Artificial intelligence (AI). Hands up. Are you impressed when Netflix or Showmax recommends the perfect movie for your Friday night binge? What about when adverts about travel insurance helpfully start popping up on Google straight after you booked that holiday? Or when the Checkers Sixty60 App accurately suggests adding a jar of coffee to your shopping basket (how did they know you were running out?)
The truth is that so many industries have been benefitting from data and data-driven tools using artificial intelligence (AI) for years now. It helps them create enriching, personalized experiences for their customers. The education sector has seen a steady increase in the use of AI, although the biggest advances are understandably more so in the private sector.
Many schools have already embraced a variety of digital learning solutions into their curriculum, especially to help with distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet very few have been able to actively incorporate Artificial intelligence (AI) into their technology. This remains an invaluable tool for the industry, with a plethora of benefits to teachers and learners alike.
At Curro, we understand and appreciate the value of having the most innovative technology in our classrooms. Our digital transformation department is constantly searching for, testing, and then upskilling our staff on new tech solutions to help foster an adaptive and personalised learning experience. The group is currently in the process of piloting a platform called Century that has the potential to take teaching and learning to the next level. It is early days though but as always with this kind of work, the process is ongoing so watch this space!
Why AI and why now?
At Curro, our mission has always been to focus on personalised learning that recognises learners as individuals. We know a one size education does not fit all. So we pride ourselves in adapting the education journeys of our learners to suit their specific needs. We strongly believe this tailored approach helps improve engagement, responsibility, productivity, and ultimately academic performance.
Adaptability is where AI really comes to the party. Aside from its speed and accuracy, the beauty and benefit of AI lies in its perceptive ability to quickly read learning behaviour and performance, in real time, and then use those findings to draw accurate, real-time conclusions to automatically prescribe the next best step for the learners’ journey.
Teachers can also use this data to identify a learner’s shortcomings or strengths. The immediately act on this feedback and the results more than speak for itself. Able learners who have grasped the work can get additional stimulation instead of wasting idle time in class. Obviously those who are struggling or require an extra nudge can receive tailored support from their teacher, instead of falling behind and losing concentration.
AI in the classroom
The use of AI in the classroom can do wonders for mood and morale boosting too with entire classrooms benefiting from a ‘happy’ teacher. Unlike a teacher that is stressed and overburdened with administrative tasks such as lesson planning or test marking.
It might sound like one, but this is not a pipe dream. This can and should be the classroom reality. How?
To start with, we need to dispel wildly inaccurate myths that incorporating AI in the classroom will replace or eliminate the role of a teacher. It is important to note that AI cannot do everything teachers can. Not least because a major part of teaching is based on human interaction. For AI to work successfully and drive greater efficiency in teaching and learning, it must work in tandem with the teacher. Rather than replacing content or current ways of teaching, AI technology acts as an enrichment tool to help support a teacher, in their assessment, interventions, planning and marking, thereby complementing, and enhancing the quality of their teaching, and not replacing it.
As a society and a country, we have always championed technological advances that have put us on the global map when it comes to healthcare, retail, and business. Although we still have a long way to go, it is refreshing to see the education sector coming to the party and being open and willing to embrace changes that will positively benefit both teachers and learners.
- By Angela Schaerer, Digital Transformation Manager at Curro Holdings
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