AI in the classroom: how it can impact the school of tomorrow
What is Artificial Intelligence?
By artificial intelligence, we mean technology that is aware of its environment and carries out tasks in a way that maximizes its chances of success. These tasks typically involve planning, researching, language processing and facial recognition.
AI research started as early as 1956, but today it seems more relevant than ever. From Siri and Alexa to the most recent Google AI, who can make a phone call for you, we live in a world that is destined to become more and more shaped by artificial intelligence. But what could be the future of AI in the classroom?
Today, we can witness technologies such as ChatGPT and text-to-image generators starting a revolution in human creativity. Until recently, the production of texts and images was exclusive to people. Now, the intervention of AI has changed everything, bringing us to interrogate how these innovations will impact our thought process.
AI in everyday life
While things like smart homes and self-driving cars still seem far in the future and only available to a small percentage of people, the impact of AI in everyday life is so pervasive that we often don’t even realize we are interacting with it.
Video games with characters that react and adapt to the way the user plays are an example of AI that is overlooked and almost taken for granted, just like purchase predictions that show you products before you need them, or movie recommendations on Netflix. Similar technologies are used by banks when they monitor for fraud. Many websites use AI for their customer support, while others go as far as having them write simple news stories.
In fact, according to Wired, Yahoo, Fox, and the Associated Press all use Artificial Intelligence to create content. Sure, AI can’t replace an investigative journalist, but it can easily take care of sports recaps.
How to implement AI in the classroom
But where is AI in our schools? And what can it do to change education going forward?
Today the conversation on the role of AI in the classroom is active on platforms like Brainly, a social network where students come together to collaborate.
Companies like CTI are creating custom textbook to address the different needs students have and allowing teachers to abandon the one-size-fits-all method.
AI is already improving traditional teaching methods by enhancing their best aspects and correcting their flaws. While teachers struggle to manage their time, AI can be available for students 24/7, encouraging remote learning. It can even take care of many tedious administrative tasks allowing teachers more time to focus on their students.
Benefits of AI in the classroom
The first benefit of introducing AI in education is the level of personalization it can bring to learning. Traditional teaching methods are universal, meaning learners must adapt, no matter their preferences. Students, instead, have different learning styles according to their paces and ways. AI can help by adjusting to their needs and tailoring the learning experience accordingly.
Secondly, the analytical powers of AI are useful for collecting valuable data on students’ learning processes. Information on learners’ specific necessities helps teachers develop the best path to reach learning goals.
Furthermore, AI is an optimal solution when it comes to student engagement. These days there is much experimenting with augmented or virtual reality to provide recreational experiences, but what about educational experiences? Learning by doing is a very effective method for knowledge retention, but it is only sometimes feasible in a classroom. AI can transform ordinary classrooms into completely different realities without moving.
Finally, AI is not only proper support for students with learning disabilities but can also help bridge the language gap for non-native students. Speech recognition and subtitle generation tools enable learners to access information delivered in foreign languages, making knowledge exchange easier and borderless.
AI for students with a disability
AI has already proven to be a great resource for students with learning disabilities, and its impact on their education will only improve going forward. In fact, new systems are being developed to be able to diagnose learning disabilities through better testing methods. Once the problem has been identified, AI can start customizing the student’s learning process to cater to their specific needs.
This can include simplifying the structure of some sentences or replacing words that can be challenging to read or pronounce. AI can also provide students who are struggling with constant feedback, without slowing down the rest of the class, and provide teachers with reliable updates on their progress.
The future of AI in education
It is apparent by now that AI is destined to stay, but where are we going from here?
Innovations like Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality will have an increasing role in providing students with a more engaging experience in the classroom. Finding the right resources at the right time will become faster and easier than it already is, and students will be able to further customize their learning experience.
AI will be able to identify the areas in which students struggle most and the right method to improve their performance.
But will AI make teachers obsolete? We don’t believe it will. While they can be a great asset to teachers, but the role of an educator goes beyond simply delivering information in an effective way.
Teachers are meant to teach students how to exist in the world, how to become successful adults through knowledge, but also social and emotional learning.
Only human beings can educate children to become great human beings in the future.
The new generations still need to learn social skills, self-awareness, and decision making.
These skills could never be taught by a machine.
AI is not nearly as useful without competent teachers who know how to use it to their advantage.
Examples of AI in the classroom
Intelligent tutoring systems and chatbots
These tools can follow students during their homework and daily learning activities with complete and constant focus. They provide immediate feedback – allowing the learner to correct inaccuracies before they are absorbed – and adjust according to students’ real-time responses – not to mention that they are available 24/7.
Predictive and learning analytics
AI is very good at identifying patterns. During the interaction with the students, it records every detail to form a panoramic on their learning process. The extracted data draw a picture of the learner that serves as a map of their learning path. Teachers can use it to predict the unravelling of this path and adjust the curriculum to achieve the prefixed goals more efficiently.
Curriculum planning and assessment
The pattern recognition powers of AI can be useful for teachers as well. Developing a curriculum is easier when you dispose of accurate data on the student’s needs and the efficacy of your methods. Also, assessment can be a heavy-duty activity where remaining lucid and equitable may be difficult for human beings. AI can take care of the assessment following the criteria provided by teachers.
By knowing students’ preferences and personal inclinations, AI can identify the best content to deliver knowledge while still getting learners involved. This way, any material can match their learning styles to stimulate their memory.