The New Dynamic Duo: Artificial Intelligence and Education
There are a lot of things that may be questioned in the education industry. Teachers and students are stressed, curriculums are archaic and do not change with the times, and there is still the matter of equality and access to education. All may seem lost, but with the revolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the industry may not be taking a turn for the worse; the change we need in the education sector may be here after all.
Although AI is still emerging, there has been a major shift in the education sector, with AI programs causing the rise of personalized learning, increasing student engagement, and improving academic results. The potential of AI to deliver individualized learning experiences is a major advantage for education.
Thanks to AI-powered algorithms, education systems can examine a ton of data about learning preferences of students, their areas of strength, and their shortcomings. This allows instructors modify their lesson plans and material to fit the unique requirements of each student. Personalized learning in online courses could be substantially enhanced using AI technologies. Online learning platforms may obtain data on students' skills, weaknesses, preferences, and progress by utilizing AI algorithms and data analysis. In alignment with the unique needs of every student, this enables the creation of personalized educational pathways and content recommendations. To assist students monitor their progress and highlight areas for development, AI-powered solutions can offer adaptive tests and real-time feedback. When applied responsibly, AI has the potential to completely transform personalized learning experiences by offering tailored help on a massive scale. Better academic achievement often follows from allowing students to learn at their own pace and receiving specialized guidance.
AI has also changed the way students connect with the classroom by providing immersive and interactive learning environments. Students can investigate difficult ideas through simulations and visual representations thanks to AI-powered virtual reality technology. Learning becomes more pleasurable and memorable as a result, in addition to improving their understanding of concepts. Additionally, it has increased accessibility to education by removing obstacles like physical or language limitations. AI-powered language translation solutions allow students with diverse linguistic roots to access educational resources in their native languages. Furthermore, AI-powered assistive technologies enable students with disabilities to overcome obstacles in engaging in class activities and obtaining information.
AI is not only beneficial to the students but also the teachers as well. Studies have shown that teachers no longer want to teach due to stress and burnout. AI teaching assistants grade student papers and also formulate materials to aid the teaching of students. Teachers are able to design individualized lesson plans and assessments that are in line with each student's particular strengths and weaknesses through analyzing student performance and preference data. Online learning tasks can be automated to improve course administration efficiency, decrease human labor, and expedite administrative procedures. Routine processes like assigning grades, creating customized suggestions, and organizing course materials can be automated by integrating AI technologies into eLearning platforms. This allows teachers to devote more of their time to the more engaging and strategic parts of teaching, such as guiding discussions and giving students feedback on time. AI-powered solutions can also create reports that assist in pinpointing areas for improvement and automatically monitor the progress of learners.
Artificial intelligence (AI) grading systems are capable of analyzing a wide range of student work, including essays and quizzes, and may offer in-depth analysis on both strong and weak points. These tools help educators save a lot of time and money by automating the grading process. AI scoring systems can also assist students in identifying their strengths and weaknesses so they can concentrate on areas that need improvement.
However, there a few fears and setbacks that come with this emergence;
Lack of social skills that may arise in students: AI programs are tailored to meet the specific study needs of students, they tend to rely heavily on themselves and AI rather than communicating with teachers and other students.
Over-reliance on AI tools: AI tools are programmed to meet specific needs, this includes writing, reading and summary, and so on. An example of AI students tend to rely on are ChatGPT, AI Essay Writer, Quillbot and so on. Students rely heavily on these tools for assignments and projects and other classroom engagements and invest little time studying and doing research. It may encourage procrastination and laziness amongst students, seeing as AI can help them with assignments at the last minute.
Bias that comes with AI models: One thing human beings have over AI tools is the willingness to have an open mind and change their opinions. Most of the time, albeit its intelligence, AI tools tend to lean towards one direction. For instance, if you’re asking about religion, AI will tend to favor one religion over another.
The digital divide: Digital inequality still exists globally, and this may only be exacerbated by the emergence of artificial intelligence. There are many students, mainly in the Global South, who do not have access to digital tools, such as computers, the internet and information, and AI programs may just cause a second digital divide.
Although AI has a lot of potential for teaching, ethical issues must be addressed. Attention is needed in three key areas: data privacy, bias in algorithms, and fair access to resources enabled by artificial intelligence. To guarantee appropriate AI implementation in education, transparency, accountability, and continuing ethical conversations are essential.
Regardless of the negative setbacks, it is still too early to tell where this advancement is taking the world, especially the education industry, but one thing is for sure, Artificial Intelligence has revolutionized the education system and is changing it for the better.
Governments can invest more in digital technologies and AI tools in their education systems. Partnerships with the IT industry can also help schools and government provide necessary tools and resources needed to incorporate AI technologies into lectures. Opportunities for internships and apprenticeships in the IT industry can also be incorporated to help students that want to advance into a career in AI and machine-learning.
Education sectors should invest in trainings for staff and students in AI technologies. With this emerging age, the United Nations and its bodies, such as UNESCO, have called on governments to implement trainings in schools for both teachers and students to ensure the inclusion of a human-centered approach to using Generative AI in education. Schools can incorporate AI centered courses into the curriculum and also by adding them to courses, especially science courses such as Math and Computer Science. The European Union has also worked with countries to implement AI courses.
Read about the advantages and disadvantages of AI
Read more about Generative AI in schools
Read this article by Alexandra Robbins, Teachers Aren't Burnt Out. They Are Being Set Up To Fail
WRITTEN BY Esther Teidou Ogriki.
Ogriki Esther Teidou is a reader, writer, artist, and a young feminist who is very passionate about equality and seeks to explore ways, especially through art, to emphasize the strength of women and a healthy partnership between men and women in order to make positive changes in society. When she's not worrying about the backward mindset of Nigerian society, she spends her time watching K-dramas and enjoying the company of her friends and family.
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs.
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