By Olufemi Shonubi, co-founder/CTO, Edutech Global.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and teach. As a tool in the classroom, AI can provide students with personalized learning experiences, automate repetitive tasks and provide instant feedback. However, it also has its limitations. Let us explore the pros and cons of AI as a tool in the classroom, address the concern that AI could be a threat to teachers’ and instructors’ jobs and discuss the role of edtech companies in advancing this AI use case.
Advantages Of AI In The Classroom
One of the main advantages I see of AI in the classroom is personalized learning. AI-powered educational tools can analyze data on student performance and provide tailored support to improve their grades.
AI can also provide instant feedback. For example, AI-powered educational tools can provide students with immediate feedback on their work, allowing them to identify and correct mistakes quickly.
Another advantage of AI is its ability to automate repetitive tasks. It can grade assignments and quizzes, which can free up teachers’ time for other tasks, such as lesson planning and providing more one-on-one attention to students.
There are already a few AI tools that are supporting learning in classroom or workplace contexts. For example, Ahura is an AI-powered learning assistant that tracks learning habits by observing attention and engagement. Knewton offers an adaptive learning platform that provides personalized learning experiences for students. Querium is an AI-powered tutor that provides students with step-by-step tutoring on math problems and builds personalized lesson plans. ALEKS is an AI-powered learning platform that provides individualized learning paths based on students’ strengths and weaknesses. Carnegie Learning offers an AI-powered tutor that helps students improve their math skills by providing personalized learning based on their performance. There’s also Smart Sparrow, which allows users to provide constructive feedback that is unique to each student. Finally, Gradescope is an AI-powered grading tool that automates the grading process, which can free up teachers’ time and allow them to provide more individualized attention to students.
These are just a few examples of AI tools with applications in the classroom. It is important to note that these tools should not replace teachers but rather assist them in their work.
Downsides And Challenges Of AI In The Classroom
Some teachers and instructors may see AI as a threat to their jobs, believing it will automate their tasks and make them redundant. But it is important to note that AI is not meant to replace teachers but rather to assist them in their work. AI is a tool and should be developed and used as such.
There are also negatives to consider, one of which is the cost of developing and implementing AI-powered educational tools. This can be a significant barrier for schools and teachers who need more resources to invest in AI technology.
There is also the lack of human interaction and emotional support that students receive when using AI-powered educational tools. While AI can provide personalized learning and instant feedback, it cannot replace the human and emotional support that students need to succeed, and relying too heavily on AI-powered educational tools may impact students negatively.
Privacy concerns are also a limitation of AI in the classroom. AI-powered educational tools may collect and store sensitive personal data, which raises concerns about privacy and security.
The Role Of EdTech Companies
Edtech companies play a crucial role in advancing the use of AI in the classroom and ensuring that it is used ethically and responsibly. To do so, they should consider the following:
1. Cost: The cost of developing and implementing AI-powered educational tools can be a significant barrier for schools and teachers. Edtech companies should work to make AI technology accessible to a broader range of schools and teachers and explore alternative funding options, such as grants or partnerships, to help offset the costs.
2. Human interaction: AI-powered educational tools cannot replace the human and emotional support that students need to succeed. Edtech companies should aim to develop AI tools that augment, rather than replace, the role of teachers and provide students with a well-rounded education that includes both personalized learning and human interaction.
3. Privacy and security: Privacy concerns are a significant limitation of AI in the classroom. Edtech companies must ensure that the sensitive personal data collected and stored by AI-powered educational tools are properly secured and that privacy is maintained.
4. Improved AI capabilities: Current AI-powered educational tools have limitations, such as a lack of creativity and originality and a limited understanding of context. Edtech companies should aim to improve AI capabilities and overcome these limitations to create more advanced, innovative and effective AI tools for the classroom.
5. Ethical considerations: Edtech companies should consider the ethical implications of AI technology in education and develop AI tools in a transparent, fair and responsible manner. They must also ensure that they develop and use AI tools in accordance with the laws and regulations governing data privacy, security and intellectual property.
In conclusion, AI has the potential to be a valuable addition to the classroom. Still, edtech companies should develop AI tools with caution and in collaboration with teachers, educators and students to ensure that they are helpful, ethical and effective in meeting the needs of learners. I believe that AI could revolutionize the way we teach and learn.