The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Rise of Educational Technology

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11 Jan 2022
5 min read

The world of education, adapting swiftly to new technological demands during the pandemic, is experiencing substantial transformations thanks to the rapid and steadfast evolution of artificial intelligence. AI, which has been making significant strides behind the scenes in the tech world for years, has profoundly altered the practices of various industries through tools like ChatGPT, Midjourney, and DeepL. 

Artificial intelligence is ushering in a revolution in education by elevating the learning experience, giving teachers more tools, and offering students personalized learning opportunities. Integrating AI into educational technology holds the promise of fundamentally reshaping learning methods.

What is Educational Technology?

Educational technology encompasses integrating computer hardware, software, educational principles, and teaching methods to facilitate the learning process. It serves as a category of technologies employed to enable and advance education. The tools such as hardware and software utilized by educators and students alike during the learning journey would allow students to engage, collaborate, interact with remote instructors, and acquire knowledge both in and outside the traditional classroom setting.

Experiencing rapid expansion as a sector, the educational technology (ed-tech) industry is anticipated to accelerate its growth further by 2030. Forecasts from industry professionals suggest a sustained upward trajectory for edtech tools in the foreseeable future, marked by a surge in edtech solutions incorporating artificial intelligence, enriched with augmented reality (AR) and seamlessly integrated with virtual reality (VR).

How Artificial Intelligence is Impacting Education Technology? Trends and Risks

The indispensable role of the teacher in education cannot be substituted. Nevertheless, AI tools that are accessible to teachers have the potential to significantly enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, and personalization of educational processes. Here are a few encouraging trends in the utilization of AI within educational technologies:

  • Customized learning experience based on each student's learning style, preferences, and progress through the application of artificial intelligence,
  • Tutoring systems employing AI algorithms to offer individualized guidance and feedback to students,
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) chatbots or virtual assistants are designed to assist students, thereby lightening the workload for educators,
  • The incorporation of gamification techniques to bolster learning and reinforce fundamental concepts,
  • AI-powered tools for automating grading, streamlining the assessment process, and enhancing efficiency,
  • The creation and adjustment of curriculum materials to cater to the unique requirements of each student.

Like any emerging technology, there are inherent uncertainties and potential drawbacks associated with applying artificial intelligence in educational technology. Here are a few of the obstacles and concerns that the educational community needs to address when harnessing AI:

  • Academic dishonesty among students facilitated by the use of artificial intelligence for cheating on assignments and tests,
  • Unfair assessment of student achievements stemming from the biases in AI algorithms,
  • Privacy apprehensions that can emerge from the interactions between students, teachers, and AI,
  • Diminished social interactions due to reduced teacher-student engagement caused by the integration of artificial intelligence,
  • The potential for students to develop excessive reliance on technology.
  • Inequities resulting from unequal access to computers and the Internet among students.

Most of the aforementioned risks are not novel or exclusive to AI. The historical examples of calculators and mobile phones being prohibited due to cheating concerns demonstrate that with the introduction of new technologies, fresh risks and apprehensions arise. Given the enormous potential of artificial intelligence, it is imperative to address its risks diligently. Confronting the challenges of the AI revolution, which is introducing remarkable innovations to educational technology, is essential to ensure the most effective, efficient, and ethical utilization of this technology.

Advantages of Employing Artificial Intelligence in Educational Technologies

Artificial intelligence has become an essential component of educational technologies in the modern world. The advantages of integrating artificial intelligence into educational technologies can be divided into two distinct groups, benefiting both students and educators.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Education for Students

The connection between education and artificial intelligence is anticipated to become more intricate and advanced. Early exposure to this technology in students' educational journeys equips them with an advantage in future career prospects. Here are some of the benefits that artificial intelligence already provides to students:

  • Examining past educational performance to detect potentially overlooked learning gaps,
  • Providing a customized learning experience with content tailored to individual learners, replacing the one-size-fits-all approach,
  • Instantly addressing student queries with AI, fostering a more inclusive environment for shy students to ask questions without apprehension of judgment,
  • Enhancing student motivation and engagement through strategies like gamification and immersive learning environments such as AR and VR,
  • Employing AI to automate routine tasks allows a focus on higher-level skills such as analysis and creativity,
  • Breaking down barriers among students, teachers, and education administrators by transcending physical locations, language, and financial constraints through AI.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Education for Teachers

The connection between education and artificial intelligence also brings significant advantages to educators. A few of these can be outlined as follows:

  • Time Efficiency: AI can handle many time-consuming tasks typically expected of teachers, such as record-keeping and grading, and can also streamline the planning process. This allows educators to focus on the creative and human aspects required to elevate the learning experience.
  • Content Generation: AI can propose content ideas for teachers to review, adapt, modify, and creatively incorporate into projects and assignments.
  • Addressing Student Inquiries: AI enables the efficient response to a more significant number of student questions in less time. Teachers can also use AI to analyze student questions and pinpoint areas where students may have learning gaps.
  • Assessing Student Performance: AI can continuously monitor student performance regarding class attendance, homework submission, and assignments, enabling teachers to implement timely interventions when necessary.
  • Motivating and Engaging Students: In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, AI tools can play a pivotal role in keeping students engaged.

Educational AI Tools For Students and Teachers

In 2023, the education landscape underwent a significant transformation by adopting AI tools. Here are some of the AI tools that gained widespread usage among students and educators worldwide:

  • ChatGPT: ChatGPT, which made a significant entrance into the scene in November 2022, has emerged as one of the most widely utilized artificial intelligence tools in educational technology. Beyond its capacity for tasks like drafting, editing, and brainstorming, ChatGPT, as a language-modeled AI tool, also serves as a valuable knowledge repository within OpenAI's extensive library.
  • Gradescope: Gradescope, an AI-powered online assessment tool, is purpose-built to streamline the grading process for educators and furnish students with valuable feedback.
  • ClickUp: A productivity platform devised for team collaboration, planning, and brainstorming, ClickUp simplifies complex projects by breaking them into manageable steps and prioritizing tasks based on their significance. This allows students to concentrate on the most crucial tasks at hand.
  • transcribes live discussions during lectures, meetings, and seminars, enabling students to absorb the content without requiring extensive note-taking. Even in group settings, the platform can distinguish between speakers, ensuring clear and organized transcriptions.

Knowji: Designed as an innovative approach to vocabulary acquisition, Knowji integrates scientifically validated techniques with engaging content. The platform employs a built-in memory coach to ensure that newly learned words are retained in the memory for an extended duration. Voice features instill confidence in students, aiding them in accurate word pronunciation.

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