We Need Emotional Intelligence with our Edtech
Artificial intelligence has been changing the world in increments for several generations. With an emergence that was barely noticeable at first, AI now has entrenched itself in almost every facet of what we do and say.
The digital voice assistant Alexa adjusts our thermostats and turns off the outside lights. To our frustration, our smartphones autocorrect the words we type. We may find ourselves talking to a chatbot when we seek online help for a product or service. AI is everywhere.
The presence of artificial intelligence in our lives has caused more than one person to lament, “I want to talk to a human being.”
And that’s why emotional intelligence is so critical for our well-being and success as the human race. We must be able to relate to others.
Emotional intelligences you can’t live without
If we expect students to interact appropriately with others, make good decisions, and manage stress, we must teach them emotional intelligence. Several characteristics make up emotional intelligence; they are a set of soft skills that have been acknowledged as important, but have been set aside to pursue other learning objectives.
The following are critical to the development of emotional intelligence.
- Listening. Most communication centers around active listening. Certainly, students must be able to articulate their thoughts, but speaking with others consists of give and take. Conversation participants who don’t practice active listening are
- Showing empathy. The ability to show empathy is one of our greatest characteristics, and at least for the time being, machine intelligence has not been able to duplicate it. By teaching our children empathy, we show them what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes, how to respect another person, and be compassionate.
- Self-control. Artificial intelligence demonstrates extreme patience when working with students. While our students may never reach that level of self-control, learning how to identify and regulate one’s feeling is critical for emotional intelligence.
Many schools find it difficult to evaluate emotional intelligence, much less teach it. Our curriculum has consisted of core subjects that can be monitored and measured; emotional intelligence isn’t so easily encapsulated.
The best AI still won’t replace teachers
Artificial intelligence has its place in schools, and it’s not going away.
Rather than think of it as unavoidable, educators who embrace AI technology will be able to make better use of their day. By Allowing AI programs to take over customized lessons centered around deep learning, teachers can focus their time on what machine learning cannot do: connect on a personal level with students.
And emotional intelligence isn’t going away, either.
Where AI lends itself to learning patterns and common themes, emotional intelligence connects the human race and inspires us to become more and do more.
Moving toward the future
Machine learning and artificial intelligence won’t exist by themselves, having gobbled up every shred of humanity. How we allow for the integration of AI in our classrooms and lives depends very much on how well we develop our emotional intelligence.
We will never have one without the other.