Teacherbot: Can robots do it better?


Opinion is often divided over whether digital innovations within education are a value or a threat to teaching.

Recently published in Teaching in Higher Education the article 'Teacherbot: interventions in automated teaching' by Sian Bayne tests digital education and human/non-human teaching by experimenting with ‘Botty’ the Teacherbot.

This study revisits the notion of teacher automation within higher education; exploring how teachers might enact new, resistant ways of playing with the boundaries of human and machine. It also examines the threat that digital education and teacher automation could pose to teacher professionalism.

The author argues that the point here is not that automated methods are undesirable, but the terms on which they are proposed are driven by productivity-oriented solutionism which has been critiqued for decades. How can we continue to value teaching within a culture defined by the achievements of technology and digital data?

Bayne’s conclusion is that the Teacherbot worked with the idea that teacher automation does not need to be about clarity. 'Botty’ was not intended to replace or solve teachers’ problems, but to explore how the association of teacher-student-code might be pedagogically productive.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/10.1080/13562517.2015.1020783