As America’s youth becomes more accustomed to spending significant portions of their day looking at screens, educators must adapt.
What does AI in a classroom look like?
While we’ve been studying the practical applications of AI for a long time, the global response to COVID-19 saw a dramatic acceleration of the process.
The global medical emergency brought with it many new challenges and considerations for educators to grapple with. Most of all, how to keep their students safe without sacrificing the quality of their education.
How to use AI in the classroom
Differentiated instruction refers to the idea that students receive a higher quality of education when we tailor lessons to their specific needs and interests.
AI can modify a lesson to meet a student’s specific learning goals. It can linger on more difficult topics or offer pop-ups throughout the lesson that aid or direct their learning.
AI-assisted classroom technologies allow parents to maintain a more current and transparent view of their student’s progress.
Online classroom management programs like InfiniteCampus can provide real-time updates to parents, notifying them of upcoming due dates for their child’s assignments or sharing recent grade reports.
One of the most promising fields of study for AI integration is language and communication. AI programs have become increasingly adept at translating languages in real-time, transcribing the output into either text or text-to-speech.
The ability to copy down and translate with such speed and accuracy not only benefits students who speak another language but those with auditory or visual impairments as well.
AI technology can readily transform traditional study techniques into “smart” study programs. They can combine research notes, summaries, online media, lectures, and even practice tests into one complete test prep package.
Some AI programs closely resemble video games. They may use similar mechanics such as reward systems and stat cataloging to motivate students.
Safety and security
AI software can be integrated into existing systems to make the classroom more secure for pupils and teachers.
AI has been used in coordination with campus security monitoring to detect guns and other illicit items on campus before they become an issue.
AI in education will look different in 5 years
While AI may still have its detractors and skeptics now, the technology isn’t going away. Those working to improve AI feel confident that the presence of such groundbreaking technology will only become more prevalent in schools over the next 5-10 years.
Researchers believe the presence of AI-assisted teaching programs will see a surge in use across the United States, especially as more and more institutions settle into and expand their hybrid learning programs.
Additionally, virtual reality AI will give at-home students the chance to connect with their in-person classmates, and vice versa. This may create a more streamlined and homogenous remote classroom experience.
Potential benefits of AI in education
As the study of AI continues to grow and the field ripens, the implications these new technologies have on the landscape of education are enormous.
It’s practically impossible to imagine a future where AI doesn’t come into use somewhere in the classroom, simply because the potential benefits are too enticing to ignore.
With AI teaching assistants, virtual reality-integrated classrooms, and gamified lessons, the opportunity to develop bespoke instructions for individual students becomes a primary focus for educators.
Instructors are well aware of just how impactful differentiated instruction is for students with unique learning needs. AI is poised to enable the creation of unique, one-on-one lesson plans for students – without putting extra strain on the teacher’s time and resources.
This change promises to open up learning to a whole generation of students who may not otherwise find themselves engaged with the material.
AI has already seen widespread use for helping catalog and grade student work. Right now, AI programs can already discern whether or not a paper is plagiarized or written with an AI program such as ChatGPT.
These programs can also help with bulk grading, dramatically reducing the amount of time an educator has to spend reviewing assignments. As these learning models grow in scope and ability, they will continue to be applied to increasingly nuanced and complex projects.
An AI tutor can supplement a student’s education in several pragmatic ways. Virtual learning assistants can help students develop flashcards, mock exams, and other practice activities. Learning models with text-to-speech or speech-to-text generation can aid in practicing new languages, or be used to provide examples and study phrases.
These technologies can even be used alongside traditional tutors to create a hybrid study session, giving students access to their tutor’s instruction no matter where they are.
History of AI in education
The merits of AI in the field of education have been talked about and debated ever since the creation of the Turing Test in 1950. The prospect of using “machine intelligence” to aid human development was once far more abstract and enigmatic than it is today.
However, we would not be currently enjoying advancements without the curiosity and driven motivation of these educational professionals.
The 1960s saw the first integration of computer-assisted AI into education with the development of PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) by the University of Illinois.
In the six decades following this invention, AI would develop dramatically in scope and ability – until we reach the programs we are familiar with today.
AI in higher education
As is true of most technologies, AI programs often see the most use inside institutions dedicated to higher learning.
For decades, AI was only used in niche fields of study – often IT or engineering – and was relegated to a select few universities that were leading the way for development in the field.
In 2008, the very first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was offered, providing prospective students from all over the world access to a standardized level of education. These programs would grow and develop into sites like Khan Academy and can be seen as a crucial development in the “democratization” of education.
Now, the advent of ChatGPT has similarly disrupted the field of education, prompting new discourse about the abilities of AI learning modules and what place they have in the field of education.
Want to know more about AI in education? Promethean can help.
Whether you have a fondness for the programs or remain skeptical of their abilities, it’s a fact that AI is here to stay. At Promethean, we welcome technologically progressive changes in the classroom, and we’re proud to be among the leaders in AI for education.