With the world changing faster than ever before, it's crucial for us to keep up with the demands that follow, especially when it comes to technology. Although technology may be viewed as a new part of the educational landscape to "digital immigrant" faculty, it is a natural component of the lives of today's students, "digital natives". With more than 85% of teachers believing technology to be an important part of education, integration of this new learning approach is not only beneficial but also necessary for our next generation.
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term coined in 1956 that has now reemerged into our daily lives. AI isn't just a computer system that can perform simple tasks; it goes as beyond as making its' own decisions and being able to hold conversations, just like people. It can be trained to make decisions based on provided experiences, in the form of data, and produce corresponding outcomes, decisions or predictions. So how does AI benefit our students?
AI in Education
In current K-12 classrooms, teachers spend 20-40% of their working hours (approximately 13 hours a week) on activities and tasks that could be automated using existing technology. This not only shows how much focus is taken away from the students, but also how over-worked our current teachers are. This is where AI comes in.
AI is the best mode of delivering content at a specific pace and depth. Especially in education, it can cater to every learner by knowing their individual strengths and weaknesses. While it's nearly impossible for teachers to single-handedly track each and every one of their students' progress, AI can provide that much-needed personalized support and access to students, anytime and anywhere. Remember it's not meant to replace the teachers, but rather, complement.
As mentioned before, teachers today waste many hours on workloads and assignments that AI can easily complete for them. There are many things AI can do when it comes to task automation such as grading tests, evaluating homework, filling out paperwork, making progress reports, organizing materials for lectures, and managing teaching materials. Its' ability to automate different tasks gives teachers "more time to do their primary work of teaching without being bothered with administrative tasks." Additionally, by being able to digitally answer any specific or broad questions, it can also be a 24/7-personalized-tutor without the need for a physical teacher.
With each student facing different challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it's important to recognize a strong need for personalized learning in all classrooms. Personalized learning is all about emphasizing each student's needs and providing unique learning opportunities and techniques accordingly. With AI, this tedious and long process becomes easy and accessible. AI can engage, monitor, and track each student's progress, and deliver specific types of lessons and strategies that can be learned most effectively by that particular student. It can highlight specific topics that the students are weak in, offer courses best suited for improvement, and show teachers a real-time data on how well each student is progressing. With the 16% increase in test scores when technology is included in the classrooms, it's no wonder 78% of K-12 teachers and administrators believe technology positively impacts that classroom and productivity of students.
"If the educational sector hopes to utilize AI's full potential for everyone, the focus should be to continue exposing the next generation to AI early on and utilizing the technology in the classroom."
The use of technology in education will only grow from here, as AI education is predicted to hit market value of $20 billion by 2027. Let's continue to adapt to new changes in education as we strive to meet the needs of tomorrow's learners.