The Personal Teaching Assistant Every Teacher Needs
Imagine teaching at a school where your personal assistant takes care of the routine tasks for your classroom. The assistant even prepares lessons for your students. You have additional time to instruct students in small groups or individually, provide thoughtful feedback, and encourage learning.
“Socrates, set the thermostat to 74, take attendance, and open the PowerPoint from yesterday’s lesson.”
Better than Siri or Alexa, your digital teaching assistant would handle routine and complex tasks related to the classroom and student need.
That scenario isn’t too far-fetched. Schools are already implementing smart technology in the form of artificial intelligence, and AI is changing the education landscape.
The physical environment
Eager to adopt new technology, schools have embraced electronic tablets, smart boards, and lessons that include interactive technology activities. They’ve also brought robots, augmented reality, and 3D printers into the classroom.
Now schools are turning to artificial intelligence to assist in building operations.
The Internet of Things, however, is poised to take every school’s foray into technology much deeper. Artificial intelligence can turn on and off the classroom lights, adjust temperatures and moisture levels in the air, set alarms, and monitor parking.
Curriculum, materials and more
Mention CIA in school, and the chances are good that these three letters don’t refer to a national intelligence agency. Instead, CIA is the core of what happens in every school – curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
The perfect nexus of these three elements create total alignment. It’s the result of intensive work in unpacking standards and delivering instruction differentiated to the needs of every student. It’s also the formative and summative evaluation of student learning.
To say that creating this perfect balance of curriculum, instruction, and assessment is a labor of love is an understatement, especially when you consider the years of study and hours of work that go into it. The National Education Association reports that teachers work 50 hours per week, on average. In my estimation, that number is much higher because many teachers don’t report how many hours they actually work, as if there is a stigma in reporting too many hours.
Artificial intelligence may reduce the hours teachers must put in to individualize instruction for every student. It allows teachers to differentiate instruction and customize it for each student. In essence, teachers can use AI to create customized instruction and free up teacher time.
Artificial intelligence won’t soon replace bus duty, but it’s already reducing the teacher workload in other areas.
Most teachers dread the housekeeping chores that make up the daily grind: checking attendance, grading, filling out progress reports and entering grades. Even big data analysis can be time-consuming. Where teachers were once armed with calculators and a plethora of highlighters for data analysis, AI now analyzes student achievement on learning objectives.
Other areas in which artificial intelligence reduces teacher workload include the following:
· Machine grading, even for essay responses
· Robotic tutors for online classes
· Seamless integration of online grades into the school’s learning management system.
· Automatically generated teacher responses for progress-reporting.
Overall, technology levels the playing field for students, making just-in-time learning accessible. AI technology is the versatile personal assistant every teacher needs.