Common Core Phrase: Teachers are ‘Guides on the Side’. Can Jibo Perform that Function?
Common Core State Standards Initiative is dependent on technology for teaching material, assessing the material and then gathering the data from the assessments into state databases which then can be accessed by various federal agencies and private third parties. The insistence from the CCSS supporters that schools can still ‘choose their curriculum’ is hollow. The curriculum will need to align so that the data can be compared from state to state. If the curriculum doesn’t align, then how can the results from the assessments be valid for state by state comparison?
What would make this transition to ‘sameness’ easier? Teachers have been taught different teaching strategies via CCSS and are now considered ‘guides on the side’. They don’t write their own assessments and must teach to the script as their evaluations are tied to the assessment scores of their students. Many veteran teachers are commenting teaching is no longer a profession. They might be right. If you are a ‘guide on the side’ then why not use a robot in the classroom that could perform the functions of following scripted lessons? If direct instruction is passe and the students are leading their learning process, traditional teachers are not needed to impart knowledge and a cheaper robot might just fit the bill.
Let’s meet Jibo, “The World’s First Family’s Robot:
In another part of the video, Jibo is shown reading a story to a little girl. The robot pauses to emphasize parts for the child to recite aloud and continues when he “hears” her responses.
“What if technology actually treated you like a human being? What if technology helped you feel closer to the ones you love,” asked Cynthia Breazeal founder and CEO of Jibo Inc. “Together, we can humanize technology.”
A crowdfunding campaign for a “family robot” called Jibo is picking up steam, blowing through its fundraising goals within the first day.
What is Jibo? It’s a little pod with a motorized swivel, equipped with cameras, microphones and a display. It recognizes faces and voices, and can act as a personal assistant by setting reminders, delivering messages and offering to take group photos. It also serves as a telepresence robot for video chat.
As of now, Jibo has raised more than $200,000 on IndieGogo–well beyond its $100,000 goal–and has racked up plenty of breathless coverage. Early bird pricing of $100 sold out long ago, but you can still claim a unit for $499, with an estimated December 2015 ship date.
How cool is that? As you can see from the youtube video, it can relate to people, take their photos and capture data! This would certainly be a cheaper ‘guide on the side’ than teachers and since teachers no longer impart knowledge, Jibo might be a fabulous addition and replacement for traditional teachers! Computers can now grade tests so just what should the new job description of teaching be?
What could go wrong? Plenty. From nakedsecurity.sophos.com and Introducing Jibo: adorable home robot or the Eye of Sauron? Pay attention to the MEW bolded sentences about the unanswered questions and concerns about this technology:
Her new startup, Jibo Inc., kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to launch Jibo on Wednesday.
According to IEEE Spectrum, Breazeal decided to launch via crowdfunding because she and her crew can’t possibly explore all of Jibo’s possibilities by themselves and therefore are inviting developers in to create new apps – or skills, in the case of a robot.
Like, say, picking locks, like in Robot & Frank.
Jibo is, in other words, a development platform.
Just like Google, Apple and Samsung want to be at the heart of all that juicy data flowing from health and fitness apps, or like how Google bought Nest to find out things that might include, for example, when we’re home, Jibo’s going to be merrily gyrating to music while grinding all sorts of personal data about us.
Tom, one of the commenters on IEEE Spectrum’s story, posted a list of interesting questions, some of which were – I assume?! – tongue-in-cheek, plus some true chin-rubbers, including:
1. How is my privacy going to be protected with a robot that has access to all my devices?
2. Can the recordings, videos, and pictures this robot takes be utilized against me in court of law?
3. Can Jibo be hacked?
4. Is this a tool for the NSA to gather facial recognition on everyone?
5. Did the government have anything to do with design, operations, and funding of Jibo?
6. If not the govt. – who are the financiers of Jibo?
Jibo’s makers have taken privacy into consideration. Or at least, that’s what its FAQ says, though details aren’t forthcoming as of yet:
HOW IS MY PRIVACY PROTECTED?
Guarding our users’ privacy is something we take very seriously. We work hard to protect your information from unauthorized access and have designed policies and controls to safeguard the collection, use, and disclosure of your information.
The company told me that it plans to post a response to questions about security on its blog soon.
In the meantime, pre-orders for these puppies are now being taken, at $499 for a home version and $599 for a developer edition.
Planning to get one? Or planning to wait until you hear a bit more about the privacy guards than the two-sentence FAQ?
Did you spot the information about the privacy concerns? Maybe if this does make it to the classroom, it will fall under FERPA which now allows dissemination of private student data to federal agencies and third parties without parental consent. This last paragraph in time.com could be written about the rushed adoption of CCSSI in 2009 and the implementation that has been disastrous:
At least the developers of Jibo provided a video to illustrate how a robotic ‘guide on the side’ could possibly replace teachers in the classroom. The video specifically labels JIBO as an educator as well as an entertainer. That’s a lot more than the CCSSI developers/writers provided taxpayers and legislators in 2009 by turning over the direction/development of public education to private organizations with no public accountability. Heck, maybe Jibo could even replace mom and dad in the home so the child can do all his/her investigations about life with a perky little robot that can provide information to governmental agencies on developmental progress without those pesky parental beliefs.
Watch for Jibo in your local school budgets. It makes perfect sense in Common Core Land. JIBO the robot just fall under those GRIT measuring inventions and will need to be added to those listed in the US Department’s of Education report on student tracking which you can download here: Download the Grit report [PDF 1.5 MB]