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AUTOMATION: Will Robots Run Schooling And Education?

Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimum human assistance. The World Bank‘s World Development Report 2019 shows evidence that the new industries and jobs in the technological sector outweigh the economic effects of workers being displaced by automation.

In 2019, Forester predict that automation “will become the tip of the digital transformation spear, impacting everything from infrastructure to customers to business models.”

The analyst house, Gartner says that more than 40 percent of enterprises will create state-of-the-art digital workers by 2019, which will eliminate 20 percent of all service desk interactions by combining AI with technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive systems and Chabot technologies.

This tells us that in 2020, automation will provide the key for businesses to increase the speed of their digital transformation journey, and that very soon we will begin to engage with machines with more regularity, in a more sophisticated fashion and also be increasingly reliant on the real-time, unassisted decisions they make.

If you take a look at the automotive industry, you will see just how close we are to being dependent on automation in our everyday lives.

Many of us already interact with automation on a daily basis to simplify everyday activities without even realizing it. We receive automated order confirmations after placing orders online or use “smart” devices to regulate our thermostat. The average consumer is swiftly experiencing a semi-automated lifestyle in all aspects of their day-to-day lives as these kinds of automation and more are penetrating workplaces and homes at a rather rapid pace. In spite of all this, the impact that automation has on education systems is hardly considered — however, automation’s role in education is most definitely a topic for discussion.

Ipsita Panda, Jhasketa Hota, and Karan Singh, the Indian researchers and authors of a study on the automation of library systems in schools in 2016 argue that, in the current world economy, many “education institutions have [already] automated most of their teaching learning  process….[Automation can and should] be used in education to improve administration efficiency and to enhance teaching and learning.” They also suggest that the education field is already experiencing, and will continue to feel, the impacts of emerging automation platforms.

 

Some important questions to ask:

  • What changes will automation bring to the primary and secondary education domains?
  • How will the next generation of school-aged children adjust to the rise and spread of this technology?

To answer these questions, we’ll examine some prospective concerns as well as advantages that come with the implementation of automation technologies, like RPA, within the educational field.

 

Impact of Automation on Education

The educational field is a broad one which includes teachers, students, and academic administrators. Technologies, as they become more widely adopted, become incorporated into both primary and secondary education systems. This was how it was with electronic calculators, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, projectors, “smart” boards, and much more that Skool Media https://skoolmedia.org/ and other Edu-Tech innovative companies  inculcate into education. The same can be looked forward to of automation and robots. The genesis of this adoption is beginning to be visible in schools as they make use of automated attendance and grading systems and use robots to be add to teaching.

With these examples in mind, let’s consider the ways in which automation technologies, such as robotics, RPA, and AI, can provide challenges as well as benefits to teachers, students, and academic administrators.

 

  • On Academic AdministrationAcademic administrators are responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the school. They may direct programming, hire and supervise staff, manage budgets, and make decisions that affect the academic community. They carry out tasks like creating class schedules, keeping student attendance, processing grades and report cards, as well as helping to admit new students. To a large amount, many of these activities are paper-based, monotonous, and time-consuming, which makes them fit for RPA. The automation journey will not be without challenges for administrators: the enactment of RPA must be agreed upon by the school board and which in many cases is a large financial and time investment. This doesn’t mean, however, that academic administrators will not be able to get the advantage of automation once implemented. Utilizing automation software in a school’s academic administration will help ease the stress manual labour and paperwork brings. This means that they will be able to fulfil their roles, tasks and duties seamlessly, with less time, yet innovatively. As a result, they will be able to gain a more ampule view into what happens in the school, and have and harness a more meaningful relationships with teachers, students, and parents.

 

  • On teachers: The introduction of automation in education is beginning to raise eyebrows on the plausible issue of job loss. This is a risk that teachers face, as robots are beginning to mirror teachers in schools. Saya, for example, is a robot teacher that led a 2009 science and technology class in Tokyo, Japan. Despite the advances in these technologies, the  replacement of teachers by automation is highly unlikely. Most education jobs are low on the spectrum of replacement by automation. Instead, teachers will be able to use automation, specifically RPA, to aid their work. Tasks that automation may take from teachers include: scheduling, taking and keeping track of attendance, and even assignment grading. This, in the long run, will help teachers shift their attention off basic routine tasks and more on their students.

 

  • On students: In the long run, students get the higher end of the bargain as they get more meaningful time, attention and are helped to a sustained contact between them, academic administrators and educators. This human interaction allows for much deeper pragmatic learning, and it is arguably one of the most valuable advantages automation to students which helps them in gaining new knowledge, insights, and skills. They can receive grading and feedback on their homework assignments, projects, and exams promptly, precisely, adequately than have ever had; this cuts the delay of the wait to see the result and get feedback on their work, and recurrent mistakes made in grading.
Posted On: 5 February, 2019