Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our lives whether we know it or not, and whether we accept it or not. It has risen to such a status over the years in a slow but steady manner. Everything that we do like buying clothes and shoes on the internet as well as watching shows on TV is influenced to various extents by AI. However, the question that needs to be asked in this context is what effect would this have on education?
The fact of the matter is that AI does not take away, in way, shape, or form, from the classroom. Rather it makes the classroom experience a lot better than before.
Here are some benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Education which improves the learning experience:
This is one of the benefits that AI is expected to have as far as education is concerned. In a class, it can get really difficult for a teacher to meet the expectations of each and every student out there. After all, there are so many different kinds of students that teachers have to deal with!
There are remedial students, ESL students, advanced students, and students with special needs, to name a few. In this day and age, it is very important that all of them have the same kind of access to education and learning. The beauty of AI systems is that they are able to adapt quite easily to the individual learning related requirements of a student. As such it can also target instructions that are based on their relative strengths and weaknesses. It also reduces the meaningless work that teachers have to do every now and then. This also means that the learning experience is a lot more meaningful for the students.
In fact, this is one effect that is already being seen evidently. AI is already being used in order to teach students. There are so many ways in which machines are starting to play the same role that was once being played by humans and this includes tutors as well. Just like human tutors can do, intelligent tutoring systems are able to understand the style of learning preferred by students. They are also able to gauge the amount of knowledge that a student already has. All this data and analysis is being used to deliver instructions and support that is created specifically for that student.
This has got to be the best benefit that AI can have in this particular domain. As far as tasks that teachers are supposed to do this is supposed to be the most boring. At the same time, this is the one task that takes the maximum away from them. It is because of work like grading that teachers are unable to devote more time to more purposeful and meaningful work such as professional development and lesson planning.
These days, machines have become a lot more advanced than what they were earlier. They are now capable of performing a lot more than just grading an examination by using an answer key. They are capable of compiling data regarding how students have been performing. In fact, they can also grade on assignments that are as subjective as essays.
Constructive feedback on course quality
Nowadays, AI has the capacity to find out gaps in course content on the basis of how students are performing in the assessments. Let us say that most of the students in a class have failed to answer a question the right way.
Now AI can actually look into that pattern and see if certain information or concepts are missing from the program’s curriculum or not. This, in turn, can help teachers provide better materials or use better methods of learning so that students can improve in those areas.
Providing meaningful feedback to students
This is the age when most of the people around the world are communicating by way of text messages. These days, students are also growing increasingly insecure about asking questions or clearing doubts with their teachers in front of their peers. For them, it is a risk better not taken.
They are also worried about receiving critical feedback on a public forum. By using AI students would be more comfortable when it comes to making mistakes that are necessary for them to learn well. As a bonus, they would also get the suggestions that they need in order to improve.
Creating a global classroom
With AI it would be possible for schools to create global classrooms, as it were. From now on it would no longer matter as to where a student is. If she or he is unable to attend a class due to some reason or the other all she or he would need to do is visit a link, click on it, and the student can join the live classroom. Similarly, thanks to this technology it would also be possible for them to interact with their peers even if they were a thousand miles apart from each other.
There can be no doubt about the fact that technology such as AI is making education a lot more efficient and easier than what it was. In fact, as Hadley Ferguson – the executive director of the Edcamp Foundation – says, students can actually use such technology in order to interact with their teachers as well as famous authors, experts, and scientists, whose books they may be reading in class. It is expected that in the days ahead some of these kids, so adept at technology, will grow up and become teachers themselves. They can push this change along even further.
The role of skilled teachers
No matter what one may think skilled teachers would always have a role to play even in the AI age and beyond.
Experts such as Shannon May, who has founded the Bridge International Academies, say that technology would never drive teachers completely out of the fray. Rather it would be teachers, skilled in the ways of using technology, driving the usage of AI based on the needs of their students. Education technology such as AI would be used more to supplement the best ways of teaching and learning that exist already.
Jake Schwartz, co-founder and CEO (chief executive officer) of General Assembly, feels that with the advancement of technology there would be better ideas regarding what its limits are. He says that there is no way that going online completely is going to solve all the problems with education now. However, at the same time, he does acknowledge that it could make access to education a lot easier. According to him, when combined with school curricula and programs AI could become a powerful tool. He signs off by saying that the human factor would always be important.
Making education a lot more interesting than before
There are many ways in which AI can make education a lot more interesting. It can create the sort of immersive experience that you need in order to get students hooked on to their class and understand all that is being said. Things such as game technology and simulation are expected to play major roles in this regard. It can actually make education a lot more adaptive and intuitive. In fact, such technology can actually be used in order to encourage students to come together and develop knowledge themselves. This is something that you need so badly in this day and age of short attention span.
AI makes it a lot easy for teachers and school management to keep track of how well or poorly the students are performing. Such systems can be used to deal effectively with the vast volume of data and statistics that these schools and colleges normally have. They can use these to create definite reports that help them understand the progress being made by various students. The best part of all this is that such reports can be created as many times as needed. The quality of data can be enhanced as well.
It is not uncommon for educators has to fear how their role would be diminished by the use of technology such as leading school enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
It is true that when systems are changed en masse there are always some bad things that can happen. In some instances, there are actually logically justifiable reasons for such fears. However, at the same time, it would be absolutely foolish to ignore the improvements and possibilities that AI can offer in the domain of education. It is actually supposed to bring about a dramatic improvement in the overall educational experience with AI. In fact, as has been said already, when you have the right teacher using it AI can actually do wonders that traditional methods of education may not be able to do.