The role of artificial intelligence in education


By Shourie Chatterji – Chief Digital Officer, Schoolnet

While AI-powered solutions have been in the EdTech industry for some time, the pandemic drastically shifted the landscape, forcing educators/learners to rely on technology more than ever before. AI technologies have the power to optimise both learning and teaching, thus paving the way for the education sector to evolve. Here are a few points on how AI in education can and will shape and define the teaching-learning ecosystem and experience for the future.

1)      Automating Tasks – There is a deluge of manual tasks involved in the educational process. Routine chores such as grading, evaluating, filing paperwork, making progress reports and organizing resources for lectures will get automated by AI, reducing the time-to-task of teachers and freeing up time for developing students’ higher-order thinking and skills.

2)      Personalised Learning  AI can ensure that education is personalised for individuals. There are already adaptive learning software and digitised programs for students. AI can highlight not only the needs of each student but also the specific topics they should emphasize upon. This will create a unique and tailored learning path for each student, and ultimately ensure that that the education system is personalised. Teachers will be able to offer the specific support and help that a student needs.

3)      Universal Access  AI can help create smart content that can be accessible for everyone, including students who might have been deprived because of their hearing or visual impairment. One simple example is the increase in the use of a Presentation Translator, which can provide real-time subtitles to students for everything the teacher says. AI can break down the silos that might exist amongst students when it comes to their learning capabilities.

4)      Teacher Training – Teachers must constantly upgrade their skills to be able to impart knowledge effectively to the students. AI will allow teachers to keep themselves updated on things they didn’t know. With this, they will have more in-depth and a broader knowledge base to teach the new generation, which is growing up with technology already deeply embedded in their lives.

5)      24/7 learner assistance and Tutoring – Students can get their queries solved at their own pace and without having to wait for teachers. Whereas AI tutors and chatbots can help students to sharpen their skills and improve weak spots outside the classroom, teachers can provide a one-to-one experience more effectively

6)      Instant Feedback – AI can not only help academia/educational boards to design a curriculum that is customised to the needs of the students, but it can also help avail instant feedback about the success of the course. Schools, especially those with online offerings, are using AI systems to monitor student progress and to alert teachers when there might be an issue with student performances. These kinds of AI systems will allow students to get the support they need from a teacher.

7)      Smart Content – When one thinks of the role of artificial intelligence in education, smart content always comes to mind. Smart contents are personalized and can update dynamically according to demographic, contextual, and behavioural data.

Technology is bringing about a sea change in a variety of sectors like health, finance, retail as well as in our daily lives. Though there continues to be widespread debate over the permeability of AI, there is an emerging consensus over the plethora of benefits AI can bring for learning. When used to its full potential within the boundaries of government and societal norms and regulations, AI can completely change the industry, thereby giving the students an environment where they can thrive. The evolution of education has only begun with AI.


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