ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

education day

Today is the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. It was a tragic event that resulted in improvements to fire codes in the United States. It also serves to remind us that beneficial progress is slower than it should be. I'm rethinking some word choices in that last sentence. Is "beneficial progress" redundant? Or is it a more accurate usage if we regard "progress" as a chronological description. A quote from Mark Twain comes to mind: "I'm all for progress, it's change I can't stand."  I think I'm going to abandon this topic now.

I teach part time and I'm aware that most of what I say in the classroom is forgotten. This is a good thing, because much of what I say is biased, lacking a factual basis, and eventually obsolete. The assignments I come up with probably benefit me more than the students, but only if I make an effort to revise them on a regular basis. 

In a few hundred years most education will be provided by sophisticated computer algorithms. I think there will still be a human component to learning, but teachers will have more fluid responsibilities and will be managed in large part by the AI systems. Students will spend more time learning how to formulate questions than regurgitate answers. Most answers will be provided by the computer network.

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