When a teenage girl in China was traveling over her Lunar New Year break, she shocked her mother. The resourceful student somehow managed to squeeze in a ton of homework, including the grueling work of essays and copying passages from textbooks, all while packing her days with holiday festivities. And the work was amazingly accurate and neat, with perfect handwriting.
Her suspicious mom, Zhang, went through the girl’s belongings and found an explanation: a strange device with a “metal frame and pen,” that turned out to be a “copying robot,” according to South China Morning Post. The teen had bought it online for approximately $120. Furious, the mother destroyed the robot and went straight to social media to complain.
Via Oddity Central:
After her daughter admitted to using the device to complete her holiday homework a lot faster, the woman reportedly broke it and took to social media to complain about the girl’s deceitful tactic. “It can help you with homework, but can it help you on tests?” Zhang was quoted as saying.
Perhaps surprising to her mother, a rush of commenters came to the girl’s defense. From South China Morning Post:
Most of the comments on the newspaper report’s social media posts enthused about the robot. Some said they wished they had owned such an item when they were younger, while others compared the girl’s short cut to their own, including tieing three or four pens in a row so they could write multiple words at once.
Some argued that the girl should no longer be made to copy texts at her age, while one called for education reform allowing teachers to set challenging and creative homework rather than boring the pupils and adding to their burdens.
Another asked: “Sometimes educators need to reflect on this issue, why is it we still need to do a task that can be completed by a robot?”
Good question. When my daughters get robotic work to do at home, I’m all for giving it to a robot so that they can do what humans do best: think.