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Rory
Post  Post subject: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:30 pm
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In response to the BBC's 'Could robots becmarking your homework?'

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/38289079

Yes, yes they could.

It is surprising how much of a teacher's day is actually automated. The timetabling and room allocation are fixed; the timetable is almost completely saturated and any remaining free periods still insufficient for planning and marking. The curriculum has already been set, so no frredom of thought there. The school's own teaching and learning resources have been set, so you are basically expected to follow the textbook, or else bear the raised eyebrows of colleagues if you shun "their way". You will begin the lesson with a starter activity, most likely a crossword, or some variant thereof. The main section will consist of the department's PowerPoint and worksheet. The plenary will consist of a quiz and/or reflection, "write down one thing you have learned today". All of this is pre-timed, so you don't need to worry about thinking or the fact that this is occurring in real-time with real living people. There is a script available should your subjects fail to comply, it's called the Language of Choice. Internalise it and regurgitate on repeat. If you think you get 1:1 time with pupils, to care for them as individuals, that will be 2 minutes per pupil, maximum. In reality you won't even get the chance to speak with every pupil every lesson.

All of which can be programmed. And robots are NEVER LATE. :D

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:16 pm
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Oh, and when you mark (in red):

1. Write WWW - then copy two of the learning objectives the pupil achieved
2. Write EBI - and command the pupil to do something to improve, or ask a question to get them from where they are to where they need to be. This is supposed to be personalised, but since the rest of the curriculum tries to ram all students to be at the same point at the same time, you will have a maximum of 3 pre-set questions. Realistically, you will be writing the same question in 30 different books.
3. Set pupils 5 minutes to respond in green. When you re-mark you need to check pupils' responses and chase up any who haven't answered.

Rinse, lather, repeat. Even if the pupils tell you it is not helpful. Even if no benefit can be found empirically. Even though it takes 2 hours to mark 30 books. Don't think, just do.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:39 am

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I think it's more interesting that a number of studies have been unable to show any significant improvement to learning as the result of adding automation--it's basically wasted money with unverified assumptions. The real gains come from investing in good teacher training and given them time to plan and teach.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:00 am
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What's the point in teacher training when your entire syllabus and pedagogy is prescribed by the school?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:21 pm
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What gets delivered $ \displaystyle \ne$ how it gets delivered. A syllabus is not the same as maximizing comprehension and retention.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:19 pm
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Not the syllabus, but the pedagogy is "designed" to promote comprehension and retention. The problem is, much of it doesn't work - or works only to produce kids good at passing exams. Every school I've encountered (seven total) have their own policy on marking. Even if it has no positive effect, as a teacher, you still have to follow the machinations. Basicslly teaching turns into a recipe you are supposed to follow, preferably without thinking.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:24 pm

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Rory wrote:
What's the point in teacher training when your entire syllabus and pedagogy is prescribed by the school?


I spend quite a bit of time in school math and science classes and never seen either proscribed. Even at that, it's just a small part, how one connects with the kids and interacts and builds personal trust to improve learning (and control behavior) is the art of teaching. Even if a machine could be useful to mark an assessment for example, things as simple as a short remark, quick doddle to add clarity about a mistake or quick comment of encouragement can make all the difference.


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PhDemon
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 3:37 pm

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I teach in the UK and I've never seen such tightly proscribed teaching either... Rory overgeneralising in a tedious rant. Say it ain't so ;)

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:55 pm
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The human element, in theory ought to be the basis of teaching, in reality has to fit into a pre-defined timetable. Two minutes per child. How substantial is that one:one relationship going to be?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:33 pm
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Suspect that depends largely on how the aforementioned 2 minutes are used.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:45 pm
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Yes, I'm sure you can deal with a child's mixed feelings on their social status, transition into adulthood, parental and family relationships, sibling rivalry, academic prowess, future plans, weekend hobbies, vacation plans, worldview and life meaning... in two minutes. Less than the cooking time of a microwave meal.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:59 pm
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Not sure how teaching compares in the UK compared to here, I'm sure there are major differences, but I definitely do not envy the public school teachers that I know. They personally spend a lot of money on their classrooms, put in crazy hours, and then get shit all over by parents who are convinced the problem is with the teacher and not that their little Timmy is an obnoxious shithead who refuses to do work and disrupts class. Not saying it's like that everywhere, or that it's the norm, but I just see a lot of public abuse directed at the local public school teachers that I know.

Lynx's post pretty much describes what I've seen in the schools here.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:48 am

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Rory wrote:
The human element, in theory ought to be the basis of teaching, in reality has to fit into a pre-defined timetable. Two minutes per child. How substantial is that one:one relationship going to be?


There's also no requirement to evenly distribute time. It's also pretty easy to combine efforts so interactions apply to more than one student. Also don't forget there is lots of other opportunities for interactions.. hallway times, sports, notes to student or home, parent-teacher conferences, special ed meetings and reviews when they apply, running into them at the market....etc. Over the course of months to a year, it's usually not very hard at all to build a relationship.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Could robots be marking your homework?  |  Posted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:32 am
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Well, okay, that's not my experience though. In my experience those two minutes are insufficient. It is possible to address the whole class at once, or smaller groups, but that is not conducive to a meaningful or deep relationship.

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