How AI Can Increase Literacy Rates
For the last 5 years, I have been telling colleagues that artificial intelligence in education has the potential to help make educators and students lives more manageable. It accomplishes this by allowing machines to complete tasks that are usually performed by humans. In turn, educators are free to focus on tasks that cannot be achieved by AI, and that requires emotional intelligence and experience to complete.
But how can AI be used in nuanced areas of education such as literacy? I believe that there are tons of reading and literacy activities and assessments that teachers complete themselves that, but could easily be facilitated by AI. In this piece, I will share some of the learning activities that I used as an educator before 2008, that could now be performed by AI.
How would this increase literacy rates? Because if activities like these can be automated, it allows educators to spend their time with students that need more intensive academic interventions.
Question-Answer Relationships (QARS). Is reading technique which aims to help students determine the difference between questions with answers that can be found directly in the text (“right there”), questions with answers that can be found in the text but require synthesizing information (“putting it together”), and questions that require the reader to use prior knowledge to find the answers (“on my own”). An enterprising edtech company could use machine learning to automate this activity and add it to one of their existing apps.
GRASP (Guided Reading And Summarizing Procedure). Is a reading strategy (used under teacher guidance) teacher guidance in which students read to collect information and try to remember as much as possible, list what they remember after the reading, reread the material to add to, delete, and correct information, and then organize information according to their details. Most of this activity can be automated with AI, but it would still require varying levels of teacher guidance.
Informal Reading Inventory. An assessment method, in which students read a series of passages and answer questions, through which the teacher can observe students’ reading strategies, select relevant reading material, ascertain three student reading levels, and become informed about students’ strengths and weaknesses. AI could easily be created to perform this task. As a matter of fact, I am sure that companies are doing this now, but I am not aware of their existence.
Quickwrites. An informal writing technique which can help ascertain students’ prior knowledge of specific topics, monitor comprehension, or summarize newly acquired knowledge. Students write what they know about a specific topic, which can then be used to determine a starting point for teaching, to evaluate student learning, and to plan future lessons. At present, AI is being used to score student essays, so I see no reason why it could not be used to analyze and assess this activity. AI could fact check the student’s prior knowledge using trusted internet sources or a database. It could provide insights into the level of familiarity a student has with the subject matter, which will allow teachers to create personalized learning paths for each student.
What would you add to my list?