Now that we live in the new gig economy, where kids in their 20s become instant multimillionaires by disrupting every industry, here come the hawkers of (de)personalized learning to replace teachers with smart (but not cheap) machines. These machines never need pensions or health care. They don’t care about tenure or due process.

Jennifer Berkshire (once known as EduShyster) and historian of education Jack Schneider survey the plan to disrupt American education.

“Podcast: My Teacher is an Algorithm

“Silicon Valley billionaires want to replace teachers with technology, and their big money cause is attracting some strange bedfellows.

“Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is in. So is Reed Hastings from Netflix. In fact, it’s hard to find a Silicon Valley billionaire who doesn’t want to disrupt public education by replacing teachers with algorithms. In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, co-hosts Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider talk to Common Sense Media’s Bill Fitzgerald about how so-called “personalized learning” is actually a misnomer. Learning by algorithm, says Fitzgerald, isn’t particularly personal, or even human. And the closed learning systems of which Zuckerberg et al are so enthusiastic about give adults far too much opportunity to limit the content of what kids are exposed to—one reason why fans of religious education, including Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, are all over this trend. Don’t be fooled by Silicon Valley’s talk of equity and civil rights as part of its sales pitch for personalized learning, says Fitzgerald. Automating the learning experiences of the most vulnerable students will only exacerbate the country’s stark educational inequities. You can hear the entire episode here.”