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From Blackboards to Chatbots: AI as a Teaching Ally

AI has revolutionized various industries—from AI-driven diagnostics and personalized medicine in healthcare to algorithmic trading and fraud detection in finance, from enhancing trend forecasting and personalized shopping in fashion to streamlining scriptwriting and audience engagement analytics in the film industry. Furthermore, AI is also transforming education by reshaping the teaching-learning process, automating administrative tasks, offering real-time feedback, and personalizing learning. This creates a more efficient, effective, and engaging educational environment. As the fourth industrial revolution focuses on transforming the future of education through advanced technology, adopting AI is crucial to ensure learners are well-equipped to thrive.


The role and benefits of AI in education


Personalization: 

"The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching has been to treat all children as if they were variants of the same individual and thus to feel justified in teaching them all the same subjects in the same way" - Howard Gardner.


The fundamental flaw in the traditional education system is its "one size fits all" approach that fails to recognize individual potential, interests, skills, and learning needs. Thus, it becomes imperative that the system personalizes learning to allow learners to thrive in their own way. That said, personalization can be time-intensive for a teacher, requiring significant effort to create personalized lessons and assessments. It also becomes challenging to manage a classroom with different learning paths.


To cater to individual needs and styles, AI, as a teaching partner, brings personalized learning experiences, providing tailored lesson plans that adjust the difficulty level, pace, and sequencing of content to match the student’s abilities and progress.


MagicSchool, one such AI app, with its intuitive interface, offers a range of features designed to facilitate skill development among students. It is also easy to use, making it accessible for teachers to make learning more efficient. The app provides personalized learning paths, interactive exercises, and instant feedback, allowing students to progress at their own pace. It supports various subjects, enhancing skills in Mathematics, Science, Language, Arts, and more. AI technologies like chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT and Gemini) and virtual assistants provide interactive experiences and real-time feedback. 


AI is transforming data analysis in education by analyzing vast amounts of test, grade, and engagement data to create comprehensive learner profiles. Gradescope by Turnitin, an AI-powered grading platform, for instance, analyzes vast amounts of data, creating comprehensive learner profiles that help teachers identify the strengths and weaknesses of students and modify their teaching strategies accordingly.


Inclusion: 


UNESCO's Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Inclusion in education ensures that all students, regardless of their physical, cognitive, or socio-economic challenges, have access to learning opportunities.  It is important to identify and remove the barriers in a learning environment to make it accessible for all. Teachers must provide a welcoming and supportive environment for all students, but challenges like lack of resources, inefficient training, time constraints, and collaboration difficulties can arise.


When students with limited English proficiency joined my chemistry class, the language barrier made teaching complex scientific concepts and terminologies challenging. With the support of co-teachers, I used AI tools like Google Translate and language-to-text applications to bridge this gap. Google Translate uses machine learning algorithms and neural networks to analyze and translate text, improving accuracy and fluency over time. It processes spoken language, handwriting, and images, making it versatile for real-time translation. These tools have enabled students to translate both general language and scientific terminology, enhancing their comprehension and confidence. Additionally, AI tools also assist students in writing research papers, improving their academic performance and fostering a sense of accomplishment and integration into the classroom.


During an interview with The Verge in 2016, Satya Nadella made a statement where he discusses that it is not about Human intelligence vs. artificial intelligence rather AI has the potential to enhance human intelligence rather than replace it.


In an interview with The Verge, Satya Nadella stated that AI enhances human intelligence rather than replacing it. In a similar vein, an international school in Pune has adopted AI as a collaborative partner using a Collaborative Learning Model that integrates human and artificial intelligence in content delivery and assessment. 


This approach ensures that lesson plans are tailored lessons to meet diverse student needs while leveraging AI to enhance the learning experience. The formative assessments conducted at the end of each lesson provide instant feedback on students' achievement levels, allowing teachers to promptly address any learning gaps. The application offers detailed data analysis of these assessments, helping educators understand performance trends. Furthermore, plans are also in place to upgrade the app to monitor engagement by analyzing the facial expressions of students, improving responsive learning environments.


What can teachers do? 


Research: Stay updated with the latest developments in AI and its applications by subscribing to educational blogs and webinars. Teachers can use research tools for adaptive learning and assessment.

Networking: Join professional networks through social media. Share ideas, experiences, and strategies. Collaboration improves student learning and professional growth.

Professional development: Enrol in courses like Coursera and edX, specifically designed for teachers. Participate in workshops focusing on AI integration in education.

Implementation: Be confident in implementing AI in your teaching practice. Start small and gradually align with your curriculum goals. Continuously monitor and adjust strategies based on student feedback.


AI is in the early stages of transforming education, but its potential is enormous. Providing students with AI education can help close opportunity gaps and support lifelong learning, enhancing personal and professional growth and adaptability in a changing world. David Geurin's quote, "Technology will not replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational," underscores the pivotal role of teachers in leveraging technology to create more effective, engaging, and personalized education systems.


The integration of AI and technology in education is not about replacing teachers with AI but about empowering teachers to create richer, more meaningful learning experiences. By upskilling and embracing these tools, teachers can ensure they remain at the forefront of educational innovation, providing their students with the best possible foundation for the future. Let's embrace this transformation together, for the benefit of our students and the future of education.


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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Excellent analysis and well explained in simple language

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Arun Iyer
Arun Iyer
Jul 05
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Excellent, well-rounded opinion on the evolution of AI and its potential on education.

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