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Why robots make the best students

I am not sure if this will make the new book, but it was fun to re-read...

Why Robots Make the Best Students (a riff on Kathy Sierra's Why Robots Make the Best Employees)

  • They don't challenge the teacher's authority or subject expertise.
  • They don't ask questions that might not have a right or wrong answer.
  • They all learn in the same way, at the same pace.
  • They stay in their seats with eyes straight ahead.
  • They don't go on vacations with their families during school time or skip school.
  • They don't need to learn to work in cooperative groups. Or need social skills. Or need conflict resolution abilities.
  • They don't need sex education, multicultural education, or physical education. The arts and literature are wasted on them. No field trips, no fire drills, no hot lunch.
  • They never make the principal or teacher look bad (e.g. stupid, incompetent, clueless…).
  • They follow the school dress code and never swear.
  • They have no strongly held opinions or passions for which to fight.
  • They always pass the state tests and they all read at grade level.
  • They are always willing to do the homework no matter how meaningless.
  • They don't complain when lectured or given worksheets. Endlessly.
  • They can all use the same textbook and they are all always on the same chapter.
  • They make good robot employees.

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Reader Comments (2)

Awesome. I had long ago forgotten about this post, and now you just gave me an idea for something else I am working on at the moment: helping people train horses. We are attracted to these marvelous creatures in part because of their spirit, then we try our best to turn them into robot horses, responding perfectly, consistently, and only when asked, with no opinions or even thoughts of their own. I am writing an article for a quarterly breed publication, and now I know just the angle! So, thanks. And sadly, your take on it about students is uncomfortably on the nose...

We can hope for a more inspired 2011, and of course you are helping to make that happen.

December 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Sierra

Hi Kathy,

What a nice surprise to hear from you! I still miss your insightful posts. You were one of the primary reasons I started reading blogs!

Thanks again for the inspiration and a very happy holiday season to you and yours.


December 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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