AI and Education

BY NOW, ALL of us have heard of artificial intelligence (AI) and the wonders of ChatGPT. There’s a lot of excitement, but also a lot of unknowns and wild rumours, especially when it comes to the educational aspects and leveraging AI in the academic space.

Critics and some parents believe children and students will be unmotivated to learn when using AI, with essays simply being ‘spat out’ by a programme after entering a single prompt.

This is a common concern whenever new technology arrives, and AI isn’t even that new. When implemented correctly, it could be a highly functional tool within the academic space. I, for one, wish I had had it at my disposal during my university years.

The application of AI in education focuses on utilising technologies and techniques to improve the academic process and elevate learning experiences, thereby soliciting better performances from pupils and students. These AI-enabled tools and applications consist of tailor-made and personalised learning platforms, intelligent tutoring systems, data analytics and adaptive assessments.

In essence, educational AI involves using machine learning models and algorithms to analyse massive amounts of educational data. This allows educators to create personalised learning plans for students at all levels of education and ability.

It could identify where students need additional support and pinpoint areas in which their performance could be improved.

AI tools in education can place tailor-made education within reach of many – not just the few.

By creating a personalised educational curriculum for each pupil at their specific level, it would keep them motivated and engaged, boosting their performance and knowledge retention.

This should be music to the ears of every educator, parent and even students themselves.

Pupils will be given tools generated and powered by AI, such as AI-powered virtual tutors and assistants offering explanations, answering questions, and providing guidance.

This isn’t limited to school hours either. Children, especially teenagers, work according to their own body clocks and may now be able to learn when it’s most effective for them.

AI technologies can give countries like Namibia the opportunity to bridge the digital divide in education and make up lost ground due to a lack of resources.

This can and will level the playing field for Namibian students and pupils with their peers across the world.

Educational AI tools could improve the educational experience by providing tools for pupils with disabilities or learning difficulties.

For example, text-to-speech, speech recognition, and other AI-based tools make educational content more accessible.

There are plenty of examples of how AI could assist in elevating the education experience of students and ease the workload of educators and administrators.

We are currently still in the early stages of educational AI tools. It is my belief that artificial intelligence will, within a short space of time, be seen as a force for good in education, as well as in other fields.

I will continue to champion AI and anything that helps, supports, and enhances the learning experience of children and students of all ages.

Audrey Chanakira

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News