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Robot Teachers: The Application of AI in the Classroom

Introduction to the AI classroom

by Nemanja Manojlovic
by Nemanja Manojlovic

Due to the fact that rapid technological advancements are changing the face of our world, the fact that the way we interact with our environment and our daily lifestyle is changing is nothing new. Almost everywhere we look we can see technology making a revolutionary impact on how we do things. The institutions that are going through major changes right now are schools.

Many great thinkers agree that education should be one of the primary areas of human activity that we should invest in and strive to improve as much as possible. Although online education enables anyone to get university level education without leaving their home, it still failed to provide positive results when it comes to the actual knowledge and skill students acquired.

Now with the recent developments in AI, schools and the way we educate people are about to go through some major changes. Some sources claim that teachers will be replaced by AI in as little as ten years. While this might sound a bit far-fetched, it is worth mentioning that the first AI tool, IBM’s Watson 1.0, already made its way to the classroom with the function of assisting teachers with targeted support.

How can AI affect learning?

Obviously, the future is now. So what else can we expect from it? Well, for starters, an AI assistant in the form of specially designed chatbots might be used by teachers to help with repetitive tasks like grading tests and preparing lesson materials.

The fact that this technology is becoming low-cost is liable to see its uptake by schools. Surprisingly, some of the best chatbot platforms like SnatchBot already provide free chatbots. Applications for chatbot technology are practically limitless, but at this very moment, they are only starting to get explored.

Chatbots are believed to be the missing link in online education as they will be able to provide students with feedback centered on the students themselves which will in turn help push personalized education forward.

Personalized learning

Chatbots can actually serve as personal tutors, helping students identify problematic areas in their studies through dialogue. They could also use this information to devise a personalized learning curriculum for every individual student and, on top of that, they could follow the student from the start to the end of the curriculum and provide feedback.

Trial and Error

One of the most critical areas in learning is trial and error, and most students have problems with learning by trial and error because they often feel judged or intimidated by their tutors. With AI, these problems would go away, since AI would be able to provide an environment where students could learn by trial and error without feeling judged or put in the spotlight in a negative way.

Changing the role of teachers

by Nemanja Manojlovic
by Nemanja Manojlovic

As we have already mentioned above, AI can help teachers with test scoring and other repetitive tasks, but it can also do much, much more. For example, AI could be suited to teach basic course materials or provide additional information required by individual students without disrupting the flow of the class for the rest of the students.

This would effectively change the roles of teachers to that of facilitators of knowledge. Teachers could enrich the AI powered courses by providing first-hand experiences, human interaction and additional support to struggling students.

Detailed feedback and feedback analysis

Chatbots could be utilized to ask additional questions to both teachers and students in order to maximize class effectiveness with the help of data gathered. Data gathered by AI could also be used to help students choose the courses and schools best suited for them, as well as help schools with the process of recruiting new students.

On the other hand, chatbots could use student feedback to help teachers improve problematic areas in their teaching methods, as well as to help students outside of class by providing detailed analyses of the progress and advice on where they should improve.

Constant communication

Some of the biggest problems for many students is that they are forgetting about their assignments or tests on days when they don’t have classes. The best chatbot platform can enable these students to stay in constant communication with their schools via chatbots.

For example, a free chatbot could be used to remind a student of their daily educational tasks whenever they log onto Facebook. Chatbots could also answer any questions students might have at any time and, most importantly, they could be contacted through any form of digital communication: SMS, Facebook chat, email, and so on.

Final thoughts

While many people envision impending doom and humans enslaved by machines at the very mentioning of AI, the reality is in fact much, much brighter and AI is already making a positive impact on many industries currently supported by it.

As you can clearly see, the applications for this technology are limitless and have the power to radically change education for the better. If current trends continue, and they most probably will, students of the future won’t ask themselves what is the best educational course they could take, but what is the best chatbot platform that could help them in their educational journey.

This article was originally published on @nemanjaman