AI Tools To Enrich Your Students' Learning Journey

By Crissandra Ayroso

As the new school year approaches, teachers have an exciting opportunity to explore and introduce new AI tools to their classrooms.

AI tools personalize learning experiences for students, automate time-consuming tasks like grading and data analysis, and offer valuable insights for data-driven decision-making. These tools can also enhance feedback and assessment processes, cater to diverse learning styles, and create immersive learning experiences through virtual and augmented reality applications.

Ultimately, AI tools empower teachers to create inclusive, engaging, and future ready learning environments for their students.

From adaptive learning platforms to natural language processing tools, the possibilities are vast and exciting. Here are a few AI tools to introduce to your classroom this fall.

First, what are AI tools?

AI tools are software applications and systems that use artificial intelligence techniques, such as machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and data analytics, to perform tasks or solve problems autonomously or with minimal human intervention. 

These tools can process and analyze vast amounts of data, recognize patterns, make predictions, and improve their performance over time, allowing them to assist in decision-making, automate processes, and provide valuable insights and recommendations across various industries.

AI tools for the classroom can personalize learning experiences

AI tools in the classroom can enhance teaching by offering personalized assignments, real-time feedback, and interactive learning experiences to cater to individual student needs. AI tools fall into these categories:

  1. Adaptive learning platforms (ALPs)
  2. Natural Language Processing (NLPs), 
  3. Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR applications)

Adaptive Learning Technology

Adaptive learning technology is a form of personalized learning where students receive customized resources and activities based on their individual learning needs. Recent advances in AI have enabled the application of adaptive learning to various subjects and assignments, providing students with in-the-moment support to improve their learning experiences.

  • Content-based platforms deliver personalized content based on students' knowledge, skills, and learning objectives (e.g., adaptive textbooks, learning modules).
  • Assessment-driven platforms use adaptive assessments to identify strengths, weaknesses, and knowledge gaps, providing targeted recommendations for instructional materials and activities (e.g., adaptive testing systems, integrated assessment features).
  • Game-based platforms leverage gamification techniques for engaging and personalized learning experiences, adapting game mechanics, difficulty levels, and content based on learners' progress and performance (e.g., educational games, simulations with adaptive elements).
  • Comprehensive platforms integrate multiple adaptive learning aspects into a unified system, catering to various educational needs and contexts (e.g., all-in-one learning management systems, adaptive learning experience platforms).

Smart Sparrow is a content-based adaptive learning technology platform that allows educators to create interactive and adaptive learning experiences, enabling students to receive customized resources and activities to address their unique learning needs. The platform uses data and analytics to identify students' strengths and weaknesses and provides targeted feedback and support to enhance their learning outcomes.

Knewton is an assessment-driven platform that uses adaptive assessments to identify students' strengths, weaknesses, and knowledge gaps, and then provides targeted recommendations for instructional materials and activities to address those areas. 

An adaptive assessment is a type of assessment that dynamically adjusts the difficulty and content of the questions based on the individual's responses. The assessment adapts in real-time to the test-taker's performance, providing easier or more challenging questions depending on their previous answers. 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) Tools

NLP is a branch of AI that focuses on understanding and processing human language. The one most people will know is ChatGPT. Educators can use NLP tools to develop interactive language learning applications, automated grading systems for essays, and chatbots for answering common student queries. 

By incorporating NLP tools into the classroom, teachers can create more interactive and responsive learning experiences, particularly in language arts and foreign language courses.

This NLP was developed using the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) architecture, which is a type of deep learning model designed for processing and generating human-like text. NLP models like ChatGPT are designed to understand, interpret, and generate natural language text, making them useful for various tasks such as text generation, language translation, sentiment analysis, chatbots, and more.

ChatGPT is currently one of the best known AI tools. NLP models like ChatGPT are designed to understand, interpret, and generate natural language text, making them useful for various tasks such as text generation, language translation, sentiment analysis, chatbots, and more. Teachers can use similar NLP models to detect plagiarism.

Turnitin is a popular NLP-based plagiarism detection tool that helps teachers identify instances of copied content in students' assignments. 

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) Applications

VR and AR technologies provide immersive experiences that enhance learning in various subjects. History teachers can take students on virtual field trips to ancient civilizations, while science educators can demonstrate complex concepts through interactive augmented reality simulations, making abstract or distant topics more tangible and engaging.

Google Expeditions allows teachers to take their students on virtual field trips to museums, outer space, the South Pole, and almost anywhere else in the world imaginable! It provides a 360-degree view and immersive experience using virtual reality (VR) technology. 

HoloAnatomy is a mixed reality (MR) application that allows teachers to bring the study of human anatomy to life. According to the website, HoloAnatomy enables students to "visualize anatomical structures, systems and even the "difficult to see" anatomy such as the diaphragm, nervous and circulatory systems."

Data Analytics and Assessment Tools

AI-powered data analytics tools help educators gather insights from student performance data, attendance records, and engagement metrics, enabling them to identify trends, track individual progress, and optimize teaching methods to meet specific learning objectives.

PowerSchool is a comprehensive student information system that includes assessment and analytics features. It allows teachers to track grades, attendance, and generate reports on student performance.

Enrich the learning journey with AI tools

Aspiring teachers should embrace the power of connection with students, stay passionate and adaptable in their approach, and prioritize creating an inclusive and supportive learning environment to make a positive impact on young minds and foster lifelong learning.

AI tools offer teachers the means to enrich the learning journey. As technology advances, educators have the chance to seize AI tools' potential for an improved educational experience. 

By staying on top of the latest innovations in educational technology, teachers can be at the forefront of AI adoption. 

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