I learned the danger of excessive caution long ago, when I consulted for huge Fortune 500 companies. The single biggest problem I encountered—shared by virtually every large company I analyzed—was investing too much of their time and money into defending old ways of doing business, rather than building new ones. We even had a proprietary tool for quantifying this misallocation of resources that spelled out the mistakes in precise dollars and cents.
Throughout the history of modern economics, this story plays out time and time again. A company has a hot product and then does everything in their power to protect the golden goose, even as progress marches on making the goose a little less golden.
A little history
When it comes to educational technology, almost every new technology is held back because of interests in keeping the status quo. Teachers and parents often want to ban new technologies instead of figuring out how to embrace the technology and use it efficiently. This “ban first, open up later” mentality is holding back students from being able to progress and learn faster than the students who have preceded them.
This has been happening for decades. When calculators were first introduced in classrooms, there was an outcry from teachers. They feared that students would become reliant on this new technology, rendering them unable to do basic math without the help of a machine. Fast forward to today, where calculators are ubiquitous and essential tools for learning advanced math concepts.
The same story with AI
The same thing is happening now with artificial intelligence (AI). Teachers and parents express concerns about the use of AI in classrooms, fearing that it will replace human teachers and hinder students’ learning capabilities. Or that students will use it to complete their homework. But rather than banning or resisting AI, we should be embracing it and finding ways to incorporate it into our teaching methods. The classrooms of today look a lot like the classrooms of 20 years ago, and being nostalgic for the past is never a good way to move forward to the future.
Instead of being afraid of new technologies and trying to ban them, we should be open to change and figure out how to use AI has the potential to revolutionize education by personalizing learning for every student. With advanced algorithms, AI can identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses, provide tailored learning materials, and offer real-time feedback. This not only helps students learn at their own pace but also frees up teachers to focus on providing more individualized support and guidance.
The future of education
Banning or resisting new technologies like AI will only hold back progress in education. We need to shift our mindset from fear and resistance to openness and adaptation. The future of education lies in embracing and utilizing technological advancements to enhance the learning experience for students.
I’d like to think that we can not repeat past mistakes and keep holding onto outdated methods but who am I kidding. AI will be blocked and fought against for awhile. I can be hopeful that enough teachers will embrace AI and other emerging technologies, creating more efficient and effective educational system for our students. After all, they are the ones who will shape the future with their knowledge and skills, and it’s our responsibility to equip them with the best tools possible. By making sure our students are not left behind because of fear and resistance they can be empowered by these new technologies to reach their full potential.