Using AI to Optimize Education
In the 21st century, technology is rapidly developing, and we can already see it making its way into classrooms. Computers have greatly improved education.
Now we can create presentations, write papers, and access unlimited knowledge all with a few clicks!
So the question now is how can we use technology to take education to the next level?
It's unarguable that education is one of the most important things for any country. The human race’s intelligence is the only reason that we are at the top of the food chain, dominating every other species. So nurturing that knowledge should be our highest priority.
With people like Doug Ford cutting education budgets and stuffing a higher number of kids into classrooms with only one teacher, it's becoming harder to significantly improve education.
Because of this, we have to turn to new ways of optimizing classrooms to develop future generations — namely artificial intelligence.
Now before anyone gets all upset about AI taking over jobs, that’s not what I’m saying here. I’m not saying we should have this:
I’m suggesting that AI will be an augmentation to classrooms.
Google can answer any question you have, but students still ask teachers questions. Google didn’t replace teachers.
The point is that AI will be an additional tool to improve education, not a replacement for teachers. AI just can’t provide the emotional aspect of education right now.
One of the main problems in classrooms is the student to teacher ratio. It's not reasonable to expect teachers to be able to know the knowledge gaps of all their students.
To give you some context, in Toronto the average class size is 28 students, and teachers can have anywhere from 3–5 classes depending on the school. That means that each teacher has to handle anywhere from 84–140 students.
Imagine just having to remember all those kids names, forget about understanding their academic needs.
By bringing artificial intelligence into classrooms, we can create a customized education for every child. All you need is a copy of the AI algorithm for every child and have it learn what the child is good at.
There are 3 types of learners: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.
Artificial Intelligence can learn what combination of the 3 each student is, and then the teacher, or maybe even the AI can create different versions of each lesson for students.
With an AI being there for each student, it can also learn the student’s shortcomings over time. And when the student conquers a shortcoming, the AI can learn what instigated that improvement and share that information with the student and their teacher.
Another tedious task that takes up a lot of teacher time is marking tests and papers.
My teachers are always telling our class about how they have to spend late nights and spare school periods marking hundreds of essays and tests.
By having artificial intelligence take over this task for teachers, they can have more time to create great lesson plans and be in a better mental state to teach their students.
One of the greatest benefits of AI markers will be their consistency.
A major issue in education is marking consistency. Schools all over a country all have different teachers who mark by different standards. Because of this, marks can be skewed and don’t always reflect a student’s performance.
There are also cases where people suspect that the teacher marks biased. Some case studies have shown that teachers tend to mark more leniently for students of the opposite gender (disclaimer: they have not been replicated for validation).
And like I said before, teachers spend long hours marking. So the longer they spend marking, the more tired they get, and they might unintentionally start taking out their fatigue on the students’ marks.
Some countries like India have tried to create countrywide standardized exams. But they don’t always work out
Let’s say there are two kids: Johnny and Tom
Johnny is from a lower-class family. He works hard, studying day and night before the exam and gets a 92% for his efforts — Not too bad
But let’s say Tom is from a wealthier family. He uses his contacts and gets the exam beforehand by paying off an official. Tom isn’t academically strong, so he just memorizes the answers and gets a 97% on the exam.
Now Tom gets into the top university, but unfortunately, Johnny just doesn’t cut it.
This happens all the time.
Lots of countries have corruption and exams tend to get leaked, which means that those wealthy enough to buy them get better grades than those who study, and that means standardized tests can just make assessments more unfair.
AI can ensure that everyone is marked equally and maintain a set standard of education across the country.
AI programs can help teachers create test and quizzes based on the content they teach.
Imagine the impact of this in countries like India. You can’t leak the exams if you have an AI create the exam right before everyone takes it.
Helping Outside the Classroom
An issue a lot of students have is when they need help outside of class hours. Not all teachers are willing to help students outside normal hours.
So people turn to tutors. But these aren’t always helpful, but they’re usually expensive.
An AI program would know exactly what you were doing in class since its helping the teacher while you learn in class. Because of that, it knows the specific curriculum your teacher has arranged and then help you based on that information.
If the AI does everything I said before, then it’ll also know your learning style and knowledge gaps. They’ll be optimal teachers and get even more data to teach itself how to teach you!
- Tackle the issue of overcrowded classrooms
- Adapt to each student to provide customized education
- Inform students about the best way for them to learn
- Reduce teachers’ workloads by writing and grading tests/assignments
- Eliminate bias from grading tests and assignments
- Maintain a consistent standard of education
- Prevent educational corruption in some countries
- Give access to quality education on demand outside the classroom
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