Individualized learning? Virtual tutors? Robot teachers?!
Robot chefs, automatic airplanes and digital voice assistants that recognize your voice. Sci-fi-esque ideas that were ludicrous just a decade ago are slowly becoming normalized with the development of AI technology.
While AI is a somewhat controversial topic (see Elon Musk), no one can deny that our lives have been improved because of it. From improved Google search algorithms to home-automation
AI technology is effective at processing massive amounts of data and displaying them as useful information for decision making.
AI is getting to a level now that it can even start to make its own decisions (See Elon Musk’s Tesla autopilot).
The implications of what AI can do affects virtually all areas of business, art, health and even human culture.
Additionally, AI technology has the potential to change and improve the area of children’s education. The significance of this is unprecedented.
There are numerous websites offering online courses that use AI technology to suggest lessons for users. AI voice assistants can even answer basic math equations and questions about people, history and many other things.
Traditional education in schools are also going to change and it is the area of education that can affect the greatest improvement with the largest amount of children.
Adjusting the contents of a class and differentiating how individual students are taught is virtually impossible today for a single teacher in a large class of students.
However, with AI, large amounts of student data can be processed and analyzed by machine learning. Information gained from past test or homework results can allow teachers to gain an insight on what students are strongest at and more importantly, what they are most lacking in.
Data on student performance in past lessons and homework may also let AI technology find out how best to teach particular students.
Does this student learn better through visual or kinaesthetic means? Through individual projects or team-based initiatives? AI will be able to answer these questions and deliver the most optimal study plan for individual students.
AI also has the potential to schedule a student’s time to make their studies more effective. AI can analyze a student’s day from morning until the end of school and surmise the student’s most productive hours. The macine will then give these students the more difficult tasks to complete during this time.
This means that the way we see schools will change for good. No longer will there be a no one homework or one lesson fits all approach. Each student will have a specialized task and a method to complete it that is best suited for them.
Support outside of the classroom
Teachers are terribly outnumbered in the classroom and an exceptional amount of work is needed to create and mark homework to be assigned to students everyday.
Modern solutions will be made to make this easier on teachers. We are even starting to see this in today’s web environment. With educational platforms, teachers can assign homework on certain topic with the click of a button and gain back the results once the students have finished.
Of course for now, this is limited to multiple-choice formats. As machine learning and language processing advances further, AI will be able to start scanning tests and homework that asks for long-form answers. The days of teachers having to mark each individual assignment by hand may come to an end.
But how about if a student requires some extra help? What if they need specific tutoring and study methods that are difficult to learn alone? Students now can’t exactly ask their teachers to come over to their house and help them everytime they encounter a complex problem.
With AI, tutoring programs are getting more advanced and will become utilized by students struggling with specific subjects.
Individualized support will be given to students and a bigger emphasis will be put into subjects that students want to prioritize and are struggling in.
Universal access for all students
Schools nowadays are limited to one or two languages in its mode of instruction. It is virtually impossible to serve every child’s needs when it comes to languages as teachers need to serve as many students as they can.
Translation technology can introduce education to students of all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. As a teacher speaks, earpieces can send a live translation into any language right into children’s ears. An alternative would be transcripts or subtitles that could be written down automatically in any language.
This technology will bring more diversity to educational institutions and open learning opportunities to a wider group of students.
Language lessons will also benefit from this as students will be able to be exposed to the language they wish to learn.
Essentially, AI will inevitably change the field of education. With the technology, less of a burden will be put on teachers to serve to every students’ needs and engage in administrative tasks. AI will assist teachers in supplementing a student’s learning so that teachers can focus on teaching.