Artificial Intelligence in Education is making a difference in several ways. Robots and online AI mentors and facilitators can be almost omnipresent for a learner and offer them immediate feedback and guidance. Customized study materials can be created in a manner of minutes using AI systems that can highlight textbooks, provide instant chapter summaries, and offer unlimited practice tests and flashcards to help students learn better.
Intelligent tutoring systems adopt adaptive learning approach – and help the teachers offer better support to their students based on the analytics of their performance in various contexts. In fact, AI systems are also changing the ways student assessments are done. Now, tutors can use the Artificial Intelligence tools to capture the behavioral data of their students in classrooms and analyze it to find out where exactly they need help.
We will also discuss what we need to remember to prepare our ‘human’ kids for the world of the future.
In his TED talk, Gary Kaspov said, “Human plus machine isn’t the future, it’s the present.” Rightly so. Our children are using tablets, smartphones, and computers for nearly nine hours every day – searching for online music and videos and also to fulfill their educational requirements. Classroom technology is rapidly replacing chalk and blackboard and coding is becoming a part of national curricula around the world.
There are many ways Artificial Intelligence is impacting the way we learn:
AI Tools Offer Effective Content:
From adaptive learning platforms such as Coursera, EdX and Khan Academy to the Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), education technology has come a long way.
Content Technologies Inc., an AI research and development company based in the US, is converting textbooks into smart and relevant guides meant to help students learn more in less time. Their Cram101 technology can turn any textbook in a study guide complete with flashcards, chapter summaries, and unlimited true-and-false and multiple-choice type practice tests. Similarly, their JustTheFacts101 technology offers instantly highlights the book you feed into it and offers chapter-specific summaries too – cutting down your study time in half.
Android apps like Science Journal allow you to perform amazing science experiments while Tictures helps you to make any content interesting and fun using emojis like pictures.
Then, there are artificial reality (AR) technologies that include VR, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality tools that allow you to bring the world into classrooms. Google Expedition, Oculus Rift, and HoloLens are some of the technologies that allow you to explore space like an astronaut, discover the beauties of the Amazon forest, and experience the beauties of the Titanic without ever leaving your seat!
Our kids don’t have to ‘learn’ things now, they can actually see them, experience them, and feel them.
AI allows Intelligent Tutoring:
Carnegie Learning, Thinkster Math (earlier known as Tabtor Math), and Third Space Learning systems are meant to empower teachers to make their pedagogy more effective. They offer one-to-one tutoring platforms where tutors can use Big Data and learning analytics to get real-time feedback on their students’ performances. The teachers can determine the strengths and weaknesses of their students and identify their learning and skills gaps – and find ways to help them learn better.
Tools like Rapid Miner allow you to use data mining to create your own student learning analytics systems. It is an open-source platform and does not require any coding knowledge.
AI technologies can help teachers automate the basic teaching tasks and find time to work on the key challenges of the ‘quality teaching’. AI teaching assistant Jill Watson is a good example of how artificial intelligence can turn tutors into facilitators and mentors.
Virtual Mentors For Everyone:
AI has the potential to become an omnipresent support for a learner. They can use social simulation, user modeling, and knowledge representation techniques to offer highly customized learning to each individual. These lifelong ‘tutors’ and ‘mentors’ can take the learning outside the classroom and be involved with one’s life in general.
They can offer timely guidance to the learner, provide homework help to them, and offer them feedback and explanations right when they need it. They can also promote self-regulation and self-monitoring in students.
The Easel project has already built a robot that can understand the emotional state of the person, remember what happened in the past encounters, and identify the social context that might affect his behavior. These robots can tailor the teaching strategy to the needs of each learner too.
Changing Face Of Student Assessments:
Instructors try to find out about their students’ grasp of a concept not only through tests but also through their behavior patterns. Whether the student’s stare is blank or attentive, whether he is hesitant or eager to answer a question, whether he turns the assignment in early or late – are just some of the things teachers notice to track the progress of their students.
AI tools like Zoomi and DreamBox Learning can now help the teachers to capture and analyze behavioral data of students in educational settings. Student-specific data can help teachers to increase student engagement by 45% and knowledge transfer by 50%.
With IoT devices taking over the traditional ones, there is no end to the data mining possibilities educators have – to make learning experiences more relevant to their students.
How To Compete With The Robots?
Have you ever thought why Human Intelligence is better than that of Animals? Because we can solve problems, make decisions, learn new things, and have reasoning ability. We are capable of finding alternatives and choose the best option based on our past experiences, values, and preferences.
Ever since the ancient times, we have been trying to make things easier and faster for us through inventions and innovations. We have harnessed fire, made machines, and explored space. We come up with new technologies every day to increase our productivity – and now we have robots to do everything. Rapid Machine Learning, what we know as Artificial Intelligence or AI, has made our machines smarter. Now, they can learn new things (at a much faster pace than us), adapt to ever-changing conditions, and bear extremely harsh and hostile environments easily. Naturally, robots are rapidly taking over all jobs that have been traditionally done by humans.
There is only one thing that makes human better than AI – and it is ‘curiosity’. With robots taking over most of the jobs, our educators need to focus on two things:
- Why does this happen?
- How can we make it better?
It is crucial for students to learn how to find a systematic solution to the question-in-hand step-by-step. For those who fail to think out-of-the-box, there will always be a chance of getting replaced by a more efficient hard-working robot in the future.
Artificial intelligence can help us offer adaptive and immersive classroom learning and take education out of the classrooms. Quality digital tools available to us today provide us an opportunity to offer instruction to our students in ways that were not possible till now. Explore and learn all you want – because education has become more accessible and more interesting now.