03/26/2019 | By Dr. Matthew Lynch
THE FUTURE IS NOW
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. - Techopedia
Whether you realize it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is already shaping our world. Whenever you use Siri or Alexa, you are already communicating with digital assistance — a form of AI that is pegged as an “intelligent digital assistant.” These AI assistants are designed to make your life easier.
Now, it is clear they are headed to the classroom as well. According to Artificial Intelligence Market in the US Education Sector 2017-2021, experts expect AI in education to grow by “47.50 percent during the period 2017-2021.” Therefore, it is imperative to consider how AI will shape the future of the K-12 classroom.
Ease the Workload for Teachers
First, AI will help ease the workload for teachers significantly by performing automated grading. A bulk of the time is traditionally devoted to grading student work, but with AI, teachers will be able to pass this workload along. As AI continues to advance, it will be possible for AI to grade more than simple multiple choice pieces.
Additionally, AI will be used to communicate with students. For example, a Georgia Institute of Technology professor used a chatbox to message students about due dates and answer questions. The AI teaching assistant responded so clearly that students did not realize they were not communicating with a human being.
Focus on Individualized Learning
Next, AI will be able to focus on individualized learning. AI will take note of how individual students learn and where they struggle. By identifying a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, AI will be able to provide students with the tools they need for success. Plus, AI can provide this information to teachers and parents to help students get the help they need.
Identify Weaknesses in Classrooms
Also, AI will help improve classroom teaching by identifying weaknesses or gaps in teaching. For instance, some computer programming is already working on alerting teachers when a high percentage of students get the same question wrong. This information allows the teacher to review material. Also, if there are areas that are more difficult for a teacher, then supplemental AI teaching tools can be utilized.
Change the Role of Educators
Finally, while teachers will always be necessary and AI can never truly replace a human being, it is important to understand that AI may change the role of the teacher in the classroom. For example, teachers may move into a role that is more like a facilitator. As AI individualizes learning for each student, the teacher will be in the classroom to guide the student’s learning through his or her use of AI tools.