AI is personalising learning, VR is transforming classrooms, and ethical considerations are guiding AI's role in education.
//

The bright side of AI in teaching and learning

AI is personalising learning, VR is transforming classrooms, and ethical considerations are guiding AI's role in education.

Recent technological advancements have brought forth numerous opportunities for both students and teachers. Technology enables the delivery of educational materials online and the swift sharing of information, facilitating seamless and secure connections among learners. Physical distances and language barriers are no longer constraints for students and teachers, who can now engage in virtual teaching and learning from virtually anywhere. The emergence of distance or online learning technologies has paved the way for tailored coursework and blended learning approaches.

This shift empowers students to learn independently and tailor their learning journeys to align with their objectives. It opens up many choices within the learning community, offering greater flexibility in scheduling and access to various courses and qualifications. However, this expansion in scope and depth necessitates significant adjustments in the teaching-learning process, teachers’ adaptation, students’ mindsets, and an effective socialisation process.

The interruption of AI in education

Educational institutions, especially those in higher education, are facing rapid changes. The traditional model is under significant pressure due to ongoing societal, cultural, and technological shifts. As a result, institutions need to embrace digital transformation and offer accessible remote learning platforms. This is essential to staying competitive, remaining current in various disciplines, and attracting students of all age groups.

Furthermore, schools and universities are moving away from the conventional classroom setup and emphasising project-based learning more strongly. Introducing innovative technologies, like machine learning, holds potential benefits for education. It can enhance teaching and learning quality while giving students greater flexibility and access to resources beyond the classroom.

Credit. Midjourney

AI-enhanced learning and the future of education

Artificial intelligence (AI) has seen significant advances in various fields, from medical diagnostics to navigation systems for autonomous vehicles. However, its capabilities are also promising for “AI-driven learning.” AI can revolutionise delivering and receiving education by allowing personalised instruction and interactive learning experiences. By providing real-time feedback, AI can make human-computer interaction more personalised and conducive to learning. In addition, the introduction of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology is revolutionising learning in education.

For example, virtual whiteboards and 3D simulations can teach life lessons. In the near future, virtual field trips might also become a reality, allowing students to explore virtual environments and gain a more in-depth understanding of their subjects. Additionally, AI-powered software can grade an essay or review different testing instruments in a fraction of the time it would take a regular teacher, freeing up more time for them to provide personalised feedback. AI could also offer paths to learning. An intelligent guidance system could map students’ routes to their desired learning outcomes based on their knowledge and understanding.

Some immediate developments of AI in education

  • Expanding Teacher Knowledge – AI is altering how study programs are developed. Teachers have limits to their knowledge. Therefore, new programs will be designed based on student needs rather than teacher limitations. Techniques such as artificial intelligence, data science, and predictive models will be necessary.
  • Curriculum Planning – AI will be a powerful tool for curriculum planning, design, and program implementation, matching society, students, and local and world needs.
  • AI will help students, teachers, and institutions collaborate more effectively, leading to better educational and psychological results.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications – AI has the potential to significantly enhance VR and AR educational experiences, offering immersive and interactive learning opportunities.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) – This technology transforms text into data, enabling analysis, interpretation, and insight generation, providing students with new methods of analysing.
  • Increased Automation – AI will likely automate administrative tasks, allowing teachers to dedicate more time to student learning and development.
  • Predictive Learning Analytics – AI algorithms can analyse student performance data to predict future learning outcomes, offering insights into student needs and helping educators better tailor their teaching.
  • Adaptive and Personalized Learning – AI can adjust learning content and assessments to the needs and abilities of each student, providing a more personalised learning experience.
  • Improved Assessment and Diagnostics- AI could significantly improve assessment and diagnostic tools in psychology, accurately identifying and addressing student behavioural and mental health issues.
  • Mental Health and Wellness Support – AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants could offer mental health and wellness assistance, especially for students in remote or isolated settings.
  • Virtual Psychologists and Educational Counselling- AI-driven virtual psychologists and counsellors might become more common, supporting learning techniques, self-directed learning, and behavioural or mental health concerns within educational communities.
  • Intangible Learning – AI-driven virtual scenarios, gaming, and simulation models can complement traditional learning methods, fostering exponential knowledge acquisition and transformation innovation.

The ethical aim

The future of AI in education, at all formal and non-formal levels, holds immense potential to improve how we learn, teach, and assess. But humans with the hands and minds in artificial intelligence will have a significant and transcendent task to put the ethical and aesthetical obligations with humankind. A revolution of knowledge that is still missing.

What will be next? We need to start thinking that the best certainty is uncertainty. We need to be educated to solve unknown problems. But our educational system emphasises the understanding of problems already solved. AI technology works to move ahead of what we know. It is part of their thinking. It is part of the machine learning DNA.

For the first time, we’ve invented something that takes power away from us…and I do not know if humans can survive

Yuval Noah Harari

I want to think from my optimistic side that we will survive, and a new advanced lifelong education for uncertainty will be the answer. Let’s ensure that human intelligence can control artificial intelligence for education.

πŸ”¬πŸ§«πŸ§ͺπŸ”πŸ€“πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬πŸ¦ πŸ”­πŸ“š

Journal reference

Escotet, M. Á. (2023). The optimistic future of Artificial Intelligence in higher education. Prospects, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/14488388.2023.2199600

Miguel Angel Escotet is a university professor, academic writer, and researcher specializing in Social and Psychological Research, University Policy, Planning, and Program Evaluation, as well as Cross-Cultural Psychology. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and his M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to this, he studied Engineering, Philosophy, and Clinical Psychology in Spain, Colombia, and Venezuela. His professional career has been primarily based in the United States, Spain, Venezuela, and France. He holds the Emeritus UNESCO Chair on the History and Future of the University, and he is a Professor Emeritus appointed by the University of Texas System. Additionally, he served as the former Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas – UTRGV. Dr. Escotet currently serves as the Rector of Universidad Intercontinental de la Empresa. For more information, please visit https://www.miguelescotet.com.