspects of modern life, however we have a real opportunity right now, and we should take it.

You see, I am unconvinced that merely talking about it and writing about it is enough anymore. I believe it is time to bring it all to fruition and to make it happen, only then can we reap the rewards of having educated the next generation to the point that they can survive, thrive and improve upon our technologically advanced society. That’s how I see it, how about you. Shoot me an email, let’s talk. Until then please consider all this and think on it.



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