The emergence and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the possible dependency on it have always remained debatable topics. No wonder many eyebrows are raised when its application is considered in the field of education — having varied critical views from the experts.
But there is no denying, AI can aid in the transformation and the manner in the way the educational curriculum is structured today. In fact efforts are underway to integrate AI into classrooms in India, while ensuring privacy, ethics and equal access are reviewed.
India, today, has a new, comprehensive and dynamic education policy that responds to the emerging aspirations of the millennial generation. And, even in its early stages of development, AI has made its way into the National Education Policy (NEP).
According to a recent written reply to the Lok Sabha by the Minister of State for Education Annpurna Devi, the Government of India has recommended that teachers be trained in AI, design thinking and other subjects like AI-enabled Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing.
With the Central Board of Secondary Education including 'Artificial Intelligence' as a subject in affiliated schools, it somewhere highlights the government's approach towards an AI-driven curriculum. However, keeping in mind the accessibility to smart classrooms since 2000, the introduction of AI-enabled classrooms seems like a far-fetched dream ---the reason being the lack of effective measures in place to implement the use of AI in classrooms.
Nevertheless, the integration of the two, AI and education, has potential to revolutionise learning experience by allowing students to explore new educational possibilities.
Across the globe, the rapid advancements in AI have outpaced the education sector's ability to fully adopt and harness its benefits. Over the years, Gen Z has taken to exploring AI tools to their advantage, using applications like ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms. Although these aren't specifically designed for educational purposes, students have even so recognised their value and engaged with them.
Another aspect to consider is personalisation-- using tech to our advantage. The ability of AI to recognise every student's learning ability. Understanding their learning capacity, educators will be in a better position to curate effective and interactive lessons.
AI can also play a significant role in reducing the workload on teachers, by assisting in tasks that don’t require direct teacher-student interaction. Using AI for tasks like book corrections, subject evaluations and test grading, teachers can allocate more time to mentoring and providing quality support to students.
But the main area AI can serve beneficial is by being an ‘impractical assessor’- mitigating the potential biases that can arise with teachers. Technology as such will make objective evaluations and ensure unbiased support to students.
AI can further address challenges related to determining the pass level for students transitioning between grades. Such judgments are usually subjective, but with the help of AI and the data, more consistent and fair decisions regarding student progression within the education system can be made.
In order to bridge the gap between AI technology and education, there is a need for concerted efforts from educational institutions, policymakers and technology developers. AI-enabled classrooms have the potential to enhance personalised learning, provide real-time feedback, facilitate adaptive teaching methods and offer immersive educational experiences.
Moreover, there needs to be a comprehensive framework for integrating AI into classrooms that addresses concerns such as data privacy, ethical considerations and equitable access to AI resources. By embracing AI, the education sector can unlock a new era of learning and prepare students for the future.
(Gilroy Menezes is Vice Prsident of Technology at Kilowott and has nearly two decades of expertise in specialised application design and development. He believes that AI-powered classrooms can usher in a new era in education in the country.)