Machine Learning Is about to Change Everything In Education
You can try, but you’re not going to avoid artificial intelligence.
Chances are good that you engage with AI on a regular basis, without realizing how much interaction you have with machine intelligence and machine learning.
Predictive text and autocorrect, for example, have streamlined communication, making it no longer necessary to hunt and peck at keys to assemble a message. We no longer read maps. Instead, we wait mere seconds for Google or other GPS apps to suggest our routes. Even online shopping has become more automated. Chatbots respond to routine messages, and retailers suggest purchases other consumers have bought similar to yours.
Naturally, machine learning is impacting education as well.
K-12 education settings
Artificial intelligence is already established in K-12 settings, and the technology appears in varied forms.
Many teachers rely on voice assistants to perform simple requests such as, “Set the timer for five minutes.” The devices have proven to be handy tools for tech-savvy teachers wanting to be more efficient in the classroom.
Students interact with customized curriculum that uses lessons based on results gathered from adaptive branching assessments. The same software suggests interventions to teachers and gathers data for analysis.
Other AI applications in the classroom include intelligent tutoring systems, alerts and warnings, and automated formative and summative grading and grade reporting.
Students can no longer learn in silos. To remain competitive and also relevant, schools must teach analytic thinking and problem-solving skills that incorporate teamwork across a variety of subjects and from multiple geographic regions. Technology is the best solution for expanding the walls of the traditional classroom.
Once students have entered higher education, they will rely even more on AI and machine learning.
Automated systems can assist students in every aspect of selecting and enrolling in college. In fact, machine learning may determine who will and will not be accepted into university programs. Human resource departments already use software built with algorithms for scanning cover letters and resumes. Applicants whose documents have a high match rate proceed to the next round.
In the same way, automated admissions systems can scan, vet and select the students in colleges. As a follow-up, they can send nudges to prospective candidates for everything, from reminding them to complete their application to showing up for orientation.
Universities will also rely more on artificial intelligence for organization. Professors already create and collect a formidable amount of knowledge, and this learning is best shared with colleagues who could benefit from the work that’s already been done. Curating the resources, however, takes time, unless machine intelligence steps in.
AI has the potential to automate work, freeing up time for other pursuits.
The machine learning promise
Artificial intelligence is becoming more integral to our daily way of life. As we permit machine learning to take over our more mundane tasks and chores, we must remember that we are preparing students for a future we can’t yet see or know.
What we do know, however, is that AI will change everything – except the need for interacting with each other.