Teachers are spending more time today on non-core activities like maintaining attendance sheets, grading papers, and other endless paperwork. Teachers’ workload is causing serious burnout issues, and they are leaving their jobs because of this. The attrition rate in USA schools is as high as 16%, and in the UK, 4 out of 5 teachers do not like their job.
Emerging technologies like AI offer a glimmer of hope as they can take up most of the teachers’ non-core tasks, allowing them to focus more on the students. In addition, educational institutions understand the potential of AI in the education sector and are exploring the idea of implementing the technology in the domain. Many top education app development companies are exploring the use of AI in various areas of education.
How Artificial Intelligence is changing the education sector?
Teachers are spending a lot of time in non-teaching activities like grading. Although essential, these activities diminish the time that the teachers spend on teaching and reduce the teaching process’s overall output. But then, the latest machines and technologies can help overcome such issues.
Virtual learning environment
AI digitizes textbooks and other learning materials, allowing the students to access them at their convenience from different devices. The virtual learning environment is great for those students who cannot attend physical classes as it allows such students to access virtual classes from anywhere.
The virtual environment also helps foreign students study those courses that are not available in their countries, thus opening up the opportunity of learning to a lot more students than the physical environment.
The AI-enabled virtual learning platforms can also translate the learning material into different languages. This feature ensures that a wide range of students gains access to knowledge irrespective of the language.
Secure online exams
Cheating in examinations is a big problem around the world. Below mentioned are the shocking statistics from a study conducted in the U.S. and the U.K.
AI technology can help education institutions tackle the menace of cheating. Many global universities and schools turn to turnitin to scrutinize the essays submitted by the students. Turnitin uses an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm to find out plagiarism in essays.
Many educational institutes utilize AI systems to supervise examinations. One such tool is Proctortrack. The tool uses sophisticated AI algorithms which detect the facial and other body movements of the students during an exam. The system flags inappropriate behavior and alerts the human supervisor. AI systems can nab students that are consulting with other students or searching for answers online.
Simplifying administrative tasks
The educators spend a lot of time assessing homework, grading exams, taking attendance, and so on. These administrative tasks reduce the amount of time that teachers spend on teaching. AI systems can help automate the tedious and repetitive administrative tasks of academic institutions.
Every year large educational institutions need to process the application forms of thousands of students who want to take admission in their institute. A lot of time is wasted in processing these applications. The AI systems can also help educational institutions automate the admissions process.
Automated Grading System
Researchers at UC Berkeley have built an app known as Gradescope, which helps grade students answer papers. Gradescope is an app that has a vast data set of more than 10 million answers to around 100,000 questions from a vast array of courses. The app helps the teachers in grading assignments at a double pace, and it also has a unique feature that allows multiple teachers to grade papers simultaneously.
Gradescope is relatively successful because it addresses the following challenges.
- Identifying the types of questions
- Distinguishing between various written marks
- Recognizing handwriting
A unique feature of AI is that it groups answers and treats them as batches. The benefit of this feature is that if 50 students have answered a particular question correctly, then the AI will assist the teacher in grading the answer sheets of all the students as correct for that particular answer.
Teachers also use Artificial Intelligence applications to automate the test-taking process. Using a pre-set question bank that the teachers have designed, AI systems can build question papers themselves. The automated test-taking capabilities of AI systems offload a significant amount of burden from the shoulders of teachers.
Many times the students have doubts regarding some concepts taught in the classroom. Teachers and professors cannot be expected to respond to students 24×7. This is where the role of AI comes. AI systems can send auto-replies to questions of students. The AI system can respond to the queries of students based upon the teacher’s previous responses to similar questions. The AI system can also send automated notifications to students regarding the class schedule.
Personalization is the new norm in the digital world today as companies from Netflix to Facebook are using the power of personalized recommendations to drive their revenues upwards.
With digital innovations, the dream of personalized learning is coming to fruition. E-learning platforms like Duolingo use AI to craft immersive and personalized learning pathways for people who want to learn a foreign language. For example, a personalized math app built for the children of Malawi gave encouraging results. Using this math learning app, the children made rapid strides and covered the learning time designed for 12-18 months within a short period of just six weeks.
Good teachers know that every child is unique, and hence they adopt different teaching methods according to the child’s learning style. AI applications help teachers in their endeavor of providing personalized learning to their students by letting them know the strengths and the weaknesses of each child. For instance, some students do better with written assignments to work independently, while others need classroom lectures to understand a concept. Thus, AI can help the teachers in bifurcating students into different learning style groupings.
Brightspace Insights is one such AI software that assists the teachers in identifying at-risk students, allowing them to craft different learning strategies for such students.
Using comprehensive data visualization and predictive analytics tools, Brightspace alerts the teachers about students’ learning issues at the correct time, enabling the teachers to take corrective action.
Smart education content
Innovative education is the concept of building personalized and customizable learning interfaces. The content includes interactive content that adapts itself according to the needs of the learner.
Best E-Learning App Developers like Cram101 and JustThatFacts101 are using the power of AI to make learning fun for the students. Cram101 builds content that is easy to remember by breaking down the content into flashcards, multiple-choice questions, and chapter summaries. While JustThatFacts101 uses an e-learning algorithm to highlight the essential parts of books and create chapter-specific summaries, which are then cataloged and made available on Amazon and other platforms.
Netex learning is another company l in the field of education app development that is leveraging the power of AI in building smart content platforms. The Netex platform provides real-time feedback and offers virtual training and personalized learning to its users.
As content gets smarter, so will the students.
Facial recognition in Education institute
China has already started the use of AI technology in a big way. For example, the face scanners in schools automatically take attendance of the students, which helps save time. Apart from taking attendance, the facial scanners also scan the faces of all the students every 30 seconds or so to ascertain whether the students are paying attention or not.
Apart from helping the students in learning, AI is also helping in keeping them safe. Mass shootings in schools are a big issue in the USA. According to the Gun Violence Archive, the number of mass shootings in the USA was 578 till November 2020, significantly higher than 417 mass shootings reported in 2019.
Schools all over the US are now deploying sophisticated AI-enabled tools like facial recognition software. These tools can scan for weapons and even alert the authorities when someone is suspiciously moving in empty spaces within the school. The AI system can also flag regular offenders like previous students barred from carrying a weapon from entering the school premises.
Emotional well-being of Students
The learning ability of a student is directly correlated with the emotional state of the child while learning. To help the teachers determine the student’s emotional state, the Department of Artificial Intelligence in Spain is building a special robot.
The robot will gauge the student’s emotional well-being by analyzing the student’s keyboard strokes and mouse actions. According to the feedback it receives, it would then take actions like telling encouraging words to the students to increase their motivation towards learning.
The research team behind ARTIE has identified that the robot has helped students stay motivated during learning sessions, thus positively impacting their learning ability.
Less pressure on Student
Many students do not ask questions to the teachers in front of the classroom. This severely impairs their learning ability. With advanced e-learning technologies, the students could easily ask their personal learning assistant questions and instantly explain the problem. This is another way in which AI is helping in boosting the emotional well-being of the students.
24/7 Access to Learning
AI assistants help the students learn 24*7, meaning that they are free to plan their days without being tied down to anyone’s physical place. AI allows the students to build their schedules according to their most productive hours. Many distance learning apps are exploring the concept of an AI tutor/assistant.
Helping children with special needs
Nearly 1.3 billion people in the world live with some form of vision impairment. In addition, around 466 million people are suffering from some form of hearing impairment. AI is helping children with special abilities in learning.
OrCam’s MyEye is a wearable technology equipped with AI that helps the visually impaired read books, recognize faces, and find their favorite products and brands. Learning mobile apps like SpeakIt, DragonDiction, and Read2Go help visually impaired students read, write, and note-taking. The visual calculator is an app that helps visually impaired children in working with math.
Educational institutes have to make special accommodations for students with hearing impairments. Often, to provide a better view to such students, the teachers have to give them unique places, alienating them from the rest of the classroom.
Evoke is an AI-enabled hearing device that differentiates the background noises’ important noises, allowing students with hearing disabilities to focus better. In addition, Evoke’s accompanying mobile app allows the students to select only the sounds they want to hear.
Empower Me is an innovative glass that aims to bridge the understanding gap between the instructor and the students with autism. The glass analyses the emotions on the face of the autistic students and interprets them for the instructors. Autistic children have a hard time interpreting various social signals.
QTrobot is an AI-enabled social robot that teaches social skills to children who have autism.
Safeguards to follow by Education sector
While implementing AI, the educational institutes should take a few safeguards to ensure that the technology achieves its intended purpose.
Assess the impact
The education institute should intend to document and assess AI’s impact and its intended outcomes. In addition, the assessment should contain a thorough risk assessment of the technology’s harm to students’ well-being and rights.
The AI systems affect not only the students but also the teachers, parents, and the admin staff of the educational institute. Therefore, before integrating the system with the educational institute’s systems, all the stakeholders should be taken into confidence.
Examine input data for bias
A significant fear with AI systems is regarding the AI systems’ bias. One needs to understand that the bias in the AI systems comes from biased input data. Hence care should be taken to ensure that the input data is not biased.
Humans in the loop
Always ensure that there is human involvement at some point, as, without it, it would be challenging to maintain context and nuance during the decision-making process.
Address data governance
The AI systems should be governed by strict data deletion, retention, and access control policies, without which the data can fall into unscrupulous hands.
Performance audits should be regularly conducted to ensure that the system is working as intended. Such audits help build strategies and better the educational system.
There should be a constant communication flow between the educational institute and the stakeholders to ensure that the AI system gets essential feedback.
No system is perfect, and the same is true with AI systems. There should be a robust complaint redressal system to ensure that whenever the AI makes a mistake, the students and others affected gets a chance to highlight the same.
Abiding by the law
While implementing AI systems, educational institutions should consider that the AI system is compliant with the prevailing laws.
Preparing our future workforce
The future where e-learning technologies will replace human teachers is still far away, but Artificial Intelligence along with education app development will still play a vital role in future classrooms.
AI with education apps will work in tandem with teachers to ensure that students learn in a faster and better way. For example, AI helps teachers take attendance, ensuring that students are paying attention in the class, creating intelligent content, and making education more accessible to students with special needs.
With the help of AI-enabled education app development, modern-day teachers can now guide the students towards a better tomorrow.