How AI Can Transform Education

Aug 04, 2020

Artificial Intelligence in education is more than science fiction. AI is a major influence on the state of education today, and has the potential to transform how our education system operates, increase the competitiveness of institutions, and empower teachers and learners of all abilities and backgrounds. In a recent study commissioned by Microsoft, 99.4% of educators said AI would be instrumental to their institution’s competitiveness within the next three years, with 15% calling it a “game-changer”. Nearly all are trying to work with it too, as 92% said that they have started to experiment with the technology. Unleashing the power of AI in the education industry can transform the way students learn, and fill gaps in learning and teaching that allow schools and teachers to do more than ever before.

Benefits of AI in education

For students

  • Education anywhere, anytime

    Students in this age spend a lot of time on the go. They prefer doing everyday tasks using their smartphones, tablets and laptops. AI-based applications provide them an opportunity to study in their free time, spending ten or fifteen minutes learning a concept, while getting feedback from educators or instructors in a real-time mode.

  • Differentiating and personalized learning

    AI solutions can adapt to the students’ level of knowledge, topics of interest, and individual needs and preferences. AI allows a level of differentiation that is impossible for teachers who have to manage several students in a typical classroom setting. AI can enable students to learn and receive feedback that gives them the challenges they are ready for, identifies gaps in knowledge, and redirects to new topics when needed. Instead of following a given curriculum, students can learn what they need so they can grow faster.

  • Universal access for all students

    AI-based tools can help make classrooms available to students who speak different languages, or those who have visual and hearing impairments. PowerPoint’s Presentational Translator is a free plug-in that creates subtitles in real time for what the teacher is saying. This can open up possibilities for students who are not able to attend school because of an illness or require learning in a different subject that is not available in their own school. AI can help break down barriers and make education accessible for all kinds of students

  • Virtual tutoring and support

    Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, tutoring and study programs are becoming more advanced than ever. AI-based platforms allow virtual mentors to track students’ real-time progress and give them instant feedback. This way, students don’t have to wait several days for teachers to give them feedback. Instead, they can get immediate feedback virtually and be more efficient and productive

For teachers and schools

  • Automatic curriculum creation

    Through AI technologies, teachers will not need to create a curriculum from scratch and spend days searching for the necessary educational material. Instead, students will be able to access an online curriculum that adjust to their needs and weaknesses, reducing the workload on teachers.

  • See student weakness

    Course platforms such as Coursera, which use AI, can notify teachers when many students choose incorrect answers to a particular question on a quiz or a test. This can help teachers easily identify areas and topics that students are struggling with and pay attention to them.

How to use AI in education

While identifying the benefits of AI in education is easy, understanding how to apply it to educational platforms ensures that students and teachers are actually able to use AI, instead of thinking about it as a distant technology that they will never have access to.

  • Development of speech recognition software

    AI can be used to create speech recognition software with multiple functionalities for students and faculty. The technology can help transcribe words and help students who struggle with writing or have limited mobility. Speech recognitions software also enhances spelling ability and word recognition, making students’ jobs a whole lot easier. Additionally, instructors can also use it to dictate lectures for later use and speed up long tasks such as document and email recognition

  • Adaptive learning technology

    AI can facilitate the creation of adaptive learning technology that identifies gaps in a student’s knowledge, provides relevant coursework and places students back on track. AI can help customize in-class assignments as well as final exams to students’ individual needs to ensure that they get the best possible assistance. As Artificial Intelligence becomes smarter, it might be possible to scan and analyze students’ facial expressions. If the software feels that they are not happy or satisfied with what they’re being taught, it can change the lesson depending on their needs.

  • Smart content

    Smart content refers to various digital learning materials developed through AI, from digitized textbooks to customizable learning interfaces that make learning easier and more fun for students. For example, AI can help disseminate and break down textbook content into a smart study guide that includes chapter summaries, practice tests, and flashcards. Similarly, AI can provide a personalized learning cloud platform where tutors can design customizable learning systems with apps, simulations, virtual courses, self-assessments, video conferences, and other tools for students that help them learn in an interactive manner.

  • Gamification

    When students learn through game-based activities, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn. Through AI, institutions can integrate gamification into education in a number of ways, such as developing a reward system where students are given badges and experience points for completing assignments and progress through levels of “mastery”, or building a tournament platform where students compete with their peers on a leaderboard towards a goal. By providing students with an incentive to learn and improve, they will be encouraged to be active learners and retain more knowledge. They will no longer view learning as an exhausting chore, but will associate it with curiosity and joy, making them better prepared to participate and succeed in school.

Existing AI-based Solutions in the Education Industry

As organizations and individuals realize the potential of AI in education, many tech companies are creating educational platforms based on Artificial Intelligence technology by applying deep learning systems to innovate how people are educated.

  • Carnegie Learning

    Carnegie Mellon University has developed Carnegie Learning, that uses AI and machine learning to help its students develop a deeper and more conceptual understanding of math. The company’s learning platforms use responsive AI that learns a student’s habits and personalizes the learning experience to help them fully grasp mathematic concepts. Carnegie Learning analyses the students’ keystrokes and allows tutors to see students’ progress.

  • Blippar

    Based in London, England, Blippar combines computer vision intelligence technology and augmented reality to enhance the way students learn. Blippar provides interactive materials that bring complicated subjects such as biology and physics to a visual space. Instead of reading about volcanic eruption in a textbook, Blippar software shows students a virtual and navigable 3-D model of the eruption process.

  • Thinkster Math

    Thinkster Math is a tutoring program which combines human interaction with artificial intelligence to develop custom programs for students. It uses AI technology to track students’ work step-by-step and helps them understand why they are correct or where they went wrong.

  • Querium

    Querium uses AI to deliver customizable STEM tutoring lessons to high school and college students. Querium’s software analyzes answers and the length of time to complete tutoring sessions, giving teachers insights into a student’s learning habits and highlights areas where they can improve.

As is evident, the education industry offers a lot of opportunities to integrate and use Artificial Intelligence to help students learn faster, better and in a more efficient way. With the growing impact of digital eLearning and education, AI-based applications can help make the learning process easier for students, teachers, and schools by offering a large amount of information in a more personalized, globally accessible, and smarter manner.

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