Artificial Intelligence and Education

Here’s a bell ringer…Chalk it up to the next step in education, artificial intelligence is helping students learn more efficiently. Artificial intelligence (AI), which learns patterns through algorithms, simulates human decision-making using real-time data. AI streamlines processes making them more efficient and draws upon resources with its automation. For educators, AI contributes by more closely identifying with the needs of students evaluating their ability and adjusting lessons based on comprehension. According to MIT Technology, 99.4% educators say that artificial intelligence (AI) will be instrumental to their education, and 92% are already using it. Students are given unique learning paths for mastery of content with independent learning customized to their needs.

Just recently, with COVID-19, schools which were prepared for online learning, were able to transition to remote learning. This seamless transition allowed students to continue with their schooling. How many of these schools used AI as part of their remote programs is unknown, however,  the potential for future use of AI applications as part of remote education is very likely. AI-guided instruction with remote learning can help students advance at their own pace at home. Within the classroom, students using AI applications can remain focused on learning, without the classroom discipline issues and enthused by their unique learning path. Diverse populations are served with AI making cultural differences more comfortable. Based on demographics, AI can create an avatar for learning applications which reflects the student’s age, ethnicity, and style that the student can identify with. Expressions of the avatar change as the student interacts, making learning even more fun. Additionally, online programs using AI are catered to each student’s progress with instant feedback to the student and teacher. For those eager to learn, and those who learn best with computer-based instruction, use of AI offers endless possibilities for education.

Although technology has become integrated within daily life for most people, to many it is still inaccessible. WIFI and Internet, computers, and tablets may be not available at home for students to use nor at school. Given this, some students may not be able to take advantage of AI and remote learning which could put them at a disadvantage compared to peers. For these students, the resources the school can provide within the classroom such as quality instruction by the teacher, a welcoming learning environment, and other supplemental resources are even more important to stay competitive. With all the benefits AI brings to education, the traditional classroom offers situations that the computer cannot provide, exceling with in person face-to-face group discussions, hands on learning, and a place for developing essential interpersonal skills.

The benefits of AI within education impacts the quality of classroom instruction within the classroom environment. AI works well with the flipped classroom model where students learn material in advance before classroom instruction by the teacher. Preparing students in advance before the teacher instructs the class helps create a foundation of initial understanding and background for the lesson. The result from this yields better class discussions and it makes learning easier as the students have already been exposed to the topic. Additionally, students who are using AI-guided learning are able to study material at their own pace which adjusts as they progress, offering further assistance when needed or moving the student on to the next lesson. Feedback is instantaneous, providing teachers with valuable information for intervention. Teachers can then provide additional resources to supplement areas where the student needs tutoring assistance. Likewise, advanced learners are able to accelerate at a faster pace moving on to more challenging material. Furthermore, teachers receive feedback on areas where they can improve their lessons for greater clarity. As AI assesses students, it draws upon resources to make them immediately available to students in areas where they need more assistance and provides enriching information to advanced learners who thirst for more advanced material. Teachers continue instruction offline teaching students and providing hands-on learning with experiments and activities which are not able to be completed online. Students who might typically be in the same classroom have the potential of being at entirely different levels of education using AI technology.

AI technology is used in other areas outside of the classroom setting helping special needs students, language learners, and athletes. Devices utilizing AI technology is specialized to the needs of the student. Medical concerns of special needs students that require monitoring can be done using AI devices. Those with learning disabilities have personalized textbook learning which can assist with rephrasing sentences, assist with defining words, and provide other resources such as online videos and games to supplement learning. Language learners can interact with AI programs to learn a new language. AI understands English and other languages and can speak it, gauging the conversation level of the student, and assisting with learning with online games and reading text selections. Sports departments can use AI technology for training athletes, strategizing games, and even assisting with ticket sales for sports events.

From an administrative standpoint, AI technology helps streamline the education process for teachers with their schedule and workload. AI is used by education systems for non-discriminatory enrollment to filter students based on where they live and other criteria to assign them to schools and teachers. It can assist with the grading process with programmed rubrics for grading assignments and exams. Built in features can detect plagiarism, readability, and ensure student privacy. AI can also be used to help the administration and teachers to schedule meetings and conferences. The environment within schools can also be controlled with AI which senses when to turn lights on and off and adjust the temperature throughout classrooms. Automated processes contribute to efficiency saving time and money for schools.

Artificial intelligence within education will redefine the teacher-student relationship to one of an advisor as students are taught using AI. Personalized learning unique to each student ensures student success with instant feedback to teachers. It also sets students on the path for their career providing a customized textbook which draws upon material that is specific to their career path. Remote online education is even more a possibility for students, with the benefits of keeping students on track who have medical issues, family emergencies, traveling and for other reasons. Student education is enhanced with AI becoming more readily available for use by those within education. Rewarding to students, teachers, and school administrative professionals, AI technology is bringing education to the next level.


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How Learning Styles Differ Between Adults and Children

Do you love to learn? How do you learn best? Is it by listening, observing, reading, or physically doing something? If you learn best by observing, you are a visual learner. If you learn best by listening, you are considered an aural learner. Some learn best by using literary skills. Reading and writing is the best way for these literary learners to learn information. Others may find it most effective way to learn through the physical means using their tactical (touch) or kinesthetic (physical) ability. Rather than just finding that one learning style works best, students might find that a combination of these styles might make learning easier. Learning styles are the way we approach learning, solve problems, and use our creativity. Being able to identify which learning style works best for each student, teachers can plan lessons better to meet the needs of the students.

People also have different intellects and learn at various speeds. Each person uses their multiple intelligence with their ability in the following areas: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, spatial, and naturalist. When students learn material, the material level needs to be appropriate for the student’s intellectual ability and pace. The student might excel in math, and have the dexterity of an accomplished dancer, but score low on verbal skills. A student’s pace varies based on intellect and learning ability. Advanced students excel at reading material which uses advanced words and concepts, whereas other students might require supplementary materials to work their way through text. The brain also functions impulsively to respond to external and internal factors, and reflectively to mirror what we see and experience. Motor skills and how quickly we react can impact how we learn and respond. External factors such as alcohol and drugs can impact our motor skills effecting how quickly our brain can work. By eating healthy, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep, a person takes care of their brain keeping it in the best condition to learn.

The brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and the right side of the brain. Each side functions differently in how we use our logic and creativity. The left side of the brain uses logic, sequencing, helps us think, deals with facts, classifies information, and is verbal and analytical. The right side of the brain brings creativity to the world and is visual, intuitive, non-verbal, and uses the imagination. A person uses both sides of the brain to process information. Children may be more creative when it comes to learning because with less knowledge, they know less constraints. The sky is the limit for possibilities and ideas. Adults, on the other hand, may be more logical because of experiences and knowledge. They are able to analyze and make decisions faster as a result.

Teachers present information to children by scaffolding, or building upon existing knowledge. After determining what a student already knows, they present new material in simple chunks, check for understanding and use repetition to reinforce material. Children are encouraged to interact with one another and as a class asking questions and engage in class discussions. They also learn by applying their knowledge demonstrating their reading and writing skills or by creating something new. They show knowledge of what they have learned by remembering material, showing they understand it by repeating it back, applying it to situations, analyzing information, evaluating, and using what they have learned to create something new. This process is called Blooms Taxonomy. Teachers review material with students before assessing them and then test them to make sure the information has been learned. While students learning styles differ, teachers are equipped with methods to reach a variety of learners.

While adults and children share learning styles, there are differences between the way adults and children learn. Having already spent years learning, most adults are able to learn at a faster pace than children. With a background of information and experiences to draw upon, an adult is able to associate new material with what is already known. Additionally, adults have access to more resources and the ability to sift through information quicker for relevant information. Although adults might learn faster, children are more inclined to take chances, and it is easier for them to have a social circle to interact with on a regular basis for group discussion on topics.  

Adults learn similar to children by building upon previous knowledge. Adults might learn in group settings in classrooms, workshops, or individually using online training programs. The social interaction of a classroom is an open forum for adults to ask questions to peers and instructors, similar to the classroom setting of children. Using technology to learn is popular with all ages. Children thrive on using computers in classrooms and using games to learn material. Adults are more likely to use online training programs to advance their education in individualized, self-paced environments. Technology has made learning easier and fun. It engages students using a combination of learning styles. Online learning programs offer the ability to adjust levels of the program to meet the student’s ability.

Learning is a life long process. Adults who value education continue to learn their entire life. It opens new doors, bring enthusiasm, motivation, opens the door to lively discussions with other people, and adds to a person’s style and class. Whether online, through seminars, or by reading books, everyone has the opportunity to learn something new!

References

“Learning Styles. All Students Are Created Equally and Differently.” Teach Make a Difference. https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/learning-styles.

“Overview of Learning Styles.” learning-styles-online.com, Advanogy.com. http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview (accessed 2020).

Pietrangelo, Ann. “The Left Brain and Right Brain Theory.” Healthline. https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/learning-styles (accessed January 18, 2017).


Article written for Zealousness, Issue 15, Q1, 2020
www.ineducationonline.org/e-magazine



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How the Brain Learns

How the Brain Learns
Our brains construct skill patterns or schemas for everything we know how to do. As central to the human nervous system it weighs approximately three pounds, is about 1131 cubic centimeters in volume for females and 1274 cubic centimeters for males, with billions of neurons. Every human brain is unique in its ability and the way it learns. Although brains may differ slightly based on the dimensions of a person’s head, the size of a brain is not related to the intellect of a person. The way the brain receives new information, transfers information with its neurons, associates with previous knowledge already stored in the brain, and the frequency a person uses the brain all contribute to how the brain learns new information.

The Brain
The brain is a soft mass of tissue and nerves attached to the spinal cord. The cranium, which is part of the skull, covers the brain, protecting it by encasing it in a framework of bones. Cerebrospinal fluid flows around the brain and the spinal cord as lubrication and to prevent shock. Nerves from the brain are connected to areas of the body controlling mobility, personality, senses, and functions. The brain consists of three parts, the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. The cerebrum is the large outer part of brain which makes up 85% of the mass of the entire brain. It is divided in half with two hemispheres. The left and right hemispheres each control opposite sides of the body. The left controls the right side of the body and the right side of brain controls the left side of body. The cerebrum controls speech, emotions, movements, senses, short-term and long-term memory, language, learning, thinking, and reasoning. The cerebellum found at the bottom of the brain controls the body’s balance and coordination. The brain stem is the bottom of the brain which connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord. Besides being a connector to the human vertebrae, the stem of the brain controls the functions of the body such as breathing, movement of the eyes, blood pressure, and heartbeat.

The brain is divided with an upper and lower brain. The upper brain, or prefrontal cortex, controls the reflective part of the brain where learning, memory, and decision making occur. The lower brain controls the body’s functions both with its reactive and involuntary responses. It also triggers reactions to the body in emergency situations. The amygdalae serves as the communication between the upper and lower brain and directs information to where it belongs in the brain structure. When information is received to the brain, the amygdalae decides if it belongs in the upper brain or lower section of the brain.

Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, dendrites and axions help transfer information within the brain. When you are happy, dopamine is released in the brain causing positive feelings. As a neurotransmitter, dopamine brings pleasure and satisfaction. It can also increase drive or motivation. This is why learning is best while relaxed. Stress relievers such as laughter, listening to music, or having fun release dopamine causing the brain to receive information better and increases motivation and openness to learn. Having a positive mindset and noticing successes, helps with learning. Even if learning is challenging at times, recognizing small achievements along the way as stepping-stones can help show progress and increase motivation. Dopamine helps transmit positive energy to the neurons relaxing the brain and relieving stress making it easier to learn.

How the Brain Operates
The brain has billions of cells called neurons. As you learn, fibers, called dendrites and axions, grow from these neurons. Acting as neurotransmitters, dendrites and axions are extensions of neurons which send and receive information to and from other dendrites. The information is transmitted across a liquid area between the dendrites called a synapse. Dendrites continue to multiply from existing dendrites, creating more dendrites, as you learn.

At the beginning of the learning process, sensory information enters the brain filtered in by the reticular activating system (RAS) found in the lower part of the brain. The information is transmitted by synapses through pathways of neurons to an area for short-term memory. Here information is compared to previous knowledge stored in the brain and then travels through neural pathways to be stored in long-term memory. This happen instantaneously. Information is transmitted between neurons. If the neurons are familiar with interacting, information is passed along more easily. If it they are not, it may cause information to be forgotten or not remembered completely.

The brain continues to learn throughout the life-span of a person from the time of birth until the time of the death of brain cells. The ability for the brain to continue to develop a neural network responding to stimuli is called neuroplasticity. The more neural connections there are, the easier it is to learn and at a faster pace. The more times the brain is used for learning, the brain’s circuits become stronger making it easier for a person to learn.

How the Brain Learns
When you learn something new, sensory information is directed by the amygdala into the hippocampus. This information which is received is connected to prior knowledge already stored in the brain. The brain loves patterns. Use of patterns and repetition help connect the new information to what is already known and predict what is next. Using repeat patterns to remember will help retain information. Stimuli which use the senses for sight, sound, smell, touch, and hearing also helps with learning. New information remains in short-term memory until it is understood and applied. It is then stored in the long-term memory area of the brain.

Good Health
A healthy lifestyle helps with learning and keeping the brain working to its best ability. Taking care to get enough sleep, reduce stress, and eating healthy are all important  Eating healthy and drinking plenty of fluids is essential to caring for the brain. The brain uses 20% of the body’s oxygen and requires nutrients from a healthy diet and hydration to keep the brain functioning. Food which are high in anti-oxidants, caffeine, vitamin C and K, zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and omega-3 help with brain development, keeping the mind sharp, assist with memory, transporting oxygen to the brain, and healing the brain. Nutrients also help prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Healthy Foods which Help the Brain Function and Learn
Some examples of food which are good for the brain and learning include: Fish which contain omega-3, such as salmon, have fatty acids that help keep blood vessels clear and nerves functioning at a high level. Omega-3 helps to keep the brain sharp and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease. Coffee and tea are also good for the brain as the caffeine causes the brain to be alert and helps with concentration. It also boosts serotonin which increases your mood. Coffee as well as blueberries and dark chocolate are high in anti-oxidants which keep oxygen flowing to the brain. Anti-oxidants fight stress, are anti-aging agents, and prevent disease. Nuts and eggs support memory and brain development. Broccoli, a good source of Vitamin K, helps with having good memory, protect the brain against damage, and builds sphingolipids, or fat found in brain cells. Oranges and strawberries are high in vitamin C help mental decline and fight off free radicals which damage brain cells. Nutrients found in vitamins and foods such as zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron are important for brain health. Pumpkin seeds contain all of these. These nutrients help with nerve signaling, prevention of disease, migraines, epilepsy, and depression. Turmeric is also good to help the brain heal itself and relieve stress.

Article written for Zealousness, Issue 15, Q1, 2020
www.ineducationonline.org/e-magazine


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LeClaude Learning Center

Our Schools and Programs
LeClaude Learning Center knows the importance of a good education. It take instruction and practice to master material. At LeClaude Learning Center, we have specialized teachers who are trained to teach in small group settings as well as one-on-one to help your child master areas in the arts, language, literacy, and mathematics. Our programs are paced to fit the needs of the student, helping them rapidly progress toward achieving goals. We identify how students learn best and implement creative lessons for fun and effective instruction. We pride ourselves in our customized workout plans, utilizing differentiated instructional strategies, to meet the varying needs of all students and exceed the established standards. Whether it’s learning a new subject area or reinforcing classroom material, our instructors bring motivation, enthusiasm, and expertise for quality instruction and providing an excellent classroom experience.  learningcenter_students 

Arts
Our arts program includes studies in dance, fine art, theater, and music. Students have the opportunity to study these areas and showcase their accomplishments. Instructors from these programs are highly experienced in their discipline and in instruction. Each program is offered for all ages, meeting grade level objectives and challenging students beyond grade level. The following is a list of the program offerings in the Arts Program.

DANCE 
The dance program offers classes in ballet, hip-hop, tap and choreography. Our instructors come from the top dance schools from around the United States. The choreography class is the first in the nation to teach students under the age of 14 how to design choreography performances. Students have the opportunity to perform in quarterly arts performances in March, June, September, and December. These performances are held in the main auditorium.

FINE ART 
The art program offers classes in drawing, painting, calligraphy, and clay. Each year the community is invited to see the art created from this program. Student’s artwork is displayed in our Galleríe Display and students also have a chance to sell their artwork in the ArtWork Exhibition.

THEATER
Theater classes are taught by performers from Broadway. Each year, this program hosts 4 plays open to the general public. Students learn drama techniques, rehearsal techniques, facial expressions, tonal variations, and body language. We also offer a costume and set decorating class where students learn how to build sets and costumes.

MUSIC
Students have the opportunity to learn to sing as part of an acapella choir, individually, or learn to play a specific instrument. As part of the program, students perform as part of the quarterly Talent Show. 

Language
Our language program includes studies in English, writing, literature, and foreign languages. These courses are offered to students looking to enhance literacy or learn a new language. Students will gather a greater understanding and mastery of the English language, writing, and literary classics. Students studying foreign languages will have plenty of resources to learn the language and practice it with chances for immersion programs and international travel.

ENGLISH
We teach mastering the English language by improving the use of proper grammar and expansion of vocabulary. Students learn how to research and develop outlines, write at an advanced level using MLA and AP Styles, and proof-reading techniques for editing. Students have the chance to work with local newspapers on projects to practice their skills.

WRITING
In our writing course, students have the chance to write different types of genre including research papers, editorial, copywriting, poetry, and song lyrics. Student writings are published both on the student’s individual website as well as in a printed journal which is used to showcase their progress and work.

LITERATURE
The literature program enhances literacy as students read a selection of the classics, fiction, and non-fiction books. Discussions between students are done in class and through the online class forum to dive into main topics, themes, and questions posed. Instructors work one-on-one with students who may be struggling with reading classics in school and assist in understanding the writings and working their way through the text.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES
We also offer various foreign languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, Mandarin, Marathi, and Swahili. Students have the chance to learn individually one-on-one with native speakers, in small group settings to practice conversation, and by using interactive media in the language lab to practice grammar and vocabulary. Travel abroad programs are offered yearly for students to visit countries and experience the culture. The exchange student program works in tandem with local school districts to offer international immersion. 

Math
Our mathematics program offers one-on-one advancement in elementary, secondary, and college mathematics. We teach using manipulatives and hands-on-application practices. Interactive media is available in the computer lab for additional practice with puzzles, virtual reality math games, and quizzes. Our advanced math instructors have doctorates degrees in Math and are masters at clarity with explanations and providing visual to demonstrate math theories.

ELEMENTARY MATH
Elementary math concepts are taught and practiced in tandem with grade-level, classroom learning objectives. Students have manipulatives available to apply math concepts. Color coding systems are used as visual goal setters for students along with rewards for accomplishments. Students are introduced to number sense and methods to learn how to computing numbers quickly. Students are introduced to new math concepts filled with creative, fun-filled, instruction.

SECONDARY MATH
Students studying secondary math have instructors available to teach algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. Class time is divided into a daily review session of previously taught material, instruction on new material, and then practical application. Students have time set aside each class to address questions and challenging areas. The computer lab is available for students to practice what they have learned using interactive media.

COLLEGE MATH
College math concepts are taught one-on-one with accomplished math instructors. These instructors teach math theory and practical application. Topics available for instruction include statistics, linear algebra, math modeling, probability, calculus I and II. 

Applications Process

The application process is simple. Go to our website at http://www.LeClaudeLearningCenter.edu and register for a course. Fill out the online form and submit it. You will be contacted within 24 hours to complete final registration and payment. An appointment will be scheduled to meet with the school, class instructor, and complete an assessment. Customized instruction will be created for your child in each enrolled subject area. Classes start each quarter in January, March, June, and September.  

LeClaude and Beyond
Our goal is to have your student reach their goals and beyond, successfully prepared for their next endeavors. We build a foundation from which your child can transition to the next level. 

We are happy to build a portfolio of your student’s work, provide references, and help assist in application processes for college and employment. Our alumni club will attest to the success of our highly acclaimed school and programs. Please join us on the 15th of each month for a catered alumni event where students, families, and prospective students can meet with alumni to ask questions and have an understanding of the dynamics of our school.[LeClaude Learning Center is a proposed concept for a sample project]


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