As I wrote on Facebook, I’m basking in the glow of Teacher Appreciation Week. Our school has been awesome this week. We’ve received a free lunch every day. Each day is catered from a local restaurant, and every day has been great. The wonderful students and parents have really helped me to feel appreciated.
Unfortunately, I learned that we teachers don’t have the corner on this week for being appreciated. Apparently, this week also celebrates…
All I want to know is who scheduled these weeks? I feel that my role is a teacher is slightly diminished. Alas!
So I had my students watch the video, Beyond Human while I was on my conference. The first half was all about how humans and computers will merge more and more as we develop technology, and the second half was how robots are becoming more human-like.
For example, they had an experiment where they put brain tissue in some kind of solution that kept the synapses firing for about a year. They hooked up electrodes to the tissue with an interface to a digital 3D world. The firing of the nerve cells drove a “camera” around a 3D world with objects. At first it bumbled around bumping into objects, but over time, the cells began directing the “camera” so it wouldn’t bump into walls (whoah, Rufus!).
Apparently, the robots looking like humans freaked out one of my students (too many robot invasion movies, I guess). It reminded me of a great song by Jonathan Coulton, called, “The Future Soon,” so I thought I would add some of the lyrics here:
I’ll probably be some kind of scientist
Building inventions in my space lab in space
I’ll end world hunger
I’ll make dolphins speak
Work through the daytime, spend my nights and weekends
Perfecting my warrior robot race
Building them one laser gun at a time
I will do my best to teach them
About life and what it’s worth
I just hope that I can keep them from destroying the Earth
Cause it’s gonna be the future soon
And I won’t always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away
It’s gonna be the future soon I’ve never seen it quite so clear
And when my heart is breaking I can close my eyes and it’s already
Here on Earth they’ll wonder
As I piece by piece replace myself
And the steel and circuits will make me whole
But I’ll still feel so alone
Until Laura calls me home