AI and education: playful and adaptive learning

AI and education: playful and adaptive learning
AI and education: playful and adaptive learning

Artificial intelligence: problem or solution?

Like any innovation, artificial intelligence is surrounded by a halo of fantasies and fears. Fear that humans will be replaced by machines, fear also that technology will deprive students of the taste for effort, cease to stimulate their creativity and curiosity. However, this is not the first “revolution” to bring about these fears: the arrival of the calculator in students’ schoolbags and its supposedly harmful effects on mental calculation, of the spell checker in word processing software or even of the internet and Wikipedia in homework. Thus, AI would be an additional invitation to “intellectual laziness”, an obstacle to critical thinking and a tool that further promotes plagiarism.

Like UNESCO and the OECD, the Ministry of National Education is in favor of using AI to improve learning. A report dated early 2024 (Artificial Intelligence and Education) recognizes the benefits of artificial intelligence in the personalization of education. But also the need to regulate its use, particularly from an ethical point of view. For UNESCO, ” AI offers potential to address many major challenges in education “For its part, the OECD states that ” we need to rethink education in light of the development of AI capabilities “In short, the question is not for or against AI in education, but how to make the best use of it.

How can AI help teachers?

Artificial intelligence is not intended to replace teachers, but to provide them with additional educational tools in order to become more efficient. A machine or algorithm has neither the emotional capacities nor the relational skills of a teacher. The interest of AI lies primarily in the productivity gains it generates, and the educational world is no exception to this pattern. With a generative artificial intelligence application, a teacher will be able to:

  • generate course plans based on different criteria (learning objectives, duration of training, educational intentions, etc.);
  • generate a comprehensive intervention plan in order to anticipate its pedagogical flexibility by providing adaptations and modifications for students with special needs;
  • create supports through the creation of texts, images and exercises to enrich lessons.

Artificial intelligence boosted by machine learning can also automate time-consuming tasks such as correcting copies and sending feedback to students, but also administrative tasks in order to refocus the teacher’s time on human interactions. It is also a valuable teaching assistant to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student.

How can AI help students?

Delegating personal work to ChatGPT: this is the immediate use that many students planned when this generative AI was made public. The temptation is great in the very short term to avoid long sessions mobilizing all of one’s energy for writing an essay, for example. But taking refuge behind technology is not a winning bet in the long term, because the student does not develop the knowledge necessary to pass his exams. On the other hand, a generative AI or a chatbot can support him in his educational journey with responsible uses:

  • provide revision assistance by generating worksheets and exercises on a specific topic (and correcting them);
  • play the role of tutor for the learner, with personalized questions and answers about courses but also exams and even academic or professional orientation;
  • take notes or transcribe lessons using voice recognition.

Through data analysis and continuous learning, AI makes it possible to fully personalize learning for a student, adapting to their level and needs in order to gradually lead them towards their goals.

What are the benefits of AI for education?

In summary, artificial intelligence reinvents teaching by providing relevant tools to capture the attention of learners and provide them with a fun and adaptive framework throughout their journey. To do this, it relies on data and student feedback. But for all of this, AI is based on machine learning algorithms created from rules from educational engineering experts. Humans therefore have their place in this scheme.

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