How can schools continue to prepare students for the future in the changing educational landscape?

Impact of AI Education and the multiple possibilities that it offers are putting pressure on educational leaders to reformulate the school curriculum and the channels to deliver it.

 

The landscape for education has been changed rapidly in the last few years; demographic changes affecting the makeup of families, multiple school options available to children, wealth disparities, the global Economy demanding new skills from workers and continued breakthrough in technology are some of the factors impacting education.Given these changes, how can schools continue to prepare students for the future? In a world where information is readily available online, how can schools continue to be relevant?

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (A.I) has exacerbated the need to have these conversations. Its impact on Education and the multiple possibilities that it offers are putting pressure on educational leaders to reformulate the school curriculum and the channels to deliver it. The rapid advances in technology in recent decades have already brought about substantial changes in education.

Opening up new opportunities to teach and learn anywhere anytime and providing new tools and methods to improve learning outcomes and support innovative teaching and learning.

Gone are the days of library visits to photocopy a few pages from an Encyclopedia for a school project, thanks to a generation that has grown up with technology at their fingertips, schools children and even kindergartners, live in a world where education has changed and where the internet is their primary source of entertainment and information.

Chalkboards-talk and Photostats in the classrooms are also a thing of the past, with the availability of smart technologies such as interactive chat boards, IT suites and tablet-based learning becoming more and more commonplace in schools. It is inevitable –as technology continue to evolve and develop, so too will the way we learn. The rapid advancement of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics has impacted all industries including education.

AI is increasingly used in education and learning contexts. The collision of three areas- data, computation and education is set to have far reaching consequences, raising fundamental questions: what is taught and how it is taught?

A recent report from IBM, Burning Glass and Business Higher Education Forum shows that the number of jobs opportunities for data and analysis skills increases by 364,000 to 2, 72,000 in 2020.That means that the gap between supply and demand of people with AI skills is growing, with one report showing a worldwide base of 300,000 AI professionals but with millions of opportunities available and this gap is resulting in even higher salaries for those in this field. If we hope to utilize AI’s full potential for everyone, our focus should be exposing the next generation to AI early on and utilizing AI in the classrooms.

Artificial Intelligence in education is an important if at times, disturbing, and contribution to the debate on Ai and provide detailed analysis on how it may affect the way teachers and students engage in education. AI is expected to grow by 47.5% from 2017 to 2021 in the American Education market, according to the latest AI market in the US Education sector report.AI of this is good news for teachers as AI can be a great ally to a teacher.

However some educators fear that advance of AI and that it might replace the role of teacher altogether. Teachers jobs are not at risk of being replaced by robots-while AI programs can teach literacy or Math’s, the more complex impartation of social and emotional skills will always remain in the domain of human. As AI is computer based, it can be connected to different classrooms all over the world. AI brings a lot of opportunities to share knowledge all over the world. Using AI solutions, students can study various courses and training programs. There are a lot of platforms with interactive learning materials from the best tutors.

AI also provides opportunities for students who speak different languages or having visual or hearing problems. AI is being applied successfully in several educational instances and improves learning and students’ development as well as the Educators performance. A child’s emotional state affects how well or poorly they are able to focus, engage and stay motivated to learn using a robot called ARTIE (Affective Robot Tutor Integrated Environment) can identify the emotional state of student through keyboard strokes and mouse action and then by running an algorithm that chooses the most appropriate intervention required give the student personalized Educational support. These ranges from encouraging words to gestures or attempts to increase the students’ interest and motivation towards a certain learning goal.

AI can identify the gaps in a teacher’s presentation and educational material. The teacher is alerted by the system when a large number of students submit an incorrect answer to a homework assignment. The teacher can then provide hints to the correct answer for future conceptual foundation of learning for that topic going forward. Nao is a humanoid robot that talks, moves and teaches children from literacy to computer programing. Nao engages children in learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and provides a fun coding lab for students.

This introduction to basic coding allows students to instruct the robot to perform certain things such as hand gestures, emotional movements and even choreographed dances. This way, students gets the opportunity to become familiar with telling a robot to do the task they want to be done and better prepares them to apply and train AI in the future.Not only this,voice assistants like Amazon Alexa; Apple Siri; Google Home,allow interacting with various learning materials without communication with teacher.These educational applications harness the power of AI to improve learning in students of all ages-from primary school through to college and empower both learner and teacher with more avenues for reaching their educational goals.

AI tutors could allow for students to get extra one-on-one help. This could also reduce extra anxiety and stress for some students that may be caused by tutor labs or human tutors. In future, classrooms ambient informatics can play a beneficial role.

Ambient informatics is the idea that information is everywhere in the environment and that technologies automatically adjust to your personal preferences. Study devices could be able to create lessons, problems and game to tailor to the specific student’s needs and give immediate feedback.

Thus advantages of AI in education for students are: education at any time;various options due to the students needs;virtual mentor etc.While for teachers and schools are: opportunity to see weakness; better engagement; curriculum automatic creating; opportunity to find a good teacher etc. But AI can also create disadvantageous environment with revenge effects, if technology is inhibiting society from moving forward and causing negative, unintended effects on society. For example, extended use of technology may hinder student’s ability to focus and stay on task instead of helping them to learn and grow. Also AI has been known to lead to the loss of both human agency and simultaneity.

First Published:Aug. 11, 2020, 1:03 p.m.