Lana Tockus is the founder of MagniLearn, an Education as a Service (EaaS) startup which provides a personalized, AI-Based, Data-Driven Lifelong Learning Platform. Using novel AI, Natural Language Processing, neuroscience, and cognitive principles, MagniLearn delivers superior and faster learning for everyone, everywhere. Lana has more than 10 years of experience in the EdTech field. She holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics & Computer Science, M.Sc. in Computer Science, and Ph.D. in Science Education, all from the Hebrew University. In 2018, Lana Co-Founded Bilanga, a company in the field of Educational Technology.
The fundamental role of AI in education has come into focus in recent times, as many schools and other academic institutions have come to understand its meaningful effects on student achievement. Many educational technology platforms powered by AI are finally beginning to fulfill their tremendous promise to improve educational systems.
Artificial intelligence offers educators the opportunity to rethink many aspects of education and adapt to a new, more innovative reality in classrooms. However, the adoption of AI in education has faced some resistance. Even now, discussions often center around how AI is used by students, rather than its ability to aid teachers. While these devices and platforms help make students’ lives easier, the question many educators around the globe are considering is, “How can AI be used to support teachers?” Many educators question whether it holds any benefit for teachers at all.
AI’s role isn’t to replace teachers, but rather assist them in helping students reach their full potential. AI is best used as a supplemental tool to help increase teachers’ efficiency. Intelligent tutoring solutions, such as AI chatbots and tutors, as well as tutoring software, provide individualized feedback and teaching recommendations. They cannot, however, take the position of teachers because they are unable to impart knowledge in the same manner as humans. Rather, they are best used in blended learning environments. Teachers continue to play a profound role in education using AI, but the way they teach is shifting.
According to a new Smoothwall report, 49% of teachers feel more efficient when using technology to plan and deliver lessons. AI assists teachers by optimizing the learning environment, enhancing communication, and improving the effectiveness and caliber of lesson design. With class sizes continuing to increase, teachers often have less one-on-one time to spend with students. For instructors overlooking large classrooms, AI provides valuable insights about overall and individual student challenges and feedback about the effectiveness of various teaching methods.
Teachers also face ongoing pressure regarding the need to provide a more personalized curriculum to suit each student’s individual needs. Although there has been a massive shift in the conversation about the importance of personalized learning as we study the complex needs of students, many schools have not tried utilizing AI to achieve personalized learning, nor have they made efforts to integrate it into their curriculum. Without AI, the dream of an effective individualized learning system is unrealistic. AI Technology creates an opportunity for teachers to provide personalized instruction to heterogeneous groups with less effort.
By analyzing student performance data, AI algorithms identify gaps in knowledge and recommend personalized learning paths. This saves teachers time and helps students learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their learning style. As a result, incorporating specific AI-based individualized learning activities for students could have a groundbreaking impact on their retention of knowledge and graduation rates as well as reduce teachers’ workloads, making them feel more successful and supported in their teaching efforts.
With AI innovation accelerating and the job market constantly changing, teachers are also struggling to find relevant content to teach. Many learning institutions continue to utilize traditional education methods while expecting teachers to show students how to evolve and rapidly develop new skills to keep pace with the rapid advancement of technology. It is clear that the education industry must provide teachers and classrooms with the proper tools in order to keep up with the evolving needs of the global workforce.
Passionate teachers are tired of the lack of support and resources provided by their schools. Educators have felt overworked and underappreciated for some time now. The Guardian recently reported that 44% of teachers in England plan on quitting in the next five years due to their increasing workload. An alarming number of teachers have been leaving their profession due to burnout and many teacher staffing crises are being reported globally. Many argue that the unprecedented turbulence was caused by COVID, but the teacher crisis predated COVID. Teachers have always felt that they spend too much time doing things that are not the most important use of their time. Covid just exacerbated the existing situation.
McKinsey & Company reported that teachers spend about 20% to 40% of their time on activities that can easily be automated by AI. Teachers have a plethora of tasks to manage, including teaching and other administrative and organizational tasks. They evaluate tests, grade homework, complete exhausting amounts of paperwork, write progress reports, organize and manage lesson materials and resources, and more. The result? Teachers spend more time sitting at a desk overwhelmed with non-teaching activities than engaging with their students.
While grading, scheduling, lesson preparation, and other tasks are important for a classroom to run smoothly, they detract from a teacher’s main goal: to educate. However, with the help of AI tools and solutions, educators can automate manual processes within a matter of seconds, giving teachers more time to concentrate on teaching key competencies.
To keep up with the extraordinary changes in education that lie ahead, Holon IQ reports that the world needs to add an average of 1.5 million new teachers every year in order to reach a required total of 100 million. AI technology is the remedy for teacher shortages and has the power to decrease the teacher dropout trend by allowing teachers to focus on their original motivation for entering the profession – to educate students by personally interacting with them on a day-to-day basis in the classroom. By enabling teachers to concentrate more on the social aspects of learning, AI helps them regain the kind of influence they originally sought in teaching. As a result, education will become a more desirable profession, attracting a larger number of more qualified entrants.
While AI has been in the education technology space for some time, its adoption in schools has been slow. However, COVID and generative AI technologies have accelerated its acceptance. Today, AI has achieved recognition as it revolutionizes education and the role of teachers at a surprising pace for those who have adopted it. Mangrove Capital Partners predicts that spending on digital education will double in the next five years. Educators can no longer ignore the AI phenomenon and its ever-growing presence. It’s time to embrace AI technology’s revolutionary role in education and to equip teachers with the proper AI tools to help teachers prioritize classroom activities. Let technology do what technology is good at, leaving teachers time to excel in their proper roles.
Teachers are the most fundamental ingredient for delivering education, and aiding their success should be a top priority. Institutions that fail to implement AI technology to help teachers are predicted to fall behind their institutional peers. This is a crucial time for educators to self-reflect and ask themselves: Are we maximizing the use of tools around us to support our teachers and make sure education is adapting optimally for the future? If we take the time to evaluate the process of education and our teachers’ current needs, we will succeed in recognizing that the key to the future of tomorrow’s education is utilizing the proper AI tools and digital learning solutions to rapidly scale and enrich the process of learning. It’s time to put an end to short-term solutions and shift our focus to the long-term. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in education always pays the highest returns.”
- Gitnux: “Technology in Education Statistics: 2023 Trends”, cited in April 2023 (Source)
- The Guardian: “44% of teachers in England plan to quit within five years”, cited in April 2023 (Source)
- McKinsey: “How artificial intelligence will impact K-12 teachers”, cited in April 2023 (Source)
- HolonIQ: “Education in 2030. The $10 Trillion dollar question”, cited in April 2023 (Source)
- Mangrove: “EdTech: The Decentralisation Of The Learning Economy”, cited in April 2023, (Source)