Artificial Intelligence in EdTech
2020 is going to be remembered as the COVID-19 year. From the Technology innovation point of view, it is clear that spotlights are on the Digital health sector. But, studying from home, quarantines, and social distancing, that become part of our life, makes it a perfect catalyzation for education technology (EdTech), that can benefit from a once in a lifetime opportunity to jump over years of deployment barriers.
Timing is everything, and for EdTech ventures, struggling for their breakthrough, COVID-19 is marking the true beginning of the age of Digital education, hence the disruption of all education paradigm.
Above all, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the growth engine, of the digital education revolution. From a data-driven decision-making approach to an automated personalized education, AI is involved in every aspect of the new education ecosystem.
An updated vision of such education must include the re-definition of the teacher and student roles. Teachers will become more content contributors, learning process architects, and engagement promoters. Students of all ages, from kindergarten to 12th grade (k-12) and above, will use their millennial skills and create a new way of learning. No more the “class listener” type, but an active learner through content discovery, bare thinking, and continuous data skills improving. AI-based technologies will be the catalysator of the role adjustments in the new era.
For better realization of the AI impact on education, we can adopt the following conceptualization for innovation trends in the full Education-cycle:
1. Personalized learning — AI drives the major trend towards individual amelioration and allowing the transition from the “one-size-fits-all” model of classrooms, to segmented and personalized learning.
With AI, students can benefit from customized engagement with their teachers. Teachers turn classic lessons into a smart and sophisticated experience. Challenges could be optimized for students personal needs and learning capabilities.
2. Edu-bots — Built with mass use of AI technologies, bots can act in many parts of the teacher’s job description, like as a frontal tutor or a guide, or as a teacher assistant for high-resolution engagement and data collecting of the studying process (through feedback, smart analytics, etc.).
3. Collaborative learning — With the growing impact of social networks on human culture, education is not an exception. With AI, learning networks can gain many true collaboration benefits, moderated in an automated smart way for effective learning.
4. Digital content creation & Smart content — A direct impact of the digital revolution in education, is the huge gap of ready-to-use learning content. a content that is structured and accessible for teachers and students, in all kinds of learning methods (frontal, offline, online, physical), with a variety of tools and media such videos and textbooks, but created for smart and complex consumption. Here, AI can help with Automated content creation, better contextual recommendation, matching content suppliers with content demand, and adapting content to an emerging context, etc.
5. Automated environment — For the educational process, procedures, and administration, automation is a key factor. The use of AI can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of manual intervention in the core businesses of the education-cycle, like student evaluation and performance assessment, teaching resources allocation, student journey automation (from registration to graduation), etc. Educators spend a lot of time grading exams, assessing homework, and providing valuable responses to their students. But technology can be used to automate most of it.
6. Global education & Online tutoring — Video conferencing isn’t new, but through 2020, with the impact of COVID-19, the world has jumped a decade within a year, especially in the aspects of virtual human interactions such as video conversations, online meetings, etc. In that manner, online tutoring is not an alternative, but a basic necessity. On top of that carrier wave, AI can be a differentiator for education online platform, allowing the tutor or mentor, benefit from digital tool and Data sources, augmented dashboards, and lesson management (online engagement measuring for example). Global education is becoming a commodity, and there are no more barriers as physical facilities and physical presence, AI technologies can leverage the possibilities of learning anything from anywhere at any time, to a new way of education as a continuous part of our life.
A report, published by Research and Markets, Artificial Intelligence Market in the U.S. Education Sector 2017–2021, indicates that by 2021, the application of AI in education and learning will be increased by 47.5%, and that is before 2020 COVID-19 accelerating EdTech, bringing, for example, Yuanfudao The Beijing-based company to almost double its valuation set in March 2020, and now worth $15.5B (Techcrunch).
The report states that “one challenge affecting this market is the high cost associated with AI. The implementation of AI in schools, colleges, and universities require substantial funding and investments and extensive research on its applicability”.
But with the disruption 2020 COVID-19 made to the classic studying, such barriers are smaller than they were before, acceptance of the target markets is higher, and funds (private and institutional) will be more directed to push ahead the revolution.
In the future, education will be something else and maybe, with the deployed AI technologies, the eternal words of Pink Floyd will lose their context.
We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teacher, leave them kids alone
10 years from now, kids will not even understand what Pink Floyd were talking about.
For further interest, a short and partial demonstration of AI EdTech technologies and ventures, picked from the web, is allowing a glance to the rising industry:
Web-based, artificially intelligent, educational software. ALEKS assessment and learning technologies were originally developed by a team of cognitive scientists and software engineers at the University of California, Irvine, with major funding from the National Science Foundation. ALEKS is founded on groundbreaking research in mathematical cognitive science known as Knowledge Space Theory. Through adaptive questioning, ALEKS accurately assesses a student’s knowledge state and then delivers targeted instruction on the exact topics the student is most ready to learn.
ALEKS has been used by millions of students in over 100 different mathematics, science, and business courses at thousands of K-12 schools colleges, and universities throughout the world.
TpT is the go-to place for educators to find the resources, knowledge, and inspiration they need to teach at their best. TPT offers more than 3 million free and paid resources, created by educators who understand what works in the classroom. The marketplace is growing every day to meet the evolving needs of the PreK-12 classroom.
Netex platform is allowing students to combine their education with their busy pace of life. With the support of Netex professionals, anyone can offer content that is ready to be used on any device, at any time, and in any place. Combined with content distribution tools, it will guarantee a new learning experience for all students. Netex offers content creating solutions and distribution solutions.
With Scratch, young students can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations and share them with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people (aged 8–16) learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge. Available in more than 150 countries with 40 choices of languages.
Adaptive Learning Platform (ALP) with AI-based algorithms that empower educational companies to use the data they collect. Kidaptive helps to increase learner engagement and improve outcomes for all ages with sophisticated tools along with their parents and teachers.
Intelligent intervention tool that combines learning science, AI, and neuroscience. It is a learning platform with reliable assessment to help teachers Identifies gaps, address misconceptions, and support teacher interventions in a way that helps teachers understand their students better.
Games that can be played with tangible pieces to give a unique collaboration between technology and hands-on experience. Revolutionizing the way children play and learn in this era of digitalization, letting kids interact with technology without diminishing the value of hands-on play.
Comprehensive learning programs for school students aged 4–18 years that emphasize conceptual clarity through visualization, Personalized learning programs, and Unmatched individual attention. By its acquired Osmo team, Byju’s accelerates the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning across its platform for better personalization.
A nonprofit educational organization that provides free writing and grammar activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. Helps to increase literacy and writing skill. Quill developed an adaptive research, based on writing instruction that helps students to exercise writing and revise.
Educators can empower students to reach their full potential, connect with parents, and support the students who need it most. Reimagining the classroom, with technology, using games, and storytelling methods to make kids feel school more playful and collaborative.
Helps students master critical STEM skills, preparing them for college and beyond. Querium is an AI-based platform that delivers personalized, bite-sized lessons with an expert system, step-by-step tutoring assistance that motivates students to succeed.
A free web-based learning tool that uses artificial intelligence to create a complete K-8 differentiated and adaptive curriculum for Math, Language, Vocab, and Fact Fluency. MobyMax closing learning gaps for all students by providing personalized lessons based on individual needs.
MobyMax is a multi-award-winning platform and the most widely adopted EdTech platform in the U.S.
Built to automatically streamline the recruitment process and enable more efficient use of time by Providing an assessment system in education that can evaluate important student skills and abilities such as creativity, imagination, ethical reflection, background reasoning, etc. The cognitive assistant effectively turns surveys into speaking tests by asking students follow-up questions.
Wonder Workshop Class Connect was created so that any teacher, regardless of experience, can successfully reach every student with inspiring and relevant coding and robotics curriculum. Capture student progress instantly, teach with relevant resources and integrate coding and robotics schoolwide.
Wonder enables kids to learn coding from a very young age. Through a robot developed by Wonder Workshop.
A global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms worldwide. Offering digital textbooks, multimedia content, and the largest professional development community.
Serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students, available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K., and more than 90 countries around the globe.
A homework tutoring, focused on the K-12 age group, offers a variety of products: live tutoring, an online Q&A arm, and a math problem-checking arm. Yuanfudao’s physical footprint in teaching centers across China could fuel its online services. With AI Research Institute and technology laboratory Yuanfudao brings insights directly into the app. The company sees AI as an opportunity to see what student weaknesses look like, which it can then address in teacher curriculum and product design.
Focuses on learners from, kindergarten to grade 12 learners. Vedantu’s proprietary platform helps track learners over 70 parameters that help teachers understand where a particular student excels or struggles.
Interactive live online classes for primary and secondary levels. Operates classes with differentiated levels, use tech interactivity to track student’s responses, and group students for differentiated instruction using progress data.
English Learning in China, making education accessible by bringing together young learners and educators through one-on-one online classes. VipKid provides a global learning platform so English-speaking teachers connect with students online around the world to provide them with a learning and cultural experience as they become global citizens.
Cognii makes AI-based products for K-12 and higher education institutions. Cognii’s innovative conversational EdTech brings the power of conversation to online learning. Students engage in real-time natural language conversation with Cognii Virtual Learning Assistant to learn a particular topic, get assessed on their comprehension, and receive coaching to master the concepts. The assistant also provides real-time feedback, one-on-one tutoring, and is customized to each student’s needs.
Uses AI to help students develop a deeper conceptual understanding of math. The company’s math learning platforms for high school and college-level students employ responsive AI that learns a student’s habits and personalizes the learning experience to help them fully grasp mathematical concepts.
Math tutoring program for k-8, delivered by expert tutors, guided by cognitive and behavioral Science, Driven by AI. Combines human interaction with AI to provide students with custom programs.
Online studying and learning tools that provide adaptive plans and helps students choose their majors. The platform uses AI over data from study sessions to recommend students with the most relevant study material.