Technology is present in all spheres of life. The education sector does not live outside this reality. Some voices have already risen to ask what future awaits knowledge and students, regardless of their age, if the intellectual training is intended to compete against a machine. Regardless of the number of reports that warn about how many millions of people will have to reinvent themselves, the underlying doubt that persists is what role education should play. What should you focus on? How to adapt it to the labor market. Paradoxical as it may be, the most repeated answer to these questions is that human beings need more humanism in the classroom.
The futurist and novelist Gerd Leonhard ensures that learning must necessarily run through a balance between what he calls HECI (Humanism, Ethics, Creativity and Imagination) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, for its acronym in English) . The main reason he argued is as simple as that people have impossible to compete in logic and calculation with a machine. "Interpersonal relationships and experience are impossible values for a robot. They only see data, but are unable to assess or extract the most relevant, "he said yesterday in the second day of the EnlightED education forum of the South Summit.
In order to ensure that the classes of the future do not become a compendium of technical skills, Leonhard recommended that the same be invested both in humanism and in technology. In his opinion, it is necessary to reinforce this human perspective because only in this way will it be possible to return to the neutrality with which it was developed. "Technology has no ethics. Until society began to use it for everything, it was simply harmless, "he said. When looking at what the youngest should study to avoid falling into the error of competing with a machine, he said that they have to see all these innovations only as tools to develop, discover emotions or commit to what they consider.
It does not seem easy to reverse this trend, but some experts, such as Joseph Aoun, president of Northeastern University in Boston, have devised new concepts that seek the coexistence of both worlds. To ensure that students are robot-proof, educational centers, especially higher education centers, have to develop what they called humanics. "It's about integrating into learning, which will be a long-term path, almost throughout life, technological, data and social literacy," he suggested. As he explained, creativity, body language and the capacity for innovation have to be on an equal footing with the interaction with machines and algorithms.
The importance of context
Instead of frightening the society with which robots try to take jobs away and turn human beings into slaves, it is important to value the importance of what people dominate. Leonhard said that if automation freed workers from the most routine tasks, it would be a good time to improve learning in other areas, such as artistic work. In this sense, Aoun highlighted above all the capacity for contextualization. "The machines are unable to change context. They are predetermined in advance. Let's start focusing on what we can do. Let's be even better at transferring knowledge to different contexts, "he claimed.
In these allegations to retake humanism in schools, ethics is a fundamental part. According to Leonhard, technical evolution requires that the difference between having the possibility of developing something and that something is correct be put on the table. He warned that in the not too distant future the technology companies will be able to do whatever they want. "In Silicon Valley already exist companies that work on the death, in how to extend the life who knows if until the 150 years", affirmed. As a possibility to limit in some way this world without law, an option that also considered necessary is to constitute what it called a Digital Ethical Council.
Education has several open fronts and determining what is taught in the classes is a priority for a good number of experts. Nobody has raised the Luddite flag to set fire to the machines, but there is some consensus that the more weight technology acquires, the more necessary humanism becomes. Perhaps, as Aristotle wrote, the virtue of knowledge is the right medium between two extremes, one the robots and the other the people.
One of the great advantages of technology is that it has eliminated barriers to access a large part of knowledge. Online learning, without taking into account the subject, every year gains more followers. Faced with this situation, the personalization of education for each student has become a challenge for schools. As explained Juan Romo, rector of the Carlos III University of Madrid, yesterday during the second day of the enlightED educational forum at the South Summit, is a reality that must be taken into account. "Artificial intelligence will make it possible to adapt teaching. Not all students learn the same or have the same interests. This option will also require that there be more teachers and that they are more qualified and qualified, "he suggested.