IT Knowledge Base

Benefits And Challenges of AI In Education and Schools

AI has taken the world by storm. Businesses and Organisations have had to quickly adapt to the changing landscape that AI has created, almost overnight, and this includes the use of AI in education. Below we delve into what artificial intelligence is in education and the benefits & challenges of using artificial intelligence in schools.

Compnow is a leading Australian IT company offering procurement, deployment & support services for Education, Government and Business. We are 100% Australian-owned & operated, have been in operation for over 30 years and have six locations across Australia – Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth and Sydney.

Technology doesn’t stop evolving, and neither do we. We ensure we are always across new technology and how it can enable our clients to do what they do better, more efficiently and effectively. Hear our take on artificial intelligence in education, the benefits & challenges of artificial intelligence in schools and how you can best utilise AI in the classroom

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What is Artificial Intelligence in Education?

Artificial intelligence is the use of computer systems that analyse large amounts of data (beyond human capabilities) using processes that simulate human intelligence to achieve an outcome that would normally require a human (e.g. decision-making, object detection, solving complex problems).

There are three main types of AI learning – narrow (performing narrowly defined tasks), general (ability to think like humans) and super (performing beyond human capability). From this, there are four types of AI:

Reactive Machines

Reactive machines are task-specific systems with no memory. This type of AI is restricted to only using the information it is given to determine an outcome. An example of this is processing a customer’s user history or behaviour (let’s use Netflix as an example) to feed back recommendations based on this history. This is considered super AI as it is analysing a volume of data that is beyond human capabilities to produce the outcome.

Limited Memory

This type of AI is designed to imitate the way the human brain works. The more data the system receives, the smarter it gets. Limited memory AI can analyse and monitor specific objects or data over time to produce an output based on both past and present data. However, unlike humans, this data or output isn’t retained by the AI for future learning.

Theory of Mind

This type of AI doesn’t currently exist but is anticipated to be developed in future. Theory of mind AI could potentially simulate human relationships by having the capability to understand the world, and how other entities have thoughts, emotions & intentions and predict behaviour.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness AI also doesn’t currently exist. Self-awareness AI is anticipated to have the ability to have a conscious understanding of its existence (sense of self) and its state of being whilst also being able to sense or predict others’ feelings.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence in Education

So how is artificial intelligence in schools currently applied? Examples of how existing types of AI (reactive machines and limited memory) are being used in education include:

  • Automating school management systems
  • Intelligent tutoring systems (or personalised learning) that simulate one-on-one human tutoring
  • Pedagogical agents that help to facilitate instruction
  • Enabling smart classrooms, learning environments and schools (e.g. regulating a class environment such as climate control or learning systems)

As AI evolves, so too will the way it is utilised in education. This will present new benefits and challenges, whilst also opening up exciting new possibilities. So what are some of the benefits and challenges of using artificial intelligence in schools?

Benefits of AI in Education

Artificial intelligence in education has the potential to open up new possibilities in terms of how effectively and efficiently we can learn or deliver education. For students, AI in the classroom may improve student engagement & provide personalised learning. For teachers, artificial intelligence in schools can make mundane administrative tasks such as grading, assessment, answering student questions & providing feedback more efficient – freeing up time to focus on other, more critical areas of teaching. In some areas, AI may have the capability to do things more efficiently or methodically than humans, enhancing teaching & learning design, learning outcomes and student & teacher experience.

Challenges of AI in Education

Alongside these benefits of using artificial intelligence in schools, there are also challenges. One of these is data privacy and security, especially when it comes to collecting and storing personal data. Also, with popular AI platforms such as Chat GPT, users have to be 18 years or older so schools with younger-aged children are not currently able to use it. Bias in algorithms or incorrect information is also a concern as the outcomes produced by AI are only as good as the data it has been trained on. Accountability is another factor – if something goes wrong who is held accountable? Other potential challenges are AI replacing human teachers and its inability to create/potentially restrict connected and collaborative learning environments. All of these challenges need to be considered and addressed before any school can successfully implement AI in the classroom.

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Ethical Consideration of Using Artificial Intelligence in Schools

Ultimately, we want AI to enhance learning & outcomes for all school stakeholders and foster equity and well-being in educational environments. So, before using artificial intelligence in schools several factors need to be considered to ensure ethical design, implementation and governance of AI systems in education. These factors all fall within the five pillars of ethical AI:

  1. Awareness
  2. Explainability
  3. Fairness
  4. Transparency
  5. Accountability

Provided all parties fully understand the limitations & biases of AI whilst also carefully considering each of the above pillars and challenges, AI in the classroom can be a pivotal part in paving a positive future for education. Ensuring proper training (and ongoing support) is implemented will also enable teachers (and students) to use artificial intelligence in schools effectively, ethically and appropriately.

Find Out More About Using AI In The Classroom

If you would like to know more about how you can use AI in the classroom or the benefits of artificial intelligence in schools call 1300 Compnow or fill out an online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Technology doesn’t stop evolving, neither do we.

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