Giving Compass' Take:

• McKinsey Global Institute recently released a report that indicated a trend toward automation for many elementary school teachers' jobs. Thomas Arnett argues that automation in education could help free up educators' time to focus more on students. 

• Will automation drive progress for educators and their students? What are the potential downfalls? How is technology impacting the classroom currently? 

• Read about the opportunities for technology in the classroom. 

The McKinsey Global Institute’s recent report on the future of work for women made for an interesting headline at Education Week: “Forty Percent of Elementary School Teachers’ Work Could Be Automated By 2030.” The report’s case study of elementary education teachers points to an automation trend that could be a good thing for teachers and students.

According to the report, “Many routine administrative tasks can be automated, potentially decreasing workloads and enabling teachers to spend more time on problem-solving with, and coaching, students, which could lead to better learning outcomes and increased teacher satisfaction.” In short, the future of automation points to amplifying teachers’ ability to meet their students’ learning needs.

Research consistently shows that teachers are the most important school-level factor affecting student outcomes — and good teaching goes well beyond presenting information or grading assessments with discrete answers. But the mountain of academic and nonacademic tasks educators must tackle each day often leaves them doing triage.

How often do teachers give their students multiple rounds of individual feedback on their work? How many teachers have regular one-on-one conferences with each student just to ask about how he or she is doing? Caring about students isn’t constrained by time, but showing that you care is.

Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, most teachers’ days quickly fill up with planning lessons, writing quizzes, running copies, covering content, attending staff meetings and grading lower-order assignments; little time is left for many of the high-value activities described above. This is why automation is so important. The more technology can automate some aspects of teachers’ work, the more teachers have time for the work that matters most.

Read the full article about automation in education by Thomas Arnett at The 74.