How Robots Could Make Their Way Into The Classroom

Business Insider

This post is part of the Roadmap To The Future Series. Roadmap To The Future explores innovative industry trends and breakthroughs in science, entertainment, and technology. This series is sponsored by Verizon.

Manufacturers are already experimenting with robots. But within the next 10 years, we may start to see them pop up in classrooms, a deputy editor at The Futurist (a trends and forecasting magazine) recently told Business Insider.

That's because education is an industry that is especially ripe for change.

Schools often struggle with overcrowded classrooms, which means students aren't getting all the attention they need.

"We’re kidding ourselves in telling ourselves that that’s okay," Patrick Tucker says. "But any parent who is faced with the proposition of sticking their kid in a classroom with 64 other kids knows that’s not going to be a classroom where their kids will realize the best educational outcome."

Tucker points to experiments in Japan, where humans remotely operate robots to help the elderly.

"The potential is to increase the capability of very good teachers through these kind of platforms in the same way that the Japanese’s personal robotics scene right now is very much geared toward that," Tucker says. "Just making the right people more present in more places at once."

Still, Tucker doesn't think it's necessarily wise to have robot teachers in a classroom, but rather have a platform that lets a teacher talk to students when the teacher can't physically be there.

"I think that a certain amount of (experimentation with replacing teachers) is inevitable," Tucker says. "We can't yet say what the outcome of that experimentation will be."



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