babyinhanoi babyinhanoi posted June 1st, 2010 at 11:29 pm to Ask ANH Discussions. Viewed 232 times. Answered 30 times.

Do you think that computers might take the place of a human teacher in a classroom?

Last answered by JHuyen about 104 months ago.

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Grant wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 11:30 pm
Grant (elite user)


Bloody hope not.


metal_rooster wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 11:38 pm

hmm...depends on what subject the robot would be teaching. if its business/finance/accounting, etc then yes.

if its English, no. long before technology is able to invent an English-teaching robot, everyone in the world will already be fluent in English.

babyinhanoi wrote on June 1st, 2010 at 11:58 pm


Vegas wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 am
Vegas (elite user)

I sure don't know, but I think what's really lacking is an essay on the topic. Over to you, Baby.

Vegas wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 am
Vegas (elite user)


"I always thought it DIB not DYB."

I can see you weren't a cub scout. DYB = Do Your Best, DOB = Do Our Best

Akela bellows "Cubs DYB DYB DYB!" and all the littluns scream out "We'll DOB DOB DOB DOB!"

Suddenly I feel nauseous.

Newman wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:27 am
Newman (elite user)

Must of missed that part of cub scouts. Always too busy loosening the other patrol's lashings on their tent frames before the storm hit...

Back to the OP: I think it's already happening. I seem to recall a number of 'computers' teaching me over the years, at all levels of education. Whatever happened to those anatomy lessons anyway...?

babyinhanoi wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:32 am

just getting insights from "teachers"...

de2facon wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 7:41 am
de2facon (elite user)

As noted in an earlier post on this thread, the effectiveness of computers as teachers depends in large part on the subject matter.

Language training a la computer never quite worked for me but lots of folks think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Ditto for certain other subjects.

Computerized classroom/televised continuing professional education makes life simple and saves a bunch of dough. The low overhead of computer-based learning is a plus for the creators of the programs and a real time saver for busy participants.

Having a computer do all the work of teaching is tough to fathom but I guess it may happen regularly in the far future.

natinnam wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:15 am
natinnam (elite user)

Another plus, is that computers are far more interesting than teachers.

Grant wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:25 am
Grant (elite user)


@Vegas: I did my fair share of "bob a job". Gold boomerang to prove it. Giving you two fingers.


de2facon wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:29 am
de2facon (elite user)

@ grant: WTF? English translation please.

Tried it on the computer but didn't work.

Bablefish and all.

Newman wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:35 am
Newman (elite user)

'bob a job' = slave labour for cub scouts to raise money and teach community values...

Grant wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:40 am
Grant (elite user)


Correct. You could get paid 20cents for taking some old couples garbage out or in contrast, 20cents for splitting two tonnes of wood. Tended to avoid the latter houses - all part of the learning process.


Grant wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:42 am
Grant (elite user)


Without teachers this place would echo.


Newman wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:55 am
Newman (elite user)

Without teachers this place would echo...

Without teachers this place...

Without teachers...


Without computers this place wouldn't echo...

Newman wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 9:14 am
Newman (elite user)

aaahh back in the old days when they used to let kids loose with a hatchet...

'bob a job' taught us valuable life skills - there is always some prick willing to rip you off and pay a minor bottom dollar for a job they can't be bothered doing themselves. And then they will feel good about doing their bit for the community. But cry foul at the wages people earn in developing countries to make the clothes that they wear.

Yep. That's why some of us cubs really enjoyed the hatchet jobs...

babyinhanoi wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 9:39 am

been busy essay will follow tonight,,..^^;;;

TscTempest wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 10:10 am
TscTempest (elite user)

Funny, in our pack it was, "Akela, we'll do our best!" "You'll DYB, DYB, DYB?" "We'll DOB, DOB, DOB."

As for Bob-a-Job: a bob was two shilling, twenty cents in decimal currency. Nowadays I believe that the minimum 'donation' is a 'small gold coin,' or 2 dollars - the Aussie $2 coin is small and gold in colour.

CALL = Computer Aided Language Learning has been around for years. One of the most difficult issues associated with it is not content delivery, but performance evaluation, particularly in recognition of non-standards accents. A related issue is Machine Translation, particularly for non-scripted interactions.

The TOEFL test is done online, and whilst I haven't checked it out fully, I believe that a couple of years back the problem with get the test fully sorted was the spoken component requiring a 'real' person to evaluate, as such that component was optional. Perhaps someone else can chime in with whether this has been sorted.

Will computers replace teachers? very likely, especially in areas that have infrastructure but lack the population to sustain several schools with increasingly varied operational approaches to standard curriculum goals.

Vegas wrote on June 2nd, 2010 at 11:54 am
Vegas (elite user)

The fact that TOEFL is a computer based test is a prominent - perhaps the prominent - reason for its growing irrelevance.

mmcdonald wrote on June 4th, 2010 at 1:35 pm


Ahhh you young antipodeans. A bob in the UK was always one shilling, 5 pence these days. Two shillings was a florin now 10 pence. I could go on but who cares?

TscTempest wrote on June 4th, 2010 at 2:06 pm
TscTempest (elite user)

You are correct, my memory is clouded by time. I was only four years old when Oz changed over to decimal currency.

We used to have a lovely florin which had a merino ram on it, if memory serves me well.

pagoda wrote on June 4th, 2010 at 6:39 pm
pagoda (elite user)

I am not sure whether TNH wants/needs a serious discussion on this topic -we seem to wander off on the trail of the cubs DTB...Anyway for what it is worth,new technology has to be part of the toolbox for a learner. What distance learning approaches,e-learning etc has offered learners is choice. I may like to learn at midnight with loud music around others want to get up early and learn using a series of short video lessons. Old style teaching, like school , is dead. Flexible learning approaches are in...

NickinNam wrote on June 4th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

On strike because of too much vapidity here.

Vegas wrote on June 5th, 2010 at 6:50 am
Vegas (elite user)

Indeed. Now all that's left to get out of the way is OP's earnest and, I'm hoping, unintentionally hilarious essay on the topic, and the thread (and - please god - this topic) need never be visited again.

TscTempest wrote on June 5th, 2010 at 8:52 am
TscTempest (elite user)

Maybe its time to revisit Ivan Illich's 1971 masterpiece, Deschooling Society (pdf). His somewhat naive assertions about the capabilities of technology are worth updating in the context of what we know today.

PinkPosh wrote on June 5th, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Computer says "NO"

Can't believe you all left that one alone.....

Newman wrote on June 6th, 2010 at 8:55 am
Newman (elite user)

Going back to the OP, I have just completed a semester of study by distance from the university I attended in New Zealand 20 years ago. I enrolled online, they sent me hard copy materials by post/courier, I bought my textbooks online, distance (extramural) students had the option of utilising a WebCT onlie forum for discussions and information, moderated (lightly) by the course coordinator. Interestingly, all extramural students based in NZ or other 'developed' nations have to rely on the post for results for assignments etc. I asked for email results given the slow post to Vietnam and was granted them. Curious that such use of email is not standard and the institution relies on snail mail for most things.

Anyway, while the subjects were conducted online and by distance this did not prevent us having a real person as a contact and course coordinator to refer to when needed. The coordinators would post a weekly summary of "This is what you should be reading now..." and promote some debate/discussion amongst forum members.

I hope and doubt that computers will ever replace teachers. As well as downloading information, teachers also give opinions, something computers are not yet able to do. We have to remember that computers are merely machines (hardware and software) who do what they are told to do by those who build them. And before the conspiracy theorists wake up, remember that even AI will only extrapolate according to what parameters have been programmed in by people.

On the other hand, it is true that for the subjects I have just completed I could have entered a virtual classroom and completed the course material entirely without the presence of a person as the nature of the course is designed to have me think for myself. However, one of the reasons online forums exist is to bring people together for an exchange of ideas (not unlike TNH) so that learning is stimulating not dry and boring.

hans wrote on June 6th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Are you studying at a university in Vietnam or do you just write these essays for fun?

Newman wrote on June 6th, 2010 at 7:43 pm
Newman (elite user)

Fun. I'm a very different student now than I was 20 years ago. Now I actually care...

JHuyen wrote on June 8th, 2010 at 6:08 am

... Unless computers could be able to answer your questions immediately.

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