This is the pilot of a series of EdTech articles with the focus on AR and AI. This article covers AR and AI from a birds-eye view. We will dive deeper into the specific application areas in the upcoming articles.
Welcome to 21st century learning! Gone are the days when you missed a class in your school, it was difficult to catch up with the current lessons. With the advent of high speed and low-cost internet, technology has brought classroom into your living room.
It is now, time for action! We live in an era in which nearly everything around us is ‘tech’. Right from shopping to farming, from cooking to cognitive learning, from our personal financial planning to healthcare — name any sector, technology has infiltrated every area of our daily lives.
Those sci-fi stories we used to watch in Hollywood movies are now not merely fantasies anymore. Today, we are talking about the talk of the town i.e. Artificial Intelligence. We will look at several instances where technology and education have been evolving together over time.
When Google predicts what you’re thinking as soon as you type few letters, Amazon suggests what you should buy next, Apple’s Siri understands your subtext and Facebook recognises almost all your friends’ pictures — technology in education has also left no stone unturned in entertaining the mundane clutter of our daily lives. Now, guess how learning will look like a decade from now. Probably, robots will be taking over the human lecturers in classrooms, or something more radical may happen.
As the idea of personalised approach towards learning has revolutionised the entire education system, the old one-size-fits-all approach is fading out real fast. Be it learning a new language or improving one’s skills, be it for a toddler or a 60-year-old adult, AI evaluates each and every learners’ characteristics and focuses on the special needs to reach their real potential.
Due to its personalising, differentiating, and self-improving nature, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already been inviting learners to adapt to the new dynamics. AI is a broad term and can encompass Machine Learning (ML), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and many other similar technologies.
While AI is bringing an inevitable and significant change in almost all fields, let’s take a close look at how it’s finding its way into the classroom, and beyond.
Here are some of the points we can ponder about:
1. Is your teaching about to be disrupted?
Certainly! However, in a good way for several reasons. At the advent of AI technology, several researchers, educators, and schools started developing customised learning materials and educational content for their specific students to provide personalised tutoring. Although the learning process is largely dominated by human-to-human interaction, with the help of AI, educators can comprehend the learning patterns of each and every student along with personalised feedback.
2. A booster shot to both learning and teaching
There have been instances when students either find subject extremely difficult to understand or fail to understand it completely. Since the comprehension ability and learning needs of the very student are different, there is a need for more intuitive curricula and teaching methods. In such cases, AI and Machine learning algorithms have the ability to highlight gaps in their teachings and the specific needs of students.
3. Education for all
Easy accessibility and financial affordability are two of the biggest challenges of the traditional education system. With ridiculously expensive tuition fees for higher education along with the fierce competitiveness of the job market out there, technological disruption is the only ray of hope for many ambitious students. Technologies like AR and VR or online learning like Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) or Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) offer effective alternatives to traditional teaching. These methods have created waves in EdTech industry attracting several investors to invest in such ventures and educational initiatives.
4. Standardisation of EdTech curriculum
Another important issue in learning is the lack of standardisation of teaching courses. In the race of being unique, the current educational bodies have failed to define a standard curriculum. While it is easier to follow a structured and standardised curriculum, it also helps for a majority of students to become more organised and disciplined. Again, the use of tech in education is meaningless without a strong emphasis on learning and social and emotional well-being. Experiential learning in such cases is like a band-aid to the lack of normalization of various course curricula and AR can play a major role to bridge this gap.
5. AI and blackboards go hand-in-hand
Even though implementing AI has gained momentum over time, it does not in any way diminish the role of a teacher in the classroom. Teachers continue to play the significant role in facilitating how to build communication skills, learn team building, teach complex social interaction, self-awareness, empathy, and many more skills. Bringing AI and AR technologies in the classroom can “add” to the content in the physical world without the need to disrupt anything.
6. Country’s grand AI dreams
India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru could be the best city to lead the AI revolution, as in its recent strategy paper on Artificial Intelligence, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog called for special attention from policy makers to create a favourable AI ecosystem in India. NITI Aayog’s partnership with Google will foster growth in AI, machine learning and mentoring startups.
Amitabh Kant, CEO @NITIAayog in his keynote to State IT Secretaries said India can use #AI to leapfrog & transform itself. NITI’s objective with #AIForAll strategy paper is to create an enabling environment for the ecosystem. It is great that Google is partnering with us on this pic.twitter.com/rLIz0XUHuI — Google Devs India (@GoogleDevsIN) July 3, 2018
Artificial Intelligence is going to disrupt the way business is done and India, in particular, is uniquely poised in utilising AI to innovate for social and inclusive good. India is embracing future technologies such as machine learning and AI to augment its capacity in healthcare, improve outcomes in education, develop innovative governance systems for our citizens and improve overall economic productivity of the nation, said Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog.
Big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other data science technologies are revolutionising the world of EdTech. NumberNagar® is committed to embrace the diverse ideologies and positive disruption which comes along with it. AI and AR blend into our 5C™ Methodology by opening new and unknown paths for both students and teachers.
AR and AI are going to disrupt the traditional way of learning and teaching. These disruptive technologies are in the roadmap of NumberNagar®.
Pragyan Parimita Barik
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