Education is a field which is seen as being ripe for the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence, for multiple reasons: it can automate various administrative processes such as grading and lesson planning, and it can help students with term paper writing. It can also function as a helper within the classroom itself through various means, including monitoring students for when they need extra assistance.
The current educational process, despite several measures taken to ensure that all students are given an equal amount of attention from the teacher, is something which has more and more students saying that they feel left out, as though they are not being noticed by the teacher. Artificial Intelligence is something which can fill the gap between what a teacher can do, and what a student needs, by providing teachers with the means to give each student the equivalent of a personal tutor to help them with their work. Since one-on-one education has been shown to be the best form of education for most students, various companies (such as Thinkster Math and Carnegie Learning) which work with Artificial Intelligence have been focusing specifically on using it to create tutoring programmes which can be used in the classroom. While the tutoring programmes are being designed to stand on their own, part of the programming includes taking a child’s progress into account and seeing how it matches up with the rest of the class, so the Artificial Intelligence can notify the teacher of any particular need for extra help.
Where Artificial Intelligence excels is that it can be programmed with a variety of different learning styles, and the ability to apply each one as appropriate to each child. The goal of this type of Artificial Intelligence is not to entirely supplant teachers in the classroom, but instead to act as an aide in educating their students to the best of their abilities. One of these types of learning, according to recent research, is known as collaborative learning. Collaborative learning refers to learning from each other rather than simply individually, and can be used to mean anything from group projects to group presentations. With collaborative learning, Artificial Intelligence can help children to learn from each other, picking up valuable social skills as well as the knowledge which they may have individually. Artificial Intelligence is useful in this instance because it can help to facilitate the learning process, as well as keep an eye on the various groups so as to avoid the teacher missing any potential for students needing help.
Acting as a tutor and teaching assistant in the classroom is one particular way in which Artificial Intelligence can be used, but there is also potential for it to be utilized behind the scenes as well. Artificial Intelligence could be used to relieve teachers of the need to spend hours of their time on the administrative aspects of their jobs – the bookkeeping and the lesson planning among them – thus allowing teachers more freedom. With the removal of the added burden of administration taken off them, the attitudes of teachers could be improved as they have to spend less time on minutiae, which is good for both teachers (as they won’t burn out) and students (because they will have an involved teacher) alike.
As more and more universities and private platforms launch the idea of Artificial Intelligence being used to curate online learning, the use they can be put to is something which interests people. On the one hand, the Artificial Intelligence can be used in lower-level problems: to filter the homework and coursework which is done by students in the course of their learning, as well as to undertake the more administrative tasks of an academic course, as has been discussed above. Artificial Intelligence could also be used to teach the course itself, being programmed with the lessons and the data needed, and thus freeing up the teachers who created it to be available for any student who needs particular help. Artificial Intelligence is also useful for the purposes of overview, both in terms of online teaching and teaching as a whole; using these programmes can help to show which lessons are effective and which are not – it can take in data from students and how they interact with the lessons, and give examples of what changes need to be made to make lessons more helpful (courser is already known to be using Artificial Intelligence for this purpose), and help students complete the courses they have undertaken. Artificial Intelligence is useful in classrooms because it gives an extra dimension to teaching which one single teacher or advisor would never be able to do, thus changing the academic experience.
Wrapping it up
Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize teaching in several ways, both on- and offline. Using Artificial Intelligence is not intended to be a replacement for the teachers we have now, but instead should be seen as a way of enhancing the teaching that they provide. Artificial Intelligence is seen as something which can provide a new perspective on teaching, but also as something which can take some of the burden off teachers so that they can do their jobs to the best of their abilities.