Has AI changed our lives completely? Most probably, it has not. Moreover, many people have noticed nothing different about their daily routine. Nevertheless, some subject areas have experienced turbulence after AI technology emerged. Are there more good or bad influences that people can feel from this new technology? Let's try to answer this question using the educational sector as an example.
Undoubtedly, the technological advancement that brought AI to life revolutionizes our society in some way. Many processes take less time and effort as we can delegate them to AI tools. For instance, AI tools can help students with plagiarism check and idea generation for their upcoming projects. They can request to see the list of reputable sources of information for their research papers and samples of creative essays. Many assignments become less exhausting and time-consuming. In this article, we will investigate the strengths and weaknesses that AI has when it comes to education.
First, let's consider some of the main positive aspects of AI in terms of the educational process.
Some students can follow the high pace of their teachers, while others struggle to do so. Some can instantly grasp the essence of new concepts, while others need more time to process new information. This situation often leads to conflicts and unhealthy psychological pressure. AI enables personalized learning experiences by analyzing individual student performance. It can then adapt educational content to suit their pace and style of learning. Such an approach allows students to choose a convenient studying speed without feeling guilty. Also, students can use AI-powered adaptive learning platforms to improve their skills. Such platforms have flexible difficulty levels of content and ensure optimal challenge and engagement.
Automated Grading and Assessment
Teachers often spend a lot of time grading students' assignments. While some of them require human assessment, others are more basic and can be delegated to AI. AI can simplify the grading process by automating checks, allowing teachers to focus more on providing students with constructive feedback and personalized guidance. After all, writing comments on students' papers is not as effective as starting a dialogue with each of them to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their academic performance.
Data Analytics for Student Insights
AI tools can analyze vast data, providing valuable insights into student performance and behavior patterns. Educators can use this information to identify learning gaps and tailor interventions accordingly. It can be an effective approach to guiding students toward their personal development. On top of that, AI can predict students at risk of dropping out by analyzing various factors such as attendance, engagement, and academic performance. Teachers can then implement early intervention strategies to support struggling students.
Additional Assistance for Students
It is not a secret that students actively use AI tools to cope with their assignments faster. All they need to do is type in their questions, and AI will give them the answers. While it is a convenient way of coping with homework assignments, it is important for students not to abuse it. They still need to double-check the generated information. When it comes to writing assignments, many educational institutions use AI-detection tools to ensure students craft every piece of content by themselves. Even though using AI tools is beneficial in many ways, students still need to show their contribution to every project they submit.
Accessibility and Inclusion
AI technologies contribute to making education more accessible for students with diverse needs. Speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and other technologies help close gaps for students with disabilities.
Professional Development for Educators
AI supports educators' professional development by providing resources, personalized training modules, and insights into teaching methodologies, helping them stay up-to-date with the latest educational trends and techniques.
AI technologies have just recently emerged and continue to improve. There are many issues with using AI tools that educators and students face now. Let's consider some of them.
Bias in Algorithms
AI systems can inadvertently amplify existing biases in the data they are trained on. Many problems that exist in the world have no specific solutions. In other words, it would be incorrect to divide all issues into black-and-white categories, as there are many gray areas. AI tools might present only one side of the problem, thus misleading people. While their first answers might highlight the existing bias, there are many ways of overcoming this step and making these tools unreliable sources of information. This weakness can lead to unfair treatment or unequally distributed opportunities.
All-in-One Tool Misconception
The appearance of AI tools gave students a misleading concept of having an assistant who can help them with all their problems. While AI tools come in handy when it comes to generating ideas and structuring information, they can become rather harmful when it comes to more sensitive subjects. For instance, some students use such tools as a replacement for psychotherapy. Again, these tools can give you theoretical information and answer your questions, but they can still not heal your soul like a professional psychotherapist, at least for now.
Therefore, it is crucial to differentiate the inquiries AI tools can assist students with. Also, overdependence on AI and technology in education could lead to decreased critical thinking skills and reduced emphasis on human interaction, which is essential for social and emotional development.
This point has many people worrying about their professional development opportunities. They keep asking themselves: Will AI take my job in the future? Teachers are no exception. The automation of certain tasks through AI, such as grading and administrative duties, may lead to concerns about job displacement for educators in roles that can be automated. Striking the right balance between human and AI involvement is essential.
Data Privacy and Security
Students rarely pay attention to the inquiries they type in while using AI tools. However, these tools are relatively new and still have many drawbacks when it comes to data privacy. Ensuring the privacy and security of this information is a significant concern, with potential risks of data breaches or unauthorized access. Maybe sharing personal information with AI tools is not the best idea for now.
Loss of Creativity and Critical Thinking
Finally, suppose students use AI excessively for standardized testing and assessment. In that case, there is a risk that it may suppress creativity and critical thinking skills, as these qualities are often harder to quantify and assess through automated systems.