The need for artificial intelligence (AI), in education, has been heightened by the pandemic. New technology can be used to educate children based on their needs as well as to help educators provide the best learning environments for their students.
The latest Omicron variant could lead to schools closing across the nation. OfstedA report states that nearly all English children have fallen behind in their education because of the pandemic. Now is the time to look forward and adopt a new educational system that suits these new circumstances.
While it is not meant to replace the classroom, online learning has made it possible for teachers and parents to see how digital tools can be used in teaching. This trust has been established and it is time to do more research to find out how other new technologies can be used in learning.
AI vs. the human teacher
Despite this increased trust for digital tools, According to our 2021 survey, only 33% of parents support AI in their child’s education. Education Reportwhich we conducted with Kantar. Only 18% of UK schools currently use AI-based teaching solutions.
However, 59% of UK parents agreed that AI should be used in a learning environment that meets children’s needs. This can also be achieved through the introduction of AI technology to the classroom.
One obstacle to the adoption of AI in schools is a lack of understanding and fear that it will replace human educators. This is understandable. However, you can be sure that AI will not replace the human teacher. Recently, Professor Rose Lukin from UCL’s Learner Centred Design stated at the Cambridge Summit of EducationAlthough we are in the early stages of the fourth industrial revolution, which some sectors call the fourth industrial revolution, and where some sectors choose automated systems over human workers; it is safe to say that we are not about to automate education.
The human teacher can tap into their own social intelligence to adapt to individual and collective circumstances. This helps to ensure that students are interested in learning and engaged. These are skills that can only be achieved by humans. AI does not yet understand itself, nor can it empathise and relate to others. This is an important trait for teachers.
The education sector must find a way to bring together the best of AI and human teachers in order to benefit students as well as educators. AI can increase efficiency and reduce the amount daily admin that teachers must deal with, so that teachers can spend their time more productively in the classroom. It can also give students the freedom to learn at their own pace. This allows them to absorb information better without being overwhelmed by schoolwork.
AI used in education
Professor Lukin summarized the solution well in her talk. She said that AI can impact education in three ways. First, it can be used to solve big educational problems. Second, it can be used to educate people about AI so they can use it safely. Third, it can be used to change education so that we are more focused on human intelligence and better prepare people to work in an AI world. This does not mean that we should hire more people to develop AI, but we must learn and embrace new technology.
It is often overlooked in education that not enough data is being collected in the offline world. Education is a way to treat patients without having to do a full diagnosis. However, data is not currently being properly measured so it is difficult to improve. At GoStudentWe are using AI and data collection in order to better understand the ideal learning environment. So we can collect and measure the data to see what makes a great lesson, a great teacher, or what motivates students.
High-skilled teachers have a positive impact on the performance of their students. Therefore, the education sector must focus on training and development opportunities.
We conducted two pilot studies this year with iMotions (intelligent emotion tracking tool), which measures 32 points on your face to analyse emotions. The purpose of these studies was to determine which emotions are most common in the classroom, how they correlate among tutors and students, as well as which emotions can be beneficial to a learning environment.
The first study was conducted over an eight-week period and involved over 100 tutoring sessions online between 16 teacher-student pairs. We found that emotions transfer from student to teacher, and students are more attentive if they are positive. It was also interesting to find that teachers who were strict received higher levels engagement. This was because they were able attract the attention of students in a positive manner.
Our second study was designed to investigate how emotions impact teaching and to determine which emotional set can create a better learning environment that can lead to academic improvement. These factors were studied across more than 900 tutoring session. They included tutor emotions, duration, time of day, collaboration between tutors, students, and subject taught.
What we found was that the positive emotions of the tutor correlated with those of the student, and that ‘joy’ was the most prevalent emotion during the sessions. Additionally, the best time of the day to hold an online tutoring session is between 1pm – 3pm, as opposed to 4pm – 7pm when attention spans were lower. The most productive sessions were those in which the tutor spoke at a similar pace to the students.
These studies prove that AI can be used for educational purposes. It allows us use the knowledge gained from the analysis sessions to help teachers adjust lessons. These results can also be used to recruit the best tutors and match them with students that suit their skill set.
These learnings can be used to redesign the school day if they are applied to more extensive research. We can, for example, learn when students are most open to learning and then design their schedules to maximize their educational experience.
Our research is only a small part of the larger picture. There are many ways that AI can be used to support education. This includes virtual mentors and a universal learning system that meets the individual needs of each child. Although the education sector may be slow to embrace AI, it is making progress.
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