Digital transformation is ubiquitous and has a profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives, from banking to interpersonal communication. Education, or EdTech, is no exception. As more and more startups emerge to revolutionize the way people learn and teach, the education industry must prepare students for the future since 65% of the jobs that will exist in the next 15 years do not yet exist.
Despite this, the cost of higher education is skyrocketing, and employers are expecting graduates to have skills that traditional schools are not equipped to teach. To bridge this gap, the EdTech industry is rapidly expanding, with startups utilizing technology to provide information not available through traditional education systems. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being integrated into EdTech, which is becoming a hotbed of innovation.
Most of the people who start EdTech companies are recent graduates who have experienced the deficiencies of traditional education firsthand. However, they all agree on the pivotal role that AI plays in this field, and for good reason.
How ai is used in education?
The current education technology system is focusing on groups of students. The main criteria for those groups seem to be, with few exceptions, age, interests, talents and learning paces. This leads to every class having students that become either bored or uninterested because they have already understood the subjects very fast, or discouraged because they struggle to keep up with the rest of the class.
This is not working anymore so we need to turn to AI. AI applications give the opportunity for personalised learning experiences that every student can customise to fit their needs. By using the same principle that Netflix uses when suggesting movies you may like, AI platforms can suggest individual learning objectives or exercises based on each person’s interests and skills. This way, everybody can learn at their own pace and regain trust in the educational system.
“In order for EdTech companies to make a difference, they need to be able to provide this type of personalised learning experience for each type of student and for every academic level. This will tremendously help teachers adapt their curriculum to each and every student individually, based on their skills, and ease off the students’ frustration of being forced to learn at an inappropriate pace,”
- David Ross from Trust My Paper
Integrating AI in the assisting process does not mean isolating students and forcing them to learn with a robot. What AI can and should do, is help educators when they can’t be around. The feedback received from a human educator is extremely important for students and will never be completely replaced by AI. But sometimes teachers need help as well, in order to provide students with detailed feedback about their performance.
Teachers and teaching assistants already have a hard time keeping in touch with every student and making sure they have understood all the relevant information regarding the course.
By integrating an AI chatbot that acts as a teaching assistant, students can have access to support 24/7. Students often work on their assignments during the weekends, when teachers or assistants are quite difficult to get a hold of. And who can blame them? It’s their free time as well.
An EdTech bot can give students the support they need even after office hours and is more likely to keep subtends interested in using the application. On the other hand, lot of students fear they will be judged if they come out to the teacher asking the most mundane questions. A education chatbot provides a safe environment for students to get help, without fear of judgment.
An EdTech startup that uses chatbots will encourage students to build a closer relationship with their teachers. The educators’ tasks will be significantly facilitated, offering them more time to focus on the humane part of their job, such as giving feedback to creative assignments and mentoring students.
AI can help automate and optimise a multitude of tasks in the education system, from admission processes to curriculum, grades, and timetables. Educators spend a large part of their time grading tests and homework and, if asked, the vast majority of them would tell you they are more than happy to receive some help from an all-knowing computer.
AI can help reduce human error and improve grading quality, saving teachers time and effort. Machines already have the capability of grading multiple-choice tests and will soon be able to assess written essays as well. Other than helping teachers grade papers, AI can be tailored to help students pick their majors based on their skills, interests and overall evolution.
Oftentimes, students seem to struggle with choosing their majors or decide what other courses will best help them in their future career. A platform that could evaluate students’ performance and skills and provide them with suggestions they can take into consideration would be of tremendous help.
Artificial intelligence has made computers able to see, perceive and make decisions and this can only improve the experience of users everywhere. Users are now able to take a photo of something and an AI software will recognise the object and find results based on that only. If this system was adopted by platforms such as Pinterest, imagine what it can do to the education sector.
Medical students could be able to learn about various types of disease by just uploading a photo of the affected area. Biologists could be able to identify and receive information about various species of plants and animals. By the integration of AI technology, users would be able to interact with eLearning applications by using voice commands.
If Alexa can answer basic questions by online searching, then so can a learning platform by searching through the information that has been fed to it. More the sensors in the machine, better the user experience. Up until now, the teams responsible for UX have turned to usability tests, heatmaps, and usage data. It was to improve user engagement. AI can collect more data about user behaviour and can be used to tailor the design of the platform to fit each user’s preferences in real time.
People primarily benefit from the integration of AI in Education. So, entrepreneurs who are looking to establish a new startup are benefiting from this as well. Artificial intelligence is the next big thing and will only be getting bigger. Investors know this. Therefore, are likely to invest in businesses that recognise and utilise the full potential of AI. In 2017, over $9 billion were invested in companies that use AI, VR/AR, and robots, this was to disrupt the education system. And the numbers seem to only be getting higher, as time passes. According to experts, the global EdTech market value will reach 252 billion dollars by 2020.
Long-life learning becomes a necessity in every field. This is because information learned in school will become obsolete in 5 years. Professionals must stay up to date with the newest research in their industry to learn all the time. Even businesses are turning to eLearning solutions to develop training materials and courses for employees. But simply utilising AI will not guarantee investors will come knocking on your door. Investors are looking at numbers. You must be able to present to them how much potential your company has. Be ready to answer those questions. Establish your presence in the Startup world by attending conferences and meetings. Always be persistent and attentive. Keep in touch with investors and don't give up when you face a solid rejection.
It's time to utilize AI in your EdTech startup
Artificial Intelligence will continue to integrate with all fields of business and education is no exception. You can provide investors and clients (both educators and students) with quality services. These are really going to change the learning process. Hence, integrating AI in your EdTech startup is paramount.
Ready to dive into putting the tech in EdTech?
Register with Engati to get started.