This is one of several areas of technology I am watching that I think will be hugely disruptive to the education system.
This Microsoft project can take your voice, listen to what you say, then speak the same words in a different language in your own voice! That would be pretty creepy.
It’s not quite ready for primetime yet but neither were self driving cars 10 years ago. I see this technology being disruptive to education in two main ways.
1. Education becomes truly global
If the software you use to communicate online can do this translation, then a teacher can have students from around the world all interacting together. This will mean that teachers will have to be much more aware of cultural differences than they are today.
2. Education becomes truly global (part 2)
The most dramatic change though will be when you reverse the equation. We might see online classes with primarily US students being taught online by teachers who are overseas. This could reduce labor costs significantly. It’s the ultimate education outsourcing. Of course teachers in the US will protest about it and say the overseas people aren’t as good but would that be the case? Say you have a Math student in Korea who is working on his PhD. He might very well teach a small online class of Algebra students from the US just to earn some extra money. As long as his students are passing their standardized tests I think a lot of school administrators would go for it.
The main thing from stopping this from happening is that schools are flush with funding and aren’t looking for ways to save money. Oh wait…
I’m not sure how much this will happen but I do know that in a few years once this technology becomes practical it will be an option.
If you go to the link below, they have some audio recordings of the technology in action. Very cool stuff!