When your teacher is a robot

Carmel Deamicis, Sept 11, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Recent acquisitions by Desire2Learn raise the question of whether they are building a robot teacher, according to this article. "In January, it acquired Degree Compass, which is a software that helps students pick classes by using their transcript data to predict how well they will do. A few months later it bought Wiggio, which is Yammer for schools, giving a space for student organizations to collaborate on documents, chat, and share calendars... a few months later...  Knowillage Systems, Inc. Knowillage makes LeaP, an artificial intelligence that can sit on top of a learning management system. LeaP tracks individual K-12 grade student’s performance through online assignments and quizze." The author's take is a bit melencholy: "It’s a little sad that our educational system is so strapped that we need machines to give students individualized care... [but] data analytics programs like LeaP have gotten a hell of a lot closer to the Jetson’s robot teacher idea than the actual robots currently on the market."

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