A SMART teaching assistant

Technology should be all about enhancing what human beings can offer, not replacing them. As I am about to start another academic year as a lecturer, I wish the astonishing developments in voice recognition and artificial intelligence would be applied to the classroom.

Imagine a smart assistant for teachers that works around the slides you have already prepared. The app, which would hopefully interface with the likes of PowerPoint and Prezi, listens to what you are saying and brings up slides, as well as wider information from the Internet, as appropriate.

Behind the scenes, this technology could record and summarise key points of what was discussed, which are then presented to the teacher for review and upload to the school or College’s Virtual Learning Environment.

This sort of system would enable more dynamic and learning-focused lessons, following the needs of students, rather than the predetermined teacher script. There are so many times in a lesson when I wish it was easier to follow spontaneous lines of enquiry or even just change the order of what is covered, based on where the learners currently are. Such tangents or re-routes could be seamlessly incorporated into teaching, if the tech gurus focused on this issue, rather than silly distractions like Juicero or Washboard.

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