|Photo: Christine Nasserghodsi|
It asks a question, and if the child provides a particular answer, a set of prompts or tips might be shared or a new (perhaps easier, perhaps more advanced) question might be asked. Whether this is or is not AI is up for debate; however, the development of such programs is labor intensive and generally only effective in providing practice for concepts taught in class.
As the Innovation Leader at an international education company, I work with both educational leaders on leveraging digital learning ecosystems and with education technology companies to improve their products for use in our schools. As a classroom teacher many years ago, I used basic adaptive technology, and I've always encouraged the use of these technologies within the classroom and at home. While this has led to some increased customization and more individualized learning pathways and pacing, I still believe top-down AI has fallen short of enabling transformation.
Advancements in bottom-up AI, such as the new Google Translate, and the accessibility of neural networks suggest that much more may be possible soon, as captured by the recent New York Times article "The Great A.I. Awakening."
For schools, this may allow for a few unique advancements in particular:
- Unifying data in different silos to build school-specific predictive models.
- Providing adaptive learning programs that respond to students’ emotional reactions and/or demonstrated learning biases not just keystrokes and answers given.
- Presenting students with multidimensional performance data and personalized pathways for remediation, enrichment, or course selection.
- Providing teachers with up to the minute data on the efficacy of learning interventions based on national or even global data.
- Content that is filtered, updated and presented independently, not when textbooks are changed or websites are updated.
- Identifying bias or in textbooks and other instructional materials.
- Coaching for students based on a range of factors from performance to specific learning needs..
- Curation of data for third-party education or service providers that interact with the school.
An AI-supported school would look quite different from the schools we attended and that our children attend today.