[lg policy] ROBOT TEACHERS!!! -- Coming soon, to a classroom near you!!!

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sun Jul 11 22:37:29 UTC 2010

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

ROBOT TEACHERS!!! -- Coming soon, to a classroom near you!!!

They're coming, and they'll be here by September! Robot teachers,  
programmed with a single mission: to save our failing schools.

Funded by the Frankenstein Foundation, computer engineers in secret  
mountain laboratories and workshops hidden deep below our deserts are  
feverishly soldering chips and circuit boards onto bits of aluminum to  
create mechanical life forms whose sole purpose is to teach English.

We need this invasion of English-teaching robots because, according to  
researchers at the University of California, San Diego, "an  
unprecedented number of children in the US start public school with  
major deficits in basic academic skills, including vocabulary skills."  
So computer scientists at UCSD's Machine Perception Laboratory  
designed RUBI, a "sociable robot" who successfully taught a group of  
toddlers ten vocabulary words in only twelve days. RUBI improved the  
children's word-mastery by a full 25% compared to a control set of  
words not taught by the mechanical wonder.

read the rest of this post on the Web of Language, http://bit.ly/weblan
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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