At the Learning Counsel Learning Leadership Symposium in Waco, TX, Anthony Figuerora, Superintendent of Groesbeck ISD, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the delicate balance between humanity and technology in education. With a student body of approximately 1,600, Figuerora explored the challenges and opportunities presented by the integration of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) into the educational landscape.
Figuerora opened his discussion by highlighting the importance of recognizing the role of technology in education without losing sight of our humanity. He emphasized that the journey towards becoming human alongside technology is not a binary choice between the two but rather a nuanced integration that preserves and enriches our essential human qualities.
The Superintendent drew attention to various tech disruptors that have significantly impacted our lives, ranging from calculators and driverless cars to drones, 3D printing, and AI robots. He stressed the need for a balanced integration of technology, citing examples such as weather forecasting in agriculture, structural defect analysis in architecture, and leak detection in plumbing as ways AI can enhance efficiency.
Acknowledging the benefits of technology, Figuerora also highlighted challenges arising from its rapid evolution. He referenced a recent worker strike prompted by concerns that AI might replace human writers in creating dialogue and scripts for TV shows. The Superintendent urged educators to adapt, learn, and evolve alongside technological advancements.
Figuerora posed critical questions about the future employability of students, especially in vocational fields. He challenged educators to consider whether they are teaching skills that align with evolving technology or if they are merely imparting traditional trades that may become obsolete. The need for adaptability, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills was underscored as essential for students to navigate the dynamic job market of the future.
While Figuerora celebrated the positive impacts of technology in various fields, he cautioned against the dangers of overreliance. The example of AI potentially rendering human writers irrelevant raised important ethical considerations, prompting the need for careful thought and responsibility in adopting and integrating technology into education.
Anthony Figuerora's presentation at the Learning Counsel Learning Leadership Symposium provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by the integration of technology in education. As schools strive to prepare students for a future dominated by automation and AI, Figuerora's call for a balanced approach that preserves our humanity while embracing technological advancements serves as a timely reminder of the nuanced path educational leaders must tread to ensure a holistic and adaptable learning experience for all students.
Tune in below to see Mr. Figuerora's full presentation.