Computer devices and educational software applications have revolutionized classrooms and teaching methods in the past 10 years. But the true disruption is yet to come, using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
One of the most intriguing technological advancements of our time, AI has great potential for various applications in the education sector, significantly improving education quality and enhancing traditional teaching and learning methods.
Today, many startups and big companies seek to integrate AI into education with programs that augment teaching capabilities independently of teachers. Those AI programs are commonly referred to as Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) or adaptive tutors that can engage students in dialogue, answer questions, and provide feedback.
ITS and adaptive tutors tailor learning material, pace, sequence, and difficulty to each student’s needs. For instance, AI can also provide support for special needs students by teaching autistic children to identify facial expressions.
Researchers are yet to reach a consensus about the effectiveness of AI-based instruction. Nevertheless, some studies have found significant benefits in using AI-based classroom technologies in certain situations.
For example, a study conducted in 2014 found that AI produced statistically significant improvements in student learning outcomes (e.g., mastery and retention) compared to traditional classroom teaching, independent textbook use, and non-AI computer-based instruction.
AI technologies can help facilitate “personalized learning” (tailoring instruction to the needs of each student) and “blended learning” (combining technology with face-to-face interaction).
Many school officials hope that such approaches will improve academic performance and reduce achievement gaps between students’ groups. Some teachers also suggest that personalized learning increases student engagement, motivation, and independence.
Besides, AI can easily automate administrative and routine tasks for both institutions and professors, such as taking attendance, grading assignments and homework, and generating test questions.
Al-related technologies used in education
- Personalized learning and academic analytics
- Image recognition, computer vision, the prediction system
- Data mining or Bayesian knowledge interference, intelligent teachings systems, learning analytics
- Face recognition, speech recognition, virtual labs, AIR, VR, hearing and sensing technologies
- Edge computing, virtual personalized assistants, real-time analysis
Let’s now emphasizes some of the positive impacts of AI on education:
- Personalized learning, which is arguably AI’s greatest gift to education. Identify the learning preferences of each of their students, helping them build a personalized learning plan.
- Adaptive teaching content, such as the digital bookshelves published by Pearson and McGraw-Hill, allowing the teachers to adjust their courses. For example, Coursera, a MOOC11 platform, tells teachers when too many students answer a question incorrectly or hand in inadequate work.
- Smart content starting from digitized guides of textbooks to customizable learning digital interfaces. For instance, Content Technologies Inc., an AI development company specializing in the automation of business processes, has created a smart content services suite for secondary education. It uses AI to disseminate and break textbook content into a digestible smart study guide that includes chapter summaries, true-false, multiple-choice practice tests, and flashcards.
- Captivating Virtual Instruction for Training (CVIT) integrating live classroom methods with best-fit virtual technologies—including virtual facilitators, augmented reality, intelligent tutor, and others—in remote learning and training programs.
- Perform the administrative tasks faster that consume much of the time, such as grading exams and providing feedback, which frees up teachers’ time for other tasks.
- Ongoing student assessment and evaluation: learners’ experiences along the learning pathway are tracked in real-time to accurately gauge skills acquisition over time.
- Intelligent tutoring platforms for distance learning. It is a growing trend, combined with the rapid expansion of mobile technology. This opens up exciting opportunities for learners and educators alike.
- Give feedback and work with students timely and directly. For instance, UTIFEN sends personalized texts to students as they follow their learning pathway. This also provides expanded opportunities for learners to communicate and collaborate with each other.
- Greater interaction between learners and academic content. An example is a chatbot, an offspring of the original smart speakers like HomePod, Amazo Echo, and Google Home. A chatbot can recognize the user’s language and simulate a real conversation.
- Homework assistance: students can do personalized homework that suits their academic skills and challenges. The online homework helper Allô Prof which has assisted students for over 20 years, would undoubtedly benefit from AI.
- Immersive environments, or virtual reality. These highly interactive, three-dimensional virtual worlds encourage students to engage with course material. For example, the educational game Assassin’s Creed lets students appreciate history as they “live” through vivid and detailed historical situations and carry out intriguing missions.13 Such enriched, interactive experiences have direct positive impacts on learning.
- Dropout prevention: AI can gather student data and rapidly warn schools about those at risk for dropping out to receive appropriate support before matters deteriorate.
- AI makes distance learning more accessible and appealing. People can learn anywhere and anytime. The language learning system Duolingo is an outstanding example.
- Extensive gamification potential and gaming contribute directly to student engagement.
- Data collection, storage, and security: AI-based cloud technology allows capturing, organizing, analyzing, and producing knowledge from vast amounts of data and keeping them secure. This addresses several ethical and educational issues.