Sreejit Chakrabarty is the Director for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at GEMS Dubai American Academy, the flagship school for GEMS Education, one of the world’s largest independent K – 12 education providers. He is also the Center Director of the Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence. He is from Mumbai, India. Before joining GEMS, Sreejit worked as an external consultant supporting schools in implementing Robotics and STEM-based solutions; including curriculum development, research, training, and Professional Development. He has also worked extensively with the Ministry of Education in UAE, Oman, Qatar, and India in developing strategies for incorporating STEM and Robotics in their respective curriculums, and has trained ministry teachers across the region. Sreejit holds a Bachelors of Electronics Engineering from Mumbai University, a Master’s in Business Administration from MGU and several professional recognitions from Harvard, IIT (Mumbai) and Carnegie Mellon University in Robotics and Maker Centered Learning. His passion for researching emerging technologies and finding ways of extracting educational benefits out of them is what gets him excited. Sreejit is also working closely with GEMS X (the R&D wing of the company) and is the GEMS Network Leader across all GEMS school Globally for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics & STEAM.
With the advent of COVID-19, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has played a phenomenal role in keeping us sane. It is in the healthcare industry. It is assisting in drone deliveries. And AI is transforming the future of education, too.
Education no longer revolves only around books and notebooks. Teachers interact through the screen, teach using slides and videos, and take tests through online forms. On-demand lesson access, 24/7 chatbots and teaching assistants are helping kids learn at their pace.
And it is just the tip of the iceberg.
AI is a key technology behind autonomous vehicles. It is widely used by Amazon and Netflix to provide you with useful recommendations. AI is also used in Alexa, Siri and Google. And all such applications can be helpful even in the field of education.
So, here, we are exploring the ways AI can shape education in this post-pandemic world.
- Personalising the flow of learning
With 30-40 (or more) students in each class, it’s difficult to pay attention to the specific needs of each.
But the use of AI facilitates a personalised learning curve for everyone. AI-based tools can determine what a student knows and what he/she is struggling with. AI can, thus, create a custom study schedule for each student.
Century Tech is one such platform that uses data analytics to create personalised learning plans. By tracking progress and taking regular feedbacks, it recommends study topics to the students.
AI platforms can identify different learning styles. And they can provide an experience to match the comfort level of individual students.
Several other companies, like Carnegie Learning, also are working to help customise learning systems. They want to do so by identifying knowledge gaps and redirecting students to topics they’ll find helpful.
- Creating smart syllabus
AI techniques are being used in creating digital textbooks and study guides. Such educational content can be customised into various formats. They can be turned into bite-sized lessons like flashcards, or converted into visual information.
For example, Quizlet, an online platform, uses machine learning and data analytics to outline smart syllabus for every student. It uses data from various study sessions to look for patterns and learn what’s beneficial for whom. Such digital content is easier to navigate through.
AI can generate simulations and AR-based study environments to make education as hands-on as possible. And teachers and students should be prepared to get the most out of such technology.
AI can even update lessons to keep up with the latest information. Such automation can make the syllabus comprehensive.
- Promoting holistic education
AI-based study systems can engage students in a variety of activities for overall growth. Apart from studies, these can help with creating psychometric assessments. These tests can help identify and measure the mental capability and behaviour of individual students.
Such tools can aid teachers in understanding each student and teach them in a better way. They can record and track the life skills of students and promote holistic progress.
Cognii, for example, makes AI-based products to facilitate virtual learning. The chat assistant asks questions with open-format responses to analyse critical-thinking skills. And it provides real-time feedback to help improve students.
Kidaptive is another such tool. It analyses perceived strengths and weaknesses.
- Taking care of admin tasks
AI won’t be replacing teachers anytime soon. But wouldn’t it be nice if kids can register their attendance themselves, using facial recognition and fingerprints? By automating such admin tasks, more time will open for teachers to spend with the students.
Various other tasks like assessing written responses, grading them and sending the results to students are time consuming. AI can be beneficial in such a scenario. It can handle repetitive and administrative tasks.
Machines can already analyse and grade multiple-choice questions. But with developments in AI-powered solutions, they will be able to scan and understand handwriting too.
Such AI software can make the grading process faster and more efficient. They will give automated responses based on the grades received. And they can help with enrolment and admissions processes.
- Ensuring access for the special ones
AI-based tools can enable access to education for all. These can help students with learning disabilities to have a custom learning curve for themselves.
They are even creating new ways of interaction. AI can facilitate learning for anyone, anywhere across the globe.
For example, students who have limited mobility or struggle with writing properly can take help from Nuance. It is a speech recognition software that learns how different individuals talk. It can then transcribe their speech to text.
The software is also helpful for hard-of-hearing students. It can transcribe, in real-time, what teachers are saying.
Video communication tools like Meet, Teams and Zoom also come with AI-powered real-time captioning. They display what’s being said by the teacher.
- Tutoring as and when required
And with the help of AI, you can also have 24/7 tutors for every student.
Teachers can train AI chatbots to answer common questions. They can teach them to solve specific problems. And they can also load the database with relevant resources. Later, as the database grows, these bots can learn to solve problems on their own.
And when students need help with a challenging topic, they can pull relevant content and links from the chatbots. So, parents no longer will have to struggle with explaining algebra, or the nervous system, or even basic rules of grammar.
Whether students need help with their homework, or for tests, they can have access to AI-powered virtual assistants.
COVID-19 pandemic has fast-forwarded the adaptation of an AI-enabled digital world. It is helping in carrying out different jobs remotely. AI is impacting almost every industry you can imagine. And it is also creating of new job roles.
Since AI has such widespread applications, everyone should be familiar with it. Schools must introduce the concepts like AI, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing in their regular syllabus. And kids should be familiar with AI techniques to stay ahead in the post-COVID world. We, at GEMS Dubai American Academy, have a full-fledged AI curriculum and a dedicated Center of Excellence focussed on AI and emerging tech.
We were honoured to be selected as a Cool School in the World Education Summit, thanks to our robust and future focused AI offering. Please have a look at our AI offering Video which gives a small glimpse of what we do.