Citing Pearson’s 2016 report Intelligence Unleashed: An Argument for AI in Education, our blog recently highlighted a few ways in which artificial intelligence tools can greatly enhance collaborative learning. Today, we’re here to discuss another application of artificial intelligence in education: how AI supports teachers. According to a 2015 report from the Center for American Progress, nearly a third of all new teachers exit the profession within their first five years. Ever-increasing demands on teachers combined with a lack of administrative resources and support are often blamed for leading to teacher burnout – but how can AI help address this?
Less Grading, More Teaching
A 2013 survey from Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reports that teachers work 53 hours per week, on average. By assigning all grading-related tasks to artificial intelligence tools, educators gain increased time and availability to engage directly with students – namely, 1-on-1 interactions with those who require additional attention and support. For example, while a teacher assists one group of students struggling with understanding a certain topic, a virtual AI teaching assistant can simultaneously engage with students who have already grasped the concept, supplementing their understanding with additional materials and exercises.
Flexible Professional Development
Similarly to how AI can provide personalized tutoring to students, the technology could offer ongoing professional development for teachers, too! These flexible, AI-driven courses could synthesize data on an educator’s teaching experiences, abilities, and styles, then use this information to provide tailor-made trainings designed specifically to meet that individual’s needs. Using web-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, educators would have the flexibility to complete these trainings at any time, no matter their present location – that’s right: PD in your PJs.
Many parents face significant obstacles in providing at-home learning support to their students – reasons for this can range from socio-economic barriers to themselves having a limited educational background. Artificial intelligence tools could help extend the reach of the teacher into the home by providing tailored support to parents, with extra assistance offered to families most in need. For example, AI programs could help explain basic mathematical and grammatical topics to parents, allowing them to better assist their children in learning and practicing the same concepts. At-home AI tools, developed and used in conjunction with in-class content, could help ensure that all parents are set up for success, allowing them to more effectively focus their energy on the needs and learning outcomes of their student.
The notion that AI will soon eliminate the need for real-life teachers is highly unlikely. The goal of AI in education, according to Pearson’s report, is not to replace teachers – rather, to augment their capabilities and empower their work. Learn more about the role of artificial intelligence in education and game-based learning by checking out some of our past blogs: