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Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Improve Education in K-12

Today, we can get things done smoother and faster thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). We use AI to accomplish tasks in many areas of our lives, from banking and medical care to watching a movie. Another critical area of our lives that we can utilize AI to enhance our experience is the classroom. Popular futurist Bernard Marr says that AI educational solutions will become more advanced. With AI, we can hope to fix many gaps in teaching and learning in schools to optimize student outcomes and increase efficiencies.

The education system is constantly evolving to ensure that students and teachers can achieve desired outcomes. The most recent changes in the education system are in response to the Covid-19 virus. They involved switching to remote learning and utilizing more online technology. Rapid adoption and consequent innovation of technological solutions such as the changes mentioned above brought by the constraints of the Covid closures are here to stay. Some school districts have already started taping on AI to help manage workflows and personalize learning in the classroom for better learning outcomes.

Here are some ways educators can use AI to enhance education in K-12 schools:

Utilizing AI for teacher workload management

Teachers have busy schedules. Every day they are involved in multiple activities such as teaching concepts, administering tests, grading assessments, and giving students feedback.

However, not all activities get sufficient time as most schedules can’t facilitate it. According to McKinsey, the area with the most significant potential for automation is preparation. Educators spend several hours prepping for their lessons and other responsibilities. They can utilize various AI technology methods to help them create their plans faster and more efficiently.

Teachers can also utilize AI technology as a teaching aid, teaching students the day’s lesson, marking papers, and creating future assessments. This does diminish the role of a teacher in the classroom, but instead, it gives them more time to monitor, observe, and have direct engagement with students, whether in person or a virtual setting.

Boost Peer learning

According to Steven Fink of Summer Tech, peer learning is essential as it creates a more personalized learning experience, changes student’s attitudes towards learning, and leads to students attaining higher academic achievement. AI can also help make a more next-generation approach to peer learning that is just as engaging and efficient.

In 2012, Associate Professor of the Teacher’s College of Columbia University, Sandra Okita, spoke about the ProJo program on the institution’s website. ProJo is a machine that will act as a peer that will ask students to explain things to it as if the device was an actual classmate. This is another approach to helping educators assess students’ strengths and weaknesses regarding topics they are learning.

Change the Approach to Special Education

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To create inclusivity in the classroom, we have to cater to all students regardless of their abilities. We should aim to have all students, irrespective of ability or disability, learn in an environment where they feel comfortable. With that said, AI can help teachers and parents get better results in the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Ilker Kolsal of Forbes says that AI challenges the one size fits all approach to learning and tailors learning for students based on their competencies. AI can create a personalized learning approach where students get the apps and activities they need and relate to. We will use this technology to challenge them at their levels and better assess their growth and challenges.

The benefits of AI in K-12 schools are evident. In 2021 and beyond, wise leaders in education will invest resources into leveraging this technology. iFunza has embarked on this journey and is partnering with educators to harness learners’ full potential in the classroom by using AI to help personalize the experience and optimize outcomes.

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