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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