Can AI improve education? Here are 4 potential use cases

Open AI

By World Economic Forum; W. Ian O’Byrne Associate Professor of Literacy Education, College of Charleston.

I would like to share this article I found on the Webpage to The World Economic Forum;  The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.  The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. I highly recommend reading their articles on different topics. 

And listen to this podcast with Prof Stuart Russel on the promises and perils of AI.

  • AI systems are already altering the world of education and could be used in ways that help students learn, a professor of literacy education says.
  • This could include by providing real-time, individual feedback, which can be hard for teachers to do in classes of 20 or more students.
  • ‘Intelligent textbooks’ that can be customized for each student could also become possible.As artificial intelligence systems play a bigger role in everyday life, they’re changing the world of education, too.OpenAI’s ChatGPTMicrosoft’s Bing and Google’s Bard all come with both risks and opportunities.

Here are the four areas that the author highlights;

1. Differentiated instruction

An AI system can observe how a student proceeds through an assigned task, how much time they take and whether they are successful. If the student is struggling, the system can offer help; if the student is succeeding, the system can present more difficult tasks to keep the activity challenging.

This type of real-time feedback is often difficult for an educator or school to do for a single student, let alone an entire class or campus. AI adaptive learning tools have been shown to quickly and dynamically make changes to the learning environment, content, and tasks to help individuals learn more and quickly improve.

2. Intelligent textbooks

Researchers at Stanford have been developing and testing a prototype of what’s called an “intelligent textbook,” titled “Inquire.” It is an iPad app that monitors students’ focus and attention while they read by paying attention to how students interact with the app. The interactive text includes definitions of key words accessible by touch or click and allows students to highlight and annotate while reading.

3. Improved assessment

Educational assessment focuses on how an educator knows whether a student is learning what is being taught. Traditional assessments – essays, multiple-choice tests, short-answer questions – are little changed from a century ago. Artificial intelligence has the potential to change that by identifying patterns in learning that may not be apparent to individual teachers or administrators.

For instance, the language-learning company Duolingo uses AI and machine learning to create and score tests of English proficiency for universities, companies and government agencies. The tests start with a series of standard questions, but based on how the student does with those, the system will select harder or easier questions to more quickly identify a student’s exact abilities and weaknesses.

Another assessment project, Reach Every Reader, staffed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, MIT and Florida State University, creates educational games for parents to play with their children while teaching them to read. Some of the games have adults and children role-play as characters based on real-life scenarios.

4. Personalized learning

Personalized learning occurs when the students’ interests and goals guide learning. The teacher is more of a facilitator, while the what, why and how of learning are mostly dictated by the student. Artificial intelligence systems can provide individualized instruction tailored to each student’s individual interests.

AI adaptive learning systems can quickly identify when a student is struggling and then provide more or different support to help them succeed. As the student shows that they have mastered the content or skill, the AI tool provides more difficult tasks and materials to further challenge the learner.

I would love to hear from you