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  • Writer's pictureFrank Doogan

With so much AI, who needs tutors?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

With so much AI, who needs tutors is a very good question, and for many people the mistaken answer in the short term is they don’t - when all of this is available. 😊

  • app-based learning

  • web-based resources

  • digibook learning

  • computer adaptive learning

  • learning management systems

  • watching ‘it’ on YouTube

  • doing research or google

  • asking Wikipedia

  • asking ChatGPT

  • automated grading systems

  • educational chatbots

But let's be clear, there is a big difference between learning and getting information for a task you are doing in study or the office. Getting data from a source to use somewhere is very useful and relatively easy, but it is not learning. (See our blog )

You can do a huge amount of really good learning by yourself in an area of interest – it is truly amazing what you can learn on YouTube. We recently shared a Math channel on Magic Squares – wonderful stuff! So clear, and so clever!

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.

So, back to the question around AI and tutors.

When 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. (See our Blog

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.

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

In summary, there are great EdTech and AI 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.

If you would like to find out more about how we at MyIT My Intelligent Tutor respond to contemporary challenges in learning, feel free to contact us.

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