AI and The Education Sector

With a lot of websites, apps and channels being built for teaching and learning, AI has to jump in this particular sector and change it for better. I have to say that advancement of AI is relatively less in education sector but now, Education professionals are taking on the task to implement AI into operations, and finding it quite beneficial. Computers with artificial intelligence embody the main principles of education — learning, reasoning, and problem solving — so it’s only natural to merge AI with the education world.

AI can refine and revamp three areas of education:

  • Administration
  • Teaching
  • Learning

Let us dig deeper into what AI is doing and could do for learning and education, respective to these three areas:

AI for Administration:

What comes before teaching and learning, is to decide what to teach and which content is beneficial and easy to learn for a particular age. Deciding the curriculum, regulating the whole education system, automating the administrative tasks and centralizing the school system are the things under consideration of the experts. As, AI is good and becoming better in analyzing paperwork, it can significantly help in office tasks like timetable making and admission process.

One system called Cram101 uses AI to condense the content in textbooks into a more digestible study guide with chapter summaries, practice tests and flashcards. While some people say that this system is not useful at all but the thing is, it can give researchers a direction to work towards because we need such systems that digitize our currently used text books.

Content Technologies, Inc. (CTI) is an AI company using Deep Learning to create customized textbooks that fit the needs of specific courses and students. Teachers import syllabi into a CTI engine. CTI machinery then masters the content and uses algorithms to create personalized textbooks and coursework based on core concepts.

Another platform called Netex Learning allows lecturers and professors to design a digital curriculum and content across a variety of devices, including video, audio and an online assistant. The site helps even the most technologically illiterate educators incorporate interactive elements like audio, video, and self-assessments to their digital lesson plans, all within a personalized learning cloud platform.

AI for Teaching:

Technology is already aiding in classrooms in forms of AV Aids (Audio Visual Aids) such as flash cards, presentations and video content. AI can automate and help in these tasks easily. AI can do some of the mundane duties that consume a lot of teacher’s time and thus help teacher pay more attention to students.

One such task that eats up a teacher’s time is grading papers and tests. Current AI technology is already able to automate grading of multiple choice materials. One in every four schools in China, or about 60,000 institutions, are quietly testing a machine learning-powered system that can score students’ work automatically, and even offer suggestions where appropriate. And results have shown that AI is even better than humans at this.

Georgia Tech professor Ashok Goel implemented Ms. Watson in an effort to lessen the burden on his human TAs, who often become overwhelmed by tedious questions from undergraduates who have failed to read the syllabus. So, he used an AI system to respond to students without them noticing for months that they were interacting with a bot.

The biggest advancement till now in teaching sector is “Nao”. Nao is a “talking humanoid robot that teaches everything from literacy to computer programming.” It is highly effective in teaching young children various subjects, while learning from the children as well. Students can teach the robot stories and even choreograph dances for the robot to repeat. This type of AI can target and captivate children of all ages in ways that a human teacher may not be able to do.

AI for Learning:

Learning and learners are the primary focus of education system and so of AI in education. Advancement of AI in this area is relatively more. There are many AI powered systems and apps built to help students. Students need to be supervised and helped more than taught, and AI is getting good at supervisions.

Both AI and machine learning can learn a student’s comprehension patterns — the way they respond and comprehend different learning styles, material, and the pace in which they learn. Understanding this data, a teacher can lay out a carefully crafted course of study to maximize the learning of any student.

Pearson has already suggested that in the future students will have an AI lifelong learning companion. Essentially, this next generation of students will grow up with an AI companion that knows their personal history and school history. Therefore, it will know each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.

Thinkster Math is “the math app that offers an unusual human touch,” as stated by The New York Times. It is a tutoring app that blends real math curriculum with a personalized teaching style. The app assigns each student a behind-the-scenes tutor who watches their mental process unfold step-by-step on an iPad screen. Thinkster Math improves each students’ logic process by providing video assistance for stuck students and immediate, personalized feedback.

From the above discussion, a keen eye can easily notice that education sector is still far from being automated. The inventions made are only initiating research. We need and demand current AI researchers to work more in this sector to construct and polish future researchers. Do help by giving your ideas in this regard in the comments below!

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