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AI and Education: What will be the impact of Data, AI and Machine Learning?

Find out how companies like Querium, Microsoft, Pearson, Amazon AWS and Zenitech are transforming the way education is delivered, and improving efficiencies for educational institutions. [Text Wrapping Break] 

AI and its associated technologies, including deep learning and natural learning processing (NLP), are reshaping the educational sector. The global artificial intelligence in education sector market is predicted to grow extensively, reaching USD 17.83 Billion by 2027.  

AI can help address multiple challenges in education. For example, it can help teachers to deliver differentiated learning to the specific needs of students of varying abilities. Customised AI-based tools can also enable teachers to focus on the teaching process itself - rather than spending excessive time on administrative tasks.  

AI is an aid to teachers - not a replacement for them 

AI in education doesn’t mean replacing teachers with robots, it’s rather about empowering teachers with new tools. In this post we’ll look at some of the ways AI is changing the education system and providing improved solutions for teachers and learners:  

Making admin simpler 

AI can streamline routine tasks, for example examination grading and homework assessment. There’s currently widely available technology to grade multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. As the technology progresses, it’s predicted that AI will be used increasingly to tackle more complex written answers.  

Automating tasks like these can reduce the pressure on teachers, and quickly allow them to get an accurate view of a student’s progress. In fact, rising demand for real-time AI driven learner progress, monitoring and analysis has been a primary factor driving the growth in AI in education.  

AI can streamline student recruitment and admissions 

AI can also be used to streamline admission and enrollment procedures. Enrollment analytics platforms can help colleges and universities to determine which students to reach out to, as well as identify which aspects of campus life they are most likely to be interested in. AI can track their interactions with the educational institution’s website, social media and email messages.  

In this way machine learning algorithms can help higher education establishments market themselves to potential students.  

When it comes to assessing students for admissions AI can also help. During the recent pandemic, for example, some UK universities used an algorithm based technology (Zenitech) to assess students who hadn’t been able to take exams, for entrance to university.  

Smarter online content 

The recent pandemic has meant that schools have had to make their online curriculums available to students via digital platforms, with the emphasis on making materials more interactive. AI-based learning tools including eBooks, video and audio are being widely used in educational plans and can be organised according to student preferences.  

Personalised learning 

AI has the potential to tailor education accurately to students of all abilities and enable them to reach their full potential. AI can help teachers create personalised learning plans, via smart tutoring systems, with content that’s available via any device and at any location.  

Querium is a company that offers customised STEM courses for students, using AI software that can analyse students’ answers and the time taken to complete lessons. This can offer  teachers valuable insights into performance.  

Voice assistants 

Interactive voice assistants, for example Amazon’s Alexa, can help students use learning materials even in the absence of a teacher.  

Virtual tutors 

AI powered tutoring systems are available to help students with the basics of mathematics, writing and other subjects. AI teaching assistants can also provide students with answers to common queries. Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) can simulate one-to-one teaching and deliver learning activities best suited to a learner’s cognitive abilities. Aida, for example, is Pearson’s AI powered mobile calculus tutor, used to recognise and analyse a student’s handwriting and provide step by step feedback on what is correct or incorrect.  

As an example of how effective these virtual educational assistants can be:  

At Georgia Institute of Technology students were not aware that a teaching assistant ‘Jill Watson’ wasn’t a real person. Using deep learning technology the virtual assistant managed to answer 97% of questions successfully - far more than a real assistant had ever managed to do. 

Globalised learning 

Technology can connect people at multiple locations, allowing students and teachers to collaborate in real-time. AI can quickly match content to a student’s ethnicity and culture, with real-time language translations, and provide automatic subtitles, allowing individuals to communicate online without borders. Microsoft’s Presentation Translator, for example, is a free plug-in for PowerPoint that creates subtitles in real-time.  

Efficient management 

AI can help to streamline the processes behind running an educational institution. There are AI-based tools for designing and planning classrooms, and tools that can help schools to more effectively allocate their resources to reduce expenses.  

Finally: 

“Technology will not replace teachers. Teachers who use technology will probably replace teachers that do not.” Ray Clifford. 

Robots cannot replace teachers, however it’s important that teachers are versed in aspects of AI so they can learn how it can be best implemented in their work. Firebrand Training provides a comprehensive range of courses in the area of AI and machine learning. To find out more about our courses or to have a chat about how our courses could help empower your employees, drop us an email at info@firebrandtraining.co.uk - or call us on 080 80 800 888.