How modern technologies can help teachers

Adaptive learning solutions help teachers personalise lessons according to each student’s learning capabilities.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is profoundly affecting all aspects of contemporary societies and economies. Modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), bots and data science have become important buzzwords of today and have led changes in various sectors, including education. AI, in particular, has taken the education sector by storm.

How can the education sector benefit from the use of AI? To start off, it can support teachers in enhancing a student’s learning. It is here that the adaptive and conversational tutoring technologies that have been developed using AI can help. Such technologies can enhance teaching efficiency and effectiveness, and help them develop essential skills among students. This is not the only way that AI can help teachers enhance classroom learning. Here’s a look at a few other aspects it can influence the way education is delivered:

Personalised learning

As every student learns differently, the need for individualised learning has become more important today. Adaptive learning solutions aim to address the limitations of conventional classroom teaching. It helps teachers personalise lessons according to the individual needs of students and their learning capabilities.

What’s more, this can adapt learning in real time and adjust according to the needs of the students without leaving any student behind. As a result, this can maximise a student’s learning and ensure positive engagement.

Bridging the skill gap

Due to skill mismatch, many graduates are not able to get the job they desire. To reduce this, it is important that educational institutes help students have the necessary skills that can help them navigate through the changing face of the job market and get a job that matches their skill set. However, for this to happen, education systems and job markets will need to be connected better.

AI can not only help in this regard but also enable people find work that suits their skills. AI can also aid teachers in detecting promising candidates with less conventional credentials and free recruiters from using college reputation as a proxy to assess a candidate’s potential.

Retaining students

Institutions need to embrace technologies like AI and ML to remain relevant in a highly competitive market. In this light, educational institutions can use machine learning and deep learning to recommend engagement strategies to optimise retention of students. How can this be done? There are various digital tools that educational institutions can put in place to promote student engagement. One such is computer vision, a tool that can help provide real-time information of the surrounding they are in. This can be used to identify signs of students’ disengagement by monitoring them as they work, tracking their eye movement and observe their expressions to check whether they are engaged or bored.

Continuous feedback

AI could empower students by providing them with control over how fast they learn and how they learn the best. Additionally, it will also give them constant feedback of their own cognitive and behavioural preferences. Implementing this can put an end to traditional testing systems and measure academic abilities and achievement in a more nuanced way.

Additionally, various AI technologies have been developed to help teachers grade a student’s work faster. Such tools use computer vision and machine learning to grade students’ work by deciphering handwriting and remembering the teacher’s initial decisions on marks to automatically grade subsequent students.

Adapting to students’ needs

If teachers were no longer allocated time-consuming administrative tasks like supervision, they would have more time to mentor students. Additionally, it can also help them focus more on enhancing a student’s understanding of a topic and assist them in developing essential skills. While AI tools can help teachers by answering students’ routine questions, ML can support teachers by identifying complementary skills that will maximise the students’ critical thinking, and capacity to adapt and collaborate.

AI and ML clearly present significant opportunities to improve not just the quality of our education but also shift the teachers’ focus on higher-value creative, interpersonal and engagement tasks. However, its effective implementation will require support from key stakeholders — students, parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers.

(The author is with Schoolguru, Mumbai)

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