The contrarian question of education automation
by Andriy Babiy


Posted on July 5, 2019 at 9:00 PM


As according to Peter Thiel, in his book “Zero-to-One”, he explains the contrarian question as;

“what important truth do few people agree with you on?”

and I feel that in the current day and age, of constant technological disruption, we have more resources and capacity than ever to be able to greatly impact the world but we also need to constantly think and keep in mind the unintended repercussions of our disruptive ventures.

So while working and considering which forms of learning, and which experiences, are at the greatest risk of being fundamentally changed as a result of the current digitisation of the education environment. I thought of how online lectures are both an opportunity to learn and get valuable insights form top class lecturers or speakers, while at the same time losing the impact and accessibility to certain types of learners.

Considering the impacts digital learning has and will have this is what I wrote down;




and was both scared and even more motivated and empowered to further work on the vision of democratising the search for learning experiences. Achieving that by creating an online location where the learner (consumer) has all of the power.

But the real interesting insight was that there is a fundamental problem with what people think will be greatest impacted by automation.

I am not a student within the field of technology and automation but I have often heard of people discussing how many jobs in the field of manufacturing are being lost due to automation of the process. This being my percieved core worry among many, I feel that there is going to be a great universal shock when they find out that, it is in fact, teachers who are going to be the ones who are slowly being replaced by online learning.

More and more do we hear of the individuals who are self taught as a result of amazing online resources such as Youtube and online learning platforms that we forget that there are many different types of learning and that a method that suits one individual may not be the best for someone else.

The remaining two styles are the audiological learners and the kinaesthetic learners. These are the learners who benefit the most from in person classes and real experience based learning. These learners are forgotten as I feel their styles of learning are difficult to scale and the core benefit is something that is very difficult to transfer via an online course.

In conclusion, I would like to say that there are great opportunities created by online learning and Massive Open Online Courses from some of the leading educational institutions such as Harvard and MIT, but these opportunities are very broadly aimed at everyone while at the same time narrowly aimed at only those who benefit and can learn form this style of learning.

I am currently trying to facilitate the other learners, who are like me, and actually obtain great value from learning in social environments. The venture is called study.ie and I would like to welcome any responses or thoughts to the piece via the comments!



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