The educational sector has transformed a lot in the last two decades. 2020 has been unique as the number of people attending online classes has been rising as students spend more time indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools have been forced to come up with websites to make online learning a reality. Such schools need to create responsive websites and get the best web hosting companies that ensure no downtime during live coverage and recorded sessions.
Children are becoming more tech-savvy, which calls for the incorporation of technologies such as artificial intelligence into learning. AI is beneficial to both teachers and students. Some people view this technology as a cost-efficient method of being more productive. Other benefits of AI in the educational sector include increased economic value for institutions and more successful learners. Let us explore the different applications of AI in the educational sector:
Improving teaching ability
Tasks such as marking classwork and assessment tests consume a lot of time. Teachers need to constantly test their students to gauge whether they are improving in various areas. Balancing between teaching and assessing the students is a big challenge. AI comes in handy as it helps in marking papers and assessment tests.
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Pearson from the US is experimenting with machine intelligence to mark essays. The machine can interpret the general meaning and logic of the text. AI does not remove the teacher from the setup.
All it does is cut down on the time that a teacher spends in aiding the student to perform better. There can be variances with what human teachers produce. The good news is that the rate of agreement for grade outcomes between human teachers and AI platforms can be above 92%.
Educators can benefit from organizational skills
Teachers handle a myriad of organizational duties on top of their educational tasks. Think about HR and personnel-related duties, responding to parents, organizing and booking trips, dealing with absent and sick students, and filing paperwork, among other crucial duties. All these duties are essential but can overwhelm a typical teacher.
Average teachers spend almost 50% of their time on non-teaching tasks. Thus, students do not get the full attention they deserve, which negatively impacts their learning progress. AI comes with solutions for back-office tasks. For instance, an AI system can communicate with parents and handle general questions.
The system will only connect the teacher with the parents for cases that need personalized attention. Intelligent solutions are also handy in areas such as budgeting, purchasing and procurement services, student applications, and enrollment.
Have you ever noted that platforms such as Facebook and Google show ads based on your browsing history? The same applies to movie streaming services such as Netflix. The current education systems are designed to cater to the general public. However, each student is different, which makes such systems ineffective. An AI system studies how students interact with learning materials and suggest the best materials.
For instance, such a system can note if one is good in algebra and poor in calculus. The system will thus balance the recommendations that ensure that there will be progress.
AI does not replace teachers but allows them to offer personalized recommendations. AI will customize both in-class assignments and final exams based on the students’ capabilities. AI-powered apps will help students get personalized responses from their teachers. Educators can also condense their lessons into smart study guides that students can use.
There has been an ongoing debate on the nature of content that robots can produce. Some argue that AI systems cannot produce content with a human touch like human teachers do. However, we can already see AI systems that help teachers prepare content for their students.
Video conferencing and virtual lectures is a good example of smart content that the education system is utilizing. We can now see customized textbooks for different subjects based on traditional syllabuses. Smart content can come in different forms, such as audio, visual, and written.
Voice assistants such as Siri, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Alexa allow students to interact with educational content if when there is no teacher. For instance, Arizona State University in the US gives its freshmen Amazon Alexa gadgets that contain preloaded content. The students can thus use the device to learn more about the school.
Predicting students’ performance
You may have come across students who have switched schools and courses. Artificial intelligence can help pick crucial data that will help educators and students make informed decisions. An AI system can observe the time spent on a concept and patterns of a particular student and then predict their performance.
Such a system can also detect gaps in teaching techniques. For instance, an AI platform can indicate when a student gets confused or after how long the concentration levels start to dwindle. Teachers can tell when a good number of students get stuck on a specific point in the curriculum and make adjustments to their teaching processes.
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AI starts at the selection point, where it takes potential students through a virtual interview to determine if they are the best fit. Such platforms allow group learning where AI will group students based on faculty or even regulate areas such as the number of people who can join a study group at a go.
Artificial intelligence is a technology that can transform the education system in ways that we cannot imagine. China and the US are among the countries that are already experimenting with AI systems, and we expect more countries to join the movement in the future. Different players in the education sector need to learn of AI’s opportunities and limitations to develop programs that suit current and future needs.