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Future of AI in Education

What if AI could scale personalized education?

Editor’s Note: This is Part Three in a Three-Part Series.

Part 1 & Part 2

By Edan Shahar

There are a lot of “what ifs” in education technology. What if we could connect students to qualified tutors all over the world? What if a tool existed that knew exactly where a student’s confusion stemmed from and perfectly illuminated the concept?

girl readingFor the purpose of this series on AI in education, let’s ask the million-dollar question: what if AI could scale personalized education?

The need for personalized education as well as the major challenges to its success are the subject of intense debate and extensive research by some of the top education institutions in the world.

Today’s classroom forces teachers to aim for the middle of the class, which invariably means the majority of students do not get exactly what they need. What if instead, we could have a classroom of 40 students, each being taught a slightly different version of the same course, tailored to their specific strengths and weaknesses, while still empowering the students to collaborate?

The challenge in bringing AI into the classroom is creating a seamless collaboration between teacher and technology so that the teacher’s job becomes easier rather than more difficult. Imagine the ultimate teaching assistant, one who works with every student individually, determining their exact needs and guiding them as they work independently, as well as offering insights and recommendations for the entire class.

abstract landscapeSuddenly, the teacher is able to spend her time most effectively. Rather than being bogged down with scoring tests and creating practice sets, teachers can focus on inspiring their students through dynamic lessons. Teachers are uniquely able to build strong relationships with their students, help them overcome challenges, build their curiosity, and engage them in an ongoing educational dialogue.

In the not-too-distant future, more and more teachers will partner with AI-powered platforms that help them see the impact of their classes with up-to-the-second feedback, show them how to customize lessons to assess specific skill or knowledge areas, and teach more students with completely personalized learning plans.

An effective implementation of this AI-teacher partnership requires solutions to three distinct problems to be solved:

  1. Student data collection that doesn’t disrupt the classroom
  2. Data analysis that takes into account millions of students’ data and the specific teacher’s abilities and skills
  3. Delivery of actionable and relevant recommendations

young teacherNone of these steps should interrupt the classroom, nor should they require additional work on the part of the teacher. Instead, the teacher should always have all the information she needs at her fingertips to run the most effective class possible, both in terms of individual student learning, and class-wide learning.

Education is the greatest force for change in the world and AI in education will allow us to achieve previously unimaginable goals. AI promises to give us a true understanding of every student and the exact tools they need to succeed; it should empower teachers to focus on inspiring students, and it finally makes quality education universal. Improving education for all students creates the best future for society, full of a new generation of curious and informed young minds.

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