Next for education: Teacher avatars

“Is this a technology we envision as eliminating the teacher? Absolutely not,” he said. “What we see is that the role of the teacher changes a little bit, where now the teacher becomes the content provider, the teacher becomes the one who sits and interacts with the avatar adding certain information, monitoring questions and interactions it receives from students, and then adding critical pieces of information to complement the avatar’s knowledge base.”

In fact, creating an intelligent avatar that is an extension of a classroom teacher can only improve learning opportunities, Davidson said: “We see it as a way for [teachers] to truly leverage technology and add their own twist and their own subject-matter views.”

The initial expense and workload come in the first stages, when the Intellitar team and educator build content or curriculum and create the avatar’s knowledge base. After that, teachers simply update the avatars with new facts or additional information to ensure that everything is current.

Curriculum providers with digital versions of that curriculum could easily push that information out to teachers, who would then direct it to their own avatars’ knowledge base.

“It’s geared to the way kids want to learn,” Davidson said.

Laura Ascione

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