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With so much AI, who needs tutors?

Updated: Mar 12

A very good question, and for many people the answer in the short term is they don’t - when all of these are available. 😊

asking ChatGPT

asking Bard


app-based learning

web-based resources

digibook learning

computer adaptive learning

learning management systems

watching it on YouTube

doing research or googling

asking Wikipedia

automated grading systems

educational chatbots


A contemporary intelliigence needs AI engagement
AI is useful and everywhere

Let’s get this out there before we go further: there is a big difference between getting information for a task you are doing in study or the office, and learning.

Getting data from a source to put somewhere is competent, but it is not learning.

You can no doubt, do a lot of really good learning by yourself in an area of interest – it is truly amazing what you can learn on YouTube. We recently reshared a Math channel on Magic Squares – wonderful stuff!!

If you need an early-stage-skill the necessary repetitive practice can be done online and alone. Khan Academy and FunEasyLearn are very good examples of this - there are many more good apps in our EdTech Material Resource we offer to students or parents to target particular learning needs.

If you already have a skill, and want to learn more in that, and you are very skilled in asking the right questions you can achieve great results. Less than precise questions will generate unreliable answers. On, for example, Consensus* (a wonderful science search engine that allows you to synthesise research results) you get very, very different answers to a question on Learning Styles depending on the question you ask. Thanks to Trinity’s David Weller for this link.

Just to fact check an idea, this is a great resource
A major helping hand in research

So, back to the question: With so much AI, who needs tutors?

While we look at EdTech/AI solutions, it is good to recognise that our engagement with this is for a purpose – whether it is interest, study, or work. The strength of that engagement can need the handholding of an expert to make sure we remain motivated, efficient in our learning and connected to the right EdTech resources.

There is no doubting the old adage that hard work breeds rewards, and the level of motivation and attention and concentration required for repetitive tasks is not something that we can all generate by ourselves.

We may need the mentoring, guidance, support, assessment, coaching and affection of a good friend, parent, tutor to keep them on task.

Especially when it comes to exams – at university, in the workplace, or at school - there are mountains of misinformation about how to approach an exam, and what skills to develop.

Many tutorial sites, for example, will try to create a sense of fear around exams in order to make their solutions seem more necessary.

Facing your fears with a good tutor is empowering
Fear is easily manipulated by businesses selling tutorials

What is needed of course, is not fear, but confident focus on the right skills under the guidance of a benevolent and skilled tutor.

The profile, pedagogical skills and tech awareness of the tutor can make a very big difference in the quality and efficiency of the learning.

In summary, there are great EdTech resources for learning, and it is a great time to be a learner. If you can combine exceptional resources, exceptional tutoring, and exceptional learning guidance, the culture of learning which is a major part of our lives will remain a friend into your future.





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