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Using AI to Understand Why Kids Are Struggling in School


Using AI to Understand Why Kids Are Struggling in School

The pandemic has led to education struggles for many students, with 53 percent of teachers reporting a significant loss of learning. However, virtual, hybrid, and self-directed learning environments also offer valuable data that schools can use to better understand why kids are struggling in school. Artificial intelligence in education (AI) can analyze this information and provide insights in how to best support students, no matter what challenges they face.


Challenges of the Learning Environment

Students can struggle in the learning environment for many reasons, with symptoms that present in vastly different ways. Some common challenges that educators discover include:

  • Not understanding the lesson material: In online and hybrid learning environments, it can be difficult for teachers to know whether students understand each lesson. While quizzes, tests and homework tell part of the story, it can be hard to pinpoint the root cause of poor performance.
  • Getting stuck on a section or question: Another common issue is when students get stuck in one area. Frustration can build up quickly, and lead to subpar outcomes.
  • Lack of access to the internet or technology resources: While this problem has the greatest impact on online learning, it also causes many issues with in-person instruction. Students will have a hard time typing up homework, accessing supplementary resources and otherwise having easy access to important tools.
  • Distracting environment: Whether in a crowded classroom or a chaotic home environment, being unable to focus can make it hard for students to learn and retain information.
  • Poor engagement: Many factors can lead students to lose concentration during lessons.
  • Socioeconomic disparity: This area of inequality has cascading effects on learning, from being unable to access tutoring to having a lack of opportunities for ongoing education.
  • Mental health: 29 percent of parents have reported their children suffer from mental health problems due to the pandemic. Students may fail to show up for class, complete homework, be able to concentrate, or have other issues due to mental illness.

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The Role of AI in Education

AI is one of the many tools educators have available to address learning challenges, whether they’re seeing students in-person, working with online classrooms or overseeing a self-directed course.

Artificial intelligence in education helps schools make sense of the data they have available. Without AI and machine learning, it is impossible to sort through massive data sets to understand the patterns and trends contained within them. By having an efficient way to analyze the data that comes from school systems, educators can gain a better understanding of what’s going on with their students and the best ways to help them.

Teachers can be hard to come by in some regions, and they often have to work with limited resources. AI is an excellent way to work smarter, rather than harder, which allows educators to stretch the resources they do have available. This technology can free up time, pinpoint important insights, and deliver the information needed to make the best decisions.

AI has the potential to create a better experience for students and teachers and can transform the classroom. By improving the learning environment in multiple ways, teachers can help their students achieve better outcomes.

AI solutions can also integrate with other tools used by the school, bringing those critical insights into operational systems. By having that data front and center, the entire decision-making process can be improved.


How AI Complements Teachers’ Efforts

Artificial intelligence in education is not a replacement for teachers in any way, shape, or form. Instead, this technology complements their efforts. It does the work of finding trends in the data that educators can use for actionable insights. This real-world data can show which pedagogical strategies are effective in each situation, whether adjustments are required, and the areas that require more resources.

By augmenting teachers’ abilities, AI can empower educators through continual analysis of the learning environment. Even the best teachers can make mistakes, and AI acts as an objective party. This technology can discover connections that may be hard to pick up on in the classroom.

AI is also excellent for helping teachers get the most out of online classrooms. These solutions can connect with learning management systems and analyze student behavior. These insights can lead educators to know who needs more assistance, whether they need to review particularly tricky parts of the lesson, and whether students need other types of support.


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Examples of AI Solutions in School

AI has far-ranging uses in schools, for every grade level and learning environment type. This area is continually evolving as AI technology matures, giving educators even more opportunities to optimize their classrooms.

With all the data AI solutions collect, teachers can get granular insights into individual student performance, as well as overall classroom management. AI can pick up on many types of behaviors, such as a student trying and failing to answer the same homework question multiple times. These small signs of learning challenges can quickly be identified and addressed thanks to AI.

Students using online learning resources can get AI recommendations as they go. For example, the AI can pull up related content, connect the student with support services, or highlight problem sections for the student. The learning environment becomes customized to each student, allowing them to learn in the most effective way.

AI can also give educators insights into how their students think, and whether they truly grasp the material. In subjects such as math, how the students work their way to an answer says as much as the answer itself.

Another important use for AI is finding students who need intervention before they drop out. Many behaviors may seem harmless in isolation, but when AI looks at the trends, it can indicate a student who is struggling. Proactively reaching out to these students can help them avoid this scenario, and allows educators to get them the resources they need to succeed.

AI is a powerful tool for the modern classroom, and it can help teachers reach their students when they’re struggling. The learning environment is challenging enough, and AI makes it that much easier to handle.


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