The educational technology sector has begun to adopt AI-powered solutions, but schools and colleges were slow to fully embrace the technologies until the pandemic forced the hands of educators. Suddenly they realized: it was time to leverage the power of AI.
There are several clear benefits for students and educators to utilizing AI education technology:
- Personalized learning programs adapted to each student’s ability and goals
- On-demand tutoring via AI chatbots and software-driven tutors
- Automation that can cut through bureaucratic red tape — for example, automated chatbots that can answer frequently asked questions
- 24/7 access to learning from anywhere
- Time-management benefits for teachers, due to smart automation of tedious, time-consuming tasks, like record-keeping and grading
Below are listed some of the leading ways the education sector is using AI.
For more information, also see: What is AI?
Benefits of AI Use in Education
- More Inclusive Learning
- Quick Grade and Feedback
- New Intelligent Tools
- Prepare for Future Careers
More Inclusive Learning
Not every student learns the same way. Teaching methods should be focused on the student, and artificial intelligence can help schools make that possible.
With the ability to include all students and extend personalized learning, students can learn and master topics in a way they can understand. Language can also be taught in a more healthy way, and “[AI] can help non-native speakers to improve their language skills through interactive conversations,” says Melissa Loble, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Instructure.
With AI, students can understand and retain information in a way they can master and memorize what they need to succeed.
Quick Grade and Feedback
Teachers spend many hours grading students’ work, taking away time to create other lesson plans to directly benefit students.
With new AI technology, grading and giving feedback is able to happen with teachers’ and schools’ approval. Automating the task is extremely beneficial for teachers, schools, and students who will be able to see what they do not understand in their lessons.
New Intelligent Tool
AI is growing at a rapid rate in many school situations were it is clearly needed. While some are worried about AI, others have decided to use the tool in the classroom.
“AI should be a tool to use in the classroom the same as a calculator: it helps get to the endpoint but doesn’t get us there without knowing what buttons to push,” says Jenn Breisacher, CEO of Student-Centered World, “Student-led, inquiry-based, and hands-on assignments need to become the norm not only because of AI technology that will only get wiser from here but also because that is what is sticking with Generation Z and Generation Alpha.”
Making AI a tool in the classroom and beyond can extend practices in technology and other educational situations.
Prepare for Future Careers
Education leads to careers in many fields. From the medical industry to commercial trucking companies, AI can be used for both training and company practices.
“AI can now create realistic diagnostic images, such as X-rays or CT scans, with interesting variations and ‘conditions’ included in them. These images can provide a wide range of challenging cases for medical students to learn from without compromising patient privacy,” says Bob Rogers, CEO of Oii.
Melissa Loble, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Instructure agrees, “These tools are capable of generating marketing content, populating legal applications, and enabling non-designers to create artwork that meets their needs.” Furthermore, “These tools will only become more advanced and ubiquitous in the near future.”
For more information, also see: AI and Deep Learning
Examples of AI in Education
The Gradescope platform speeds up the grading process, benefiting both teachers and students.
Students upload assignments to the platform, and Gradescope sorts and groups answers and assigns a grade. The application of AI decreases the time educators spend grading by 70% or more, according to the company.
The platform delivers a detailed analysis of student performance that can pinpoint individualized tutoring and teaching needs.
2. Content Technologies, Inc. (CTI)
CTI is a prominent AI research and development company that focuses on customized education content by applying deep learning AI techniques.
CTI’s software can analyze course materials, textbooks, syllabi, and other resources to create textbooks, study guides, and multiple-choice tests.
The company is also using AI to power tools like Cram101 and JustTheFacts101. Cram101 synthesizes textbooks into nuggets of information, generating complete study guides with summaries, practice tests, and flashcards. JustTheFacts101 is a tool that can highlight the most important information from virtual textbooks to create high-level chapter summaries.
Brainly is an online space that offers a supportive message board setting for peer-to-peer learning and homework help — the site’s motto is, “For students. By students.”
Students can ask questions, find study partners, and learn from one another collaboratively. While Brainly does rely on human moderators to verify questions and answers, the platform also applies machine learning (ML) algorithms that can automatically filter spam and low-quality content, like incorrect answers, freeing up moderator time.
In a partnership with Rutgers University, Brainly also developed a machine learning approach that matches students based on skill sets. For example, a student who has correctly answered advanced algebra questions may be matched with a student who needs additional help with algebra assignments.
4. Thinkster Math
Thinkster Math applies machine learning and AI to analyze student achievement on math problems.
As students solve problems through the app, it tracks each step and then delivers progress reports about how students handled various skills, like long division or multiplication.
Thinkster Math is used in classrooms and as an online tool that matches math tutors to students to create personalized learning programs based on student strengths and challenges.
Duolingo is aimed at a broader audience than many other edtech tools.
The language-learning app uses AI to help anyone progressively build foreign language skills. As language learners work through various mini-quizzes and other testing tools, Duolingo adapts and evolves as their skill levels increase.
Duolingo reports it currently has 120 million users learning 19 distinct languages through the app.
For more AI companies: 100 Top Artificial Intelligence (AI) Companies
Bottom Line: AI and Education
AI is beneficial for modern education as technology and tools grow. Benefits include more personalized learning, time-management benefits for teachers, intelligent new tools, and preparation for future jobs.
The educational technology sector will include even more AI-powered solutions and benefits education as it grows as a useful tool.
For more information, also see: AI Software and Tools