Education technology has made self-education possible. Wikipedia, TED, and Khan Academy along with Google and YouTube have emerged as the free education hubs in the online world. With humans and machines drawing closer to each other, edtech has evolved considerably. AI systems make online learning adaptive and personalized and possible for school teachers to track data of each student in their class and offer them appropriate academic support.
Here are some excellent tips for developers on how to harness Artificial Intelligence to usher in the new education revolution:
Build tools that can assist teachers.
Whether a teacher is in a traditional classroom environment or sitting in front of the computer screen as an online tutor, there are always tasks like checking practice papers and grading tests and assignments that eat a lot of his or her time.
There are various other types of bookkeeping chores teachers have to do on a daily basis, such as:
- maintaining a record of attendance of students,
- preparing report cards and offering feedback and suggestions, and
- answering students’ questions (online).
AI systems and tools can quickly take over all these ‘lower intelligence’ tasks and allow teachers to have more time for ‘higher intelligence’ level tasks, such as planning creative and engaging activities for their class.
Steven Hodas, a practitioner-in-residence at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, has sound advice for edtech developers. He says, “If you’ve not been a teacher recently, you should work hard to get inside the school, inside the classroom, and be a part of the day-to-day lives of the educators. Be there not to sell, not to demo, not to text or tweet but just to watch and listen.
Attend school board meetings. Be part of online forums for parents and students. Soak up what parents, students and teachers care about. Only then, you’ll be able to write a code that manifests a deep understanding of daily struggles and small victories of teachers and educators.”
If you are looking to design something that can provide best assignment help to college students, you should probably go and research:
- what problems they face while writing assignments,
- what kind of assistance they look for, and
- what resources they need to be able to produce an A+ level assignment that enhances their learning of the given topic.
Your innovation should be based on real problems, not perceived ones.
There is a fantastic article I read recently – inBloom and the Failure of Innovation 1.0. It correctly points out that ‘innovation’ is not a noun. You cannot give someone an amazing tool like a table, a Learning Management System (LMS) or a data warehouse and hope to make him or her innovative too. ‘Innovation’ is a verb. It is a process and a frame of mind.
As an ed-tech developer, you must never forget this. Any AI-based tool can only encourage innovation and creativity in students (or teachers) if it can work ‘with’ them – or evolve with them. You can only hope to solve a problem if you know it in the first place. If you fail to ‘listen’ to what your target clients need, it will be difficult for your technology to take off in the first place.
Start humbly. Work on collaborative product and policy development processes that bring together education reformers and innovators.
AI systems should be intuitive and easy to learn.
The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) has developed a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework which defines how education content and pedagogical practices can be designed to offer seamless customization for different types of learners. Developers can use this UDL approach when they develop edtech tools to enable adaptive learning to the users.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the tools you build should not need extensive, time-consuming training. It should be easy for educators and teachers (or your end users) to use. Melissa, an online assignment help provider, shares, “My company uses sophisticated tools to help tutors like me to make sense of the large data sets that we have to go through on a daily basis, quickly identify academic trends, and visual representation of data to allow us to interpret it quickly. We share our resources to be able to finish hundreds of assignments every day.”
These days, apps use artificial intelligence processes to build apps that can help teachers to:
- easily create and share lessons,
- streamline the process of distributing and collecting homework and assignments,
- assess students in many different formats,
- personalize instruction according to students’ performance, and
- communicate efficiently with parents and students.
It is a good time for developers and software testers to specialize in the education industry. Innovation in education is desirable. Intuitive learning processes that use artificial intelligence based systems are in demand. Just keep the tips mentioned above in mind and make an impact on the future.
About the Author
Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of Transtutors, a leading Online Education platform for college students. Having graduated from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Delhi, Aditya has a personal interest in helping students.