Saturday, 25 May 2013

Good or Bad Technology?


In this course so far we have had a very wide discussion of many topic areas and one theme that has kept coming up has been technology and the contribution of new technology to science and society. We have seen things like drones that are a danger but also things like attempts to make an artificial brain which have great potential for positive change. Today I want to talk about a new system as discussed in this article which could have a big impact on education systems – automated marking.
This kind of system is already well established in online courses where grading software automatically picks out key words in a text to give an automatic grade to a piece of work without it ever being read by a person. However, this article outlines how four different states in the USA have introduced this kind of software into their secondary school system. The article goes on to discuss whether this kind of system of grading will discourage creativity and proper essay writing.

I think this is an interesting piece of technology because a good argument can be made both for and against its use. Everyone can agree that education is important and that we should try to improve education. With all the technological advances we are having maybe we can find ways to make education more efficient and more accessible. All we have to do as students is look at a resource like google scholar to see how much easier this technology makes our work rather than looking through scientific papers in the library. So with technology like automatic grading we can see that it makes online courses much cheaper, more efficient and more accessible so surely this is a positive outcome for education? But if the price for this advance is automatic grading moving into schools and students having less motivation to write creatively and try to cheat the software does this outweigh the positive effects of automatic marking software? Probably the answer is in between and automatic grading should only be used for some areas like maybe mathematics and simple language learning for example.

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