Much has been written about how AI might impact on economies, the work place and employment, along with its impact on robotics and the ethical issues it raises. .Very little though, so far, on its potential impact on education-on teaching and learning. This is about to change.
Easing Administrative Workload
Many of the routine form filling and administrative tasks that Teachers have are currently delegated to Teaching Assistants. Teachers often complain about their administrative workload, this could be reduced significantly through AI. Think recordkeeping, tracking attendance, calculating grades basic marking etc
AI algorithms that update themselves can personalise learning and deliver content that is suited to the students individual needs and pace of learning. Offering personalised, adaptive learning platforms has huge potential . Learners can gain more agency, have more choice and be partners in developing their own learning with their teachers , matching their personal preferences and ambitions to a more tailored education offer with a more flexible curriculum –away with the one size fits all paradigm!
Students will be able to study where they want, when they want and using whatever platform they want. This is likely to mean that tablets and mobile phones will become the main delivery methods. Traditional physical classrooms and lecture halls may be consigned to history or used only periodically. Its about connecting devices over the internet and letting them talk to us, as well as each other easing communications between teacher and pupil, between teacher and parents and between peers.
AI can ensure that from Early Years, through the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary phases of Education and even beyond (Lifelong Learning) each student has a personal virtual tutor monitoring performance data, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. Flagging up sources of information and expert support ,alerting teachers to problems and providing answers to questions, on tap.
AI can continuously check that students are learning what they are taught and give real time feedback to teachers , so that they can work with their students to ensure learning is embedded, and to adapt their teaching techniques and pedagogy to help improve student outcomes.
Already there have been significant advances in testing and assessment using technology. AI may ensure that we go beyond using technology to mark multiple choice questions to more complex tasks in evaluation and assessment providing greater consistency and speed.
Improve Flipped Learning
This is when instructional content, often online, is delivered outside of the classroom. For example, students watch online lectures, then collaborate in online discussions, carry out further research on their own ,or with others , then follow it up in the classroom with the guidance of a teacher, This helps to clarify concepts and embed learning. This seems cut out for AI support.
Physical and Mental Health
Already many young people use intelligent wristbands to monitor their physical condition. It is not such a big leap to have wristbands that monitor your overall health, and stress levels, flagging up mental health issues too. Students physiological and psychological data will be monitored, evaluated highlighted and shared to support well-being.
Highlighting Research and Resources
Both for teachers and students AI can give immediate access to the most up to date research to aid knowledge acquisition and learning but also aid teachers in their CPD and improving their pedagogy.
Flexibility in the Curriculum
Many students are denied access to subjects in the curriculum because their schools doesn’t deliver it. Through AI curriculum options could be massively extended, and tailored to individuals needs, with expertise and resources shared virtually across the system . High ability students could be offered the challenge and stretch they too rarely get in mainstream state schools.
Presentation of Information
In printed text, content and display are static, digital content can be put over in countless ways and in multiple forms. The possibilities and the technologies of new audio visual and immersive styles of learning are already there . Virtual Reality Headsets can already mean you can walk through the streets of Ancient Rome or explore the depths of the ocean . Imagine a VR Headset putting a student in a classroom on the far side of the world .
AI might help students to make informed choices about qualifications and options open to them including routes into the next phase of education training and employment, matching their abilities and interests with viable career options (with expert human professional advice supporting this process)
Inclusion and SEN
Imagine a world in which the most disadvantaged pupils and those with special needs have easy access, under expert direction to the support networks and personalised teaching and resources they need to help maximise their potential.
Impact on Teachers
Teachers must be life-long learners. ITT is the beginning of this process. Society needs to be as concerned with the education of its teachers as it is with the education of its students. AI can support individual teachers development through sourcing data, new research and evidence , identifying best practice, flagging up events, conferences, courses workshops and seminars that aid their professional development and to collaborate with other teachers through support networks. We can embrace a new paradigm: the networked teacher. AI does not mean the end of the teacher. Teachers will have to adapt and their training and role will change but they will still be a vital part of education. Armand Doucet has said that ‘ Without great pedagogy, technology integration is worthless. Passion is what engages and empowers students. Schools have timetables; learning does not.
These are just some of the areas where AI can help support better teaching and learning and break the ‘one size fits all’ paradigm.
Watch out for
The Fourth Education Revolution
How Artificial intelligence is changing the face of education- Sir Anthony Seldon, with
Oladimeji Abidoye -University of Buckingham Press-due for Publication May 2018
Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Standing at the Precipice
By Armand Doucet, Jelmer Evers, Elisa Guerra, Dr Nadia Lopez, Michael Soskil, Koen Timmers
Foreword by Klaus Schwab Afterword by Andreas Schleicher
© 2018 – Routledge