Believe it or not or like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now a part of our normal lives.
From automatic parking systems, to intelligent sensors that help take spectacular pictures, to personal assistants, we are now surrounded by this amazing technology. Well, that’s not all. AI has also entered into the world of education bringing wonderful transitions in the sector, benefiting both the students and the institutions.
The academic world has truly become more convenient and personalized thanks to the numerous applications of AI for education. Today, students don’t need to attend physical classes to study as long as they have computers and internet connection. Yes, the way students learn and teachers teach today is completely different from what it was few years ago. AI-enabled technology has also allowed the automation of administrative tasks, allowing institutions to minimize the time required to complete tedious tasks and day-to-day processes. No wonder, all the traditional ways of doing things in academic world will soon become a thing of the past.
Well, in this article, we bring you some of the best use cases of AI in the education sector.
Automated administrative tasks
Teachers and institutions often spend a lot of time in administrative duties and day-to-day processes. However, thanks to artificial Intelligence, most of such tasks are now automated opening up more time for teachers and institutions to interact with students, prepare for class, or focus on other important tasks. AI has allowed automation of classification and processing of paperwork. Teachers and administrators no longer have to do those tasks manually anymore. In fact, there is much potential for AI to create more efficient enrollment and admission processes in the years to come.
In the academic world, teachers often spend a significant amount of time on grading exams, assessing homework, and providing responses to their students. While AI may not ever be able to truly replace human grading, it’s getting pretty close. It’s now possible for teachers to automate grading for nearly all kinds of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank tests. AI-powered technology can assess students’ knowledge, analyze their answers, give helpful feedback and help teachers make personalized training plans for students who may struggle with the subject. While machines can already grade multiple-choice tests, they are pretty close to being able to assess writing of students as well. One can expect more of this from AI in future.
AI systems have enabled traditional syllabuses to create customized textbooks, and as a result, textbooks are being digitized, and new learning interfaces are being created to help students of all academic grades and ages. An example of such mechanisms is the Cram101 which uses AI to help disseminate and break down textbook contents into more comprehensible study guide which makes it easy to navigate with summaries of the chapters, flashcards, and practical tests. Another useful AI interface is the Netex Learning. It allows educators to design digital curriculum and content across devices, integrating rich media like audio and video as well as self or online instructor assessment. JustTheFacts101 has a similar concept highlighting and creating text and chapter-specific summaries, which are then archived into a digital collection and made available on Amazon.
Needless to mention, there are several companies such as Content Technologies Inc. and Carnegie Learning that are currently developing intelligent instruction design and digital platforms that use AI to provide learning, testing and feedback to students from pre-K to college level.
Smart tutoring systems
Smart tutoring system is nothing but personalized electronic tutoring customized to the learning styles and preferences of the students. Artificial intelligence has already had a huge impact on this through the application of greater levels of individualized learning through growing numbers of adaptive learning programs, games, and software. These systems respond to the needs of the student, putting greater emphasis on certain topics, repeating things that students haven’t mastered, and generally helping students to work at their own pace.
Adaptive learning has already had a huge impact on education across the nation, especially through programs like Khan Academy. Thanks to AI, smart tutoring systems like Mastery Learning and Carnegie Learning are playing a significant role in adaptive learning. Using cognitive science and AI technologies, Carnegie Learning offers personalized tutoring and real-time feedback for post-secondary education students. Mastery Learning on the other hand supports the effectiveness of individualized tutoring and instruction in the classroom by integrating curriculum around a student’s progress, combined with timely targeted feedback, immediate opportunities for corrected practice, and enrichment activities.
Personalized learning refers to a variety of educational programs in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. The experience is tailored to learning preferences and the specific interests of different learners. Through AI-powered apps, students get targeted and customized responses from their teachers. Teachers can condense lessons into smart study guides and flashcards to make students easy to understand things. They can also teach students based on an individual student’s capability and the challenges they face in studying class materials. Thus, both fast and slow students can continue to study at their own pace. While AI doesn’t necessarily replace teachers, they help to perform much better by offering personalized recommendations to each pupil. AI ensures that students get the best possible assistance.
Technology has brought drastic transitions in education world by facilitating the opportunity of learning of any course from anywhere across the globe. Using AI systems, software, and support, students can enjoy the convenience of learning from anywhere in the world at any time. No wonder, with more inventions, there will be a wider range of courses available online and with the help of AI, students will be able to learn from wherever they are.
AI tools also have helped make global classrooms available to all including those who speak different languages or who might have visual or hearing impairments. One example of this is Presentation Translator, a free plug-in for PowerPoint that creates subtitles in real time for what the teacher is saying. Also, using Azure Cognitive Services, AI-powered speech recognition and translation allows students to hear or read what is being said in their own native language. Well, the above cases have opened up possibilities for students who are not able to attend school due to illness or who require learning at a different level or on a particular subject that isn’t available in their school or who doesn't understand other's language.
Apart from the above cases, smart data gathering, powered by artificial intelligence, is also making changes to how colleges interact with prospective and current students. From recruiting to helping students choose the best courses, intelligent computer systems are helping make every part of the college experience more closely tailored to student needs and goals. There are also initiatives that are underway at some schools to offer students AI-guided training that can ease the transition between college and high school.
Well, while most experts believe the critical presence of teachers is irreplaceable, it is certain that there will be many changes to a teacher’s job and to educational best practices in the coming years because of AI-powered technologies. But what is worth remembering is since the students of today will live and work in a future where AI is the reality; it’s important that our educational institutions expose students to and use the technology. While major changes in the system may still take years, the reality is that artificial intelligence has the potential to radically change just about everything we take for granted about education. Meanwhile, as artificial intelligence-powered educational solutions continue to grow, we hope that AI can help fill needs gaps in learning and teaching and allow schools and teachers to do more than ever before.