How Artificial Intelligence Can Be Used to Improve Education Outcomes
on December 9, 2022
The idea of a “smart” classroom seems like something from a science fiction movie. But already artificial intelligence is already being used in schools to streamline administrative tasks, manage student data, and even help teachers create lesson plans. This technology has the potential to help teachers focus on what matters most: teaching kids how to think critically and solve problems.
This isn’t a singular opinion but one echoed by administrative heads throughout the world. According to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, “Education will be profoundly transformed by AI. Teaching tools, ways of learning, access to knowledge, and teacher training will be revolutionized.”
The numbers also back this up. One report estimates the global AI in the education market is estimated to be worth approximately $3.70 billion by the end of 2023.
But how will this money be distributed? And in what capacity will AI be used to enhance learning?
5 Ways That AI Will be Used in the Classroom
Let’s look at a few of the ways that artificial intelligence will be used to help students learn better and more efficiently.
1. Personalized and Enhanced Learning
One of the most important obvious ways that AI has started to impact the education sector is through personalized learning. The advancement in technologies like machine learning means that students can now receive a high degree of one-on-one attention that just wasn’t possible in previous years.
A large part of this process relies on incorporating real-time data about each student into their curriculum.
For example, a teacher can look at real-time data on a student’s progress. If they see that the student has fallen behind the previous day or week, they can adapt their lesson plan to accommodate the student’s slower pace.
2. Automated Grading of Exams and Tests
One of the most obvious benefits of artificial intelligence is its ability to do things that humans just aren’t very good at—like grading exams and tests. In fact, there are already a number of companies working on programs that can grade tests automatically.
This is obviously a massive time-saver for teachers and educators, who traditionally spent many hours outside of the classroom grading papers. Now, neural networks with huge banks of data to draw from can accurately grade papers and exams and automatically deliver the results (complete with feedback) to the student.
3. Better Feedback
And speaking of feedback – another way that AI can help students is by providing thorough feedback after an assessment. Instead of having to wait weeks for feedback from their teachers after an exam or test is graded, students can get feedback immediately after taking an exam.
How is it done? Using the same neural networks mentioned above.
AI systems have access to incredible amounts of data, and they use this data to not only determine if an answer is correct or not but also to give a reason why and suggestions to improve the next time round.
You can see examples in chess engines such as Stockfish, a neural network that provides chess players with feedback and suggestions on how they can better improve their chess game in real-time.
4. Universal Access (Especially in Underdeveloped Communities)
In terms of access, artificial intelligence has the potential to make enhanced education widely accessible to anyone in the world with a computer or smartphone. This means that even students in the poorest countries or less favorable socioeconomic situations can benefit from AI-assisted learning and computerized tutors, particularly if they don’t have access to traditional learning institutions.
It also provides an opportunity to give teachers access to computer-powered assistants, thereby enhancing their teaching capabilities.
5. Enhanced Collaborative Learning
AI gives teachers a bevy of tools to bake collaboration into their lessons, such as virtual whiteboards (think Miro) and video-to-video chat services (for example, Zoom).
This means that teachers can present assignments that students can collaborate on regardless of location, allowing for discussion and the sharing of thoughts on the subject being taught.
But AI in education goes beyond simply working together on assignments; it nurtures social development and enables students to learn from each other. This allows children to become more confident and better able to express themselves both in person and online.