This article discusses the potential benefits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for the education industry in 2021. Get to know why ML and AI are the future of education from different credible sources!
Education in 2020-2021
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Last year, Niall MacCarthy, a data journalist at Statista, spoke about the global impact of pandemics on education. He stated that about a billion people were deprived of normal education processes. UNESCO (an American organization that promotes peace and security in the world through means of education, science, and cultural and mutual human cooperation) counted about 1.3 billion students or 80% of learners globally that were not able to attend their educational institutions in Spring 2020.
The situation eased a bit in September 2020, but many learners still couldn’t attend their traditional daily classes. Almost 50% of the world’s educational institutions were still hit by closures. The only way to get educated in the midst of pandemics and lockdowns was to engage in online learning. But the education sector wasn’t prepared much. So, there was a strong need to develop better education practices and advance e-learning altogether.
Today UNESCO monitors 28 countries with closed educational institutions. 12.7% of students or more than 2 billion learners still are affected by the pandemics.
Despite being obliged to study online, students can experience the advancement of the learning processes by means of technology. Thus, classroom learning with all of its drawbacks is revolutionized by making it online and supporting with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
According to The New York Times,
…people have tried to re-engineer learning with artificial intelligence, but it was not until the machine-learning revolution … that real progress has been made. Slowly, algorithms are making their way into classrooms, taking over repetitive tasks like grading, optimizing coursework to fit individual student needs.
Thus, let’s discuss machine learning in the education industry and its benefits.
Machine Learning is a part of artificial intelligence that is powered by algorithms. In the other words, ML helps a machine that is given a task, to accumulate data, learn from this data and improve results within time. Using an algorithmic approach, ML is able to make valuable decisions and predictions that are improved with experience. Thus, ML is used in various industries to improve and enhance the smartest expectations of every sector. And the education sector is not excluded here. The global market for AI and ML in education is estimated to increase significantly up to 2023.
Benefits of machine learning in education are:
1. Improved E-learning through Feedback. In any online course created by educators, there is a possibility for students to leave their feedback. Personal opinions on the course excellence and material enhancement can be really helpful in managing student performance and activity. So, basically, AI and ML interpret the received feedback, learns on possible repetitions, and notifies the educator immediately. Isn’t it a perfect way to know what works in your course and what isn’t working the way it should?
2. Efficient Organization and Personalized Learning Experience. With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a cloud-based Learning management system (LMS), any educational process can be personalized to every student’s need. Teachers can give students tasks and monitor their understanding of concepts, test different learning approaches, and find one with the best possible learning results. The times when one learning curriculum suited every student without exception have long gone. Students are individuals with different learning perceptions and paces. Thus, ML and AI learn from the data and help in giving feedback to teachers. This allows educators to set up better e-learning practices for their students as well as organize them logically.
3. Predictions of future career path. Applying machine learning in education helps in analyzing student’s performance and capabilities. To add, with the help of algorithms it is easy to understand what are the students’ strengths and weaknesses. For example, let’s take a college student application and analyze performance, teacher feedback, and best results. This way, the student will become aware of what he’s/she’s great in and what’s not. Thus, AI and ML will process student progress and suggest the most effective career path based on the level of subject completion. And, that might be a successful insight for a future career choice.
4. Grading without bias and stereotyping. Sometimes, at schools teachers practice grading students based on their mood, personal preferences, prejudices, and non-common logic. For this reason, the benefit of ML/AI is in the inability of a machine to be biased and stereotype students. With no specific attitudes, students can get a clear picture of how they are proceeding in their studies. Here, ML and AI will not just process all the grade-related data, but also suggest grades for students. If the teacher isn’t going to be involved, this will add to student equality.
5. Digitizing learning textbooks. With the help of AI and ML, paperback textbooks can be transformed into online sources like digital books, videos, forums, and scientific articles. What’s more, the algorithm may show you similar results based on the topic you’re studying or the material you are trying to find. It is quite handy when there’re numerous sources and ML/AI gives you the list of the most specific ones you need. This benefit is especially convenient in e-learning environments, where the teacher gives only the task and the research falls on the student’s shoulders.
Nowadays more and more schools, colleges, and universities try to adjust to the technological part of studies. David Greene, a president of Colby College, which is implementing AI and ML technologies into its curriculum, has shared some of his thoughts about ML and AI improving the process of education:
… in future it is absolutely ubiquitous in higher education, because of the way that it is shaping all of our interactions, whether we’re online or the way that we’re gathering information today, or the way that companies are actually marketing to us on a daily basis. If you’re an English scholar, or you’re in sociology, you’re interested in immigration patterns around the world, you’re probably going to be using machine learning to really look at those in a deep way. If you’re interested in being able to look at the textual analysis across millions of volumes, you’re going to need machine learning to be able to do that. And I think it’s important for us to get out ahead of this because in 10 years if you are not in AI in a big way, for most colleges and universities it’s going to be very hard to be relevant.
So, in 10 years ML and AI will be inseparable from education and it will be hard for those, who are not taking small steps in this direction. But, the ones, who understand the potential benefits in education are IBM Corporation (US), Microsoft Corporation (US), Google (US), Amazon.com, Inc., (US), Cognizant (US), Pearson (UK), Bridge-U (UK), DreamBox Learning (US), Fishtree (US), Jellynote (France), Jenzabar, Inc., (US).
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To conclude, machine learning in the education sector is one of the most needed technologies to be implemented. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, education can transform to a new level, where:
- the grading system is fair and transparent
- teachers understand what has to be taught and how
- teachers know what methods work for each particular student
- courses are flexible and can predict the students’ career path
- sources are uploaded and offered based on the researched topic
The benefits are extensive and in 10 years from now, every institution or business ignoring ML implementation will fall behind. Don’t be among them, implement machine learning in your education course or platform, or business idea today. Choose our machine learning services to succeed.