Exploring artificial intelligence in K-12 education
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Artificial intelligence ranks among the top current trends in K-12 education tech. AI's evolving role in society is leading to an exploration of practical uses for it in every aspect of our lives.
It has overwhelming potential in education, and schools can leverage it to impact learning that transcends traditional barriers. This means that students will be exposed to newer and better forms of learning. AI and machine learning education tools will rely on data to transform the way students are taught and learn concepts in K-12 education.
Forerunners of ed tech are exploring various ways to use this tool. One tech company is collaborating with a Canadian university to see how it can aid in AI solutions for K-12 education in North American schools. The project, which is at the research phase, seeks to explore the impact of AI-driven learning on social, emotional, and academic growth; and future student outcomes.
The research will be of immense help to educators and parents of K-12 children by providing them with educational recommendations to improve performance, increase their success by positively impacting students' academic motivation. They will also look at best practices of using AI to help teachers personalize their students' learning experiences.
Rand's recent publication is an interesting read in this regard. Robert F. Murphy's paper on artificial intelligence for K-12 reviews several ways that AI applications can support and augment the practice of teaching. Some of the methods include automated essay scoring, intelligent tutoring systems, and early warning systems. These will aid in better teaching practices and student outcomes.
Why is AI important?
Students today are immersed in the digital world. Their futures in the job market will be defined by technologies spanning AI, VR, machine learning, automation, and genetics.
The need of the hour is to teach them deep, noncognitive skills in conjunction with academics. A comprehensive education will help them think critically and solve problems better. AI-assisted K-12 education creates new kinds of data so that teachers get customized insights about each student and AI-powered recommendations to empower and educate them to reach their full potential.
The annual conference of the Consortium for School Networking held in April revealed exciting news as well. Google's new plan is to provide cloud storage for K-12 school districts, and then offer artificial intelligence-as-a-service to use those massive amounts of stored data via student information systems; online surveys of children's social-emotional well-being; instructional software programs; and individualized education plans required for special-needs students.
Automated analysis across datasets will help to analyze information about student learning potential and generate recommendations, visualizations, and predictions for better outcomes.
Washington's Evergreen Public Schools system is among three U.S. school districts to use the pilot phase of Google’s new platform.
Of course, these initiatives also raise significant privacy concerns related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Future, more formal data-sharing agreements have to take into account these concerns so that the information does not fall into the wrong hands.
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