In the final extended week of the course I decided to further my social media interactions on algorithms by exploring how they increasingly intersect with secondary education. Recently, my school invested in Century Tech, a nascent technology start-up that offers a teaching and learning platform powered by artificial intelligence. Using vast quantities of student data gathered through diagnostic assessment, as well as student responses in learning activities, the AI is able to use algorithms to generate unique and individualised pathways for a child’s progress in core subject areas.
This made me ponder the role that algorithms may play in education in these coming years, and the impact that that an emerging algorithmic culture will have on classrooms and teachers. Adrien DuBois, in his TEDx speech is vociferous in his view that ‘teachers are on the path to becoming obsolete’. It is impossible to know how accurate this assertion will be. That said, other evidence from the lifestream suggest whilst AI, and the algorithmic culture they create, are certainly a threat to corporeal teachers’ viability, there is a strong counter-argument offered that posits human creativity and insight, inherent qualities within the teaching profession, are irreplaceable and cannot be replicated by machines.
It is perhaps the middle ground being presented in the third YouTube clip, that really shows what the future truly holds. The clips explores the growing symbiotic relationship between teacher and technology, with AI and their associated algorithms, working as supporting actors alongside the teacher in developing students’ education, particularly that of special educational needs and ensnaring student engagement and positive behaviour.