Turning Learning Technology into the Ultimate Teaching Assistant
During last week’s annual ASU+GSV Summit, numerous themes emerged – from data proliferation and high-impact tutoring to learning recovery and, of course, the meteoric rise of Generative AI. Even with the buzz around ChatGPT (and other tools like it), one overarching theme clearly emerged from every conversation and panel session: empowering educators with the support they need to serve students at every level, from K-12 to higher ed and beyond.
At the core, human relationships are a fundamental part of the learning process. I still remember the elementary school teacher who most impacted my academic growth, and, ultimately, my path forward. We will never replace the value of that human interaction. However, through learning technology, we can provide the ultimate teaching assistant to help differentiate instruction and scale personalized learning.
While we have yet to fully realize the power of technology in education, we do know that it can help level the playing field – creating equity and access for all learners. We’ve seen the positive impact that learning technology can have in rural school districts and under-served communities that lack the resources of highly resourced suburban school districts. Technology has enabled teachers to help their students catch up to grade level, particularly in math and reading. As a relationship builder, technology can enable stronger connections through asynchronous or synchronous conversations between teacher and student, allowing learners to truly be “seen” outside the traditional classroom.
Technology also can provide educators with a tremendous amount of data around each student. With proper context and clear purpose, data can be a powerful tool for setting and measuring individualized growth goals. As learning technology providers, it is our responsibility to help educators interpret that data and make it actionable, especially through the next wave of personalization.
As an industry, it is our responsibility to paint a clear vision for the future of technology in education, grounded in trust and transparency. New innovations are ongoing and being adopted by our students and communities continuously. We cannot ignore them; instead, we need to embrace emerging technology, like generative AI, for the power and potential it has to accelerate learning. It is our role to help policymakers, educators and communities understand, and not fear, the potential of new technology to give students a boost in their academic achievement.