We Need a Fourth Law of Robotics…

She seems oddly happy to be back to basic robot fighting.

Pretty much.

As it turns out, this week has a whole lot of “back to basics” education for me, as well. We are moving along pretty rapidly through “Catcher in the Rye”, with decently high levels of student comprehension, according to my recent online quiz. Discussion questions will be taking place in a digital format, although the “Paperless Classroom” has its own challenges at this point. On some level, those are the “robots” that need to be dealt with.

The online Classroom system features a messaging system that I do my best to ration out. If students are only left enough time to get the work done, there is a much lower probability of them misusing the other capabilities of the system besides those of assignment submission. In the last week or so, I’ve seen a rise in small misuses of the system, that need to be jumped on, before they become larger.

It is the closest thing that I have had to a discipline problem in some considerable time.

I think that’s a big part of why Cap is smiling a little. Those kinds of problems are just easy to solve. It’s not sweeping budget problems, or a corrupt principal, or countless fights on campus…it’s just little robot problems. As I am fond of saying these days, “These are problems to have.”

Wednesday, apparently, there will be classroom walkthroughs by the Edu-Lords and all kinds of District Suits. I can’t say that I’m all that motivated about that either…it’s always so disruptive and generally without any real actionable feedback. At least by then, all of my robot related problems should be solved.

The art, obviously, is about all that. Being dropped off in a crummy part of the Edu-Mountain, to put some hurt on some robot vandals, probably some kind of Cylons. I really like the way that her jacket came out, and her general posture as she is leaving the car. Just very natural, and fluid.

The title’s header, of course, refers to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. I posit a possible Fourth Law that we might need, if we are going to continue to use “technology” in education. That would have to read as “A robot shall not be used to, or be able to be used to, disrupt class or insult another student, or otherwise create a less dignified learning environment.” Pretty long, for a law of robotics, but it would prevent the use of the “technology” for the purposes of trash talk, trolling, and virtual grafitti.

Something to ponder, in the science fiction world that we currently live (and educate) in.

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