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Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? School Leaders Talk Technology and Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE. Part 2.

Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? School Leaders Talk Technology and Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE. Part 2.

by Jon WestleyJune 2, 2020

Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? The Future of Schools Laid Bare.

In the second of our series of video interviews with school leaders on technology exclusively from SchoolsCompared.comTVTM , we ask what the school of the future will look like.

Today, our children are already building and coding robots in BTEC Engineering and with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® – is it too impossible to conceive of a day when our children will be taught by them?

Future of Schools showing an image of a child creating an articulated robotic arm

Will there still be teachers and schools as we know them at all? In the next decade, will robots and VR have taken over many of the responsibilities of traditional teachers – or are schools going to remain much the same, even as the rest of society is increasingly transformed by AI and machines? Will schools get better? Or worse? And how quickly will our children begin to see major change?

In the following weeks we aim to build a definitive picture of the future of schools – from those who are running our schools. What is being done now? What are they planning? Has the rapid move to technology as a result of Covid 19 begun to focus minds and planning? Will exams still exist as we know them? Will more learning be completed away from school, at home, or in industry? Should AI, rather than teachers, be marking our children’s work, to free up their teaching time for more direct contact with our children? Too much screen time? Too little? Will schools in the future be better equipped to address the continuing disparity between the number of boys and girls studying subjects like engineering and the Sciences?

Let’s take another big issue today: class sizes. Class sizes matter to us as parents because they indicate just how much attention each child is likely to get from their teachers. In the future, technology, almost certainly, will become much more prevalent in the classroom with more on-line learning. Positively, this should mean much more individualised learning. If it works, any many are convinced it will, education should be much more able to accurately respond to child needs. And teachers should be freed up to have much more time to spend 1 on 1 with our children. Education will be fundamentally better, not because technology will replace teachers – but because technology will enable teachers to invest more time with each individual child. If Covid 19 and Distance Learning have taught us anything, it is that this sort of change could be coming quickly.

We will be releasing these guides in blocks of three video interviews. By the end of the Future School series we aim to have covered the broadest possible range of school types, from premium Tier Ones to value schools – and across different curricular or specialism. The aim will be to give parents the strongest possible idea of what will change, when, how – and what it will mean for their children.

SchoolsCompared.comTVTM  travels to

  • GEMS FirstPoint
  • Dubai Heights Academy
  • Safa British School

to get the lowdown on what matters – and what is set to transform education in the not too distant years to come.


The Questions we Asked …

Schools of the future highlighting a young child asking questions about the shape of education tomorrow in the face of Covid 19

We asked school leaders:

  • To explain their background and leadership experience
  • To describe the top 3 technological development coming down the track for schools in the UAE and their impact
  • What problems these technological changes will solve – and how?
  • To choose the single most important positive change coming to schools within the next 10 years and to explain to parents how it will transform the education of our children.

None of the school leaders we interviewed were made aware of how other school leaders answered these questions.


School Leaders Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE Part 2.

Schools of the future showing how asking the right questions can lead to getting better answers. In this case we see a chain of thought followed on a blackboard with an idea leading to a rocket taking off.

Interview 4. Matthew Tompkins. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS FirstPoint School, Dubai.

Our independent review of GEMS FirstPoint School in Dubai can be found here.

The official GEMS FirstPoint web site can be found here.

Interview 5. Rob Hitchings. Vice Principal. Head of Digital. Head of Secondary. Dubai Heights Academy. 

Our independent review of Dubai Heights Academy can be found here.

The official Dubai Heights Academy web site can be found here.

Interview 6. Zara Harrington. Principal. Safa British School, Dubai.

Our independent review of Safa British School can be found here.

The official Safa British School web site can be found here.

© 2020. All rights reserved.

To read Part 1 of our Guide to the Future of Schools click here.

Main image: new LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robot Inventor Kit, more information here.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]

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