AI for education
A new chapter in education
Overview article of how AI might be used as a tool to power educational outcomes
How do students learn?
We know a lot about how students learn. We know students learn more when they:
- are actively engaged with the material to be learned
- get immediate feedback on their responses to new material being learned
- work on material that is just at the edge of what they can do when provided with a little support
- see value in what they are learning
All of these things are hard to manage consistently in classrooms with 25-30 students and one teacher. The teacher simply can't provide each student with the individual attention they need.
Since personal computers have become widely available, educational technology has tried to fill this gap. But these solutions have struggled to really act as tutors, in part because they were not easily able to consume and produce open-ended responses in natural language.
In other words, it's difficult for teachers—and it has been difficult for computers—to provide consistently rich, personalized, insightful, actionable feedback to student writing on a large scale.
That is changing.
What will large language models mean for student learning?
Large language models have arrived—and they offer the potential to change how learners interact with educational technology.
We believe that activities in which students interact with LLMs as collaborators and thought partners could hold the key to a new generation of engaging and efficacious online learning experiences!
We know learning outcomes are improved through 1) active engagement, 2) immediate feedback, 3) working at a personal learning edge, and 4) perceived value. Therefore, for example, LLMs can promote learning by:
- Leading students through the steps of the writing process while offering rubric-based feedback on drafts
- Encouraging students to check their understanding of procedural and application-based skills and tasks
- Engaging with individual students on deeper learning questions like why, what if, and how
- Helping students link what they are learning to their goals, their lives, and the things they are interested in
These ideas aren’t wishful thinking or “maybe someday” ideas, but things that we can ask these models to do now. However, we need to understand how they act in the real world, with real students, and we'll need hard proof that they can improve engagement and learning outcomes.
We should be asking these questions of any educational technology—and we can also help find the answers together.
Want to join the conversation?
- I'm interested in learning if students, when faced with educational challenges, might rely on AI instead of their critical thinking. Therefore, AI might decrease the ability for a student to learn from their experiences. I hope to better understand Khan Academy's stance on these issues and mean no disrespect.
Doesn't Khan Academy promote learning from mistakes, given that its motto is "You can learn anything"? Therefore, if a student allows AI to think for them, does AI hinder creativity in education? Does it disallow productivity to learn and grow from mistakes? Again, I mean no disrespect to the team at Khan Academy, instead I seek clarity on this subject.(8 votes)
- This point is commonly brung up in debates about AI in education that I have found. I personally find that language models can be brung up to their full potential when you are learning with the AI bot. Following the steps the bot provides, and understanding when the bot might not always be correct (hallucinations). I think that Khan Academy's stance on AI is to use it as a personal tutor. I hope that Khan Academy's future AI is keener on teaching/explaining over showing the answers.
(This is just my personal interpretation, I'm sure that others may have a different stance.)(3 votes)
- So does this mean that khan will add like an ai to help you with your school work, and motivate you? But it cant give you answers and it will only give you hints and explain things like (for example) if you told it, "I don't understand how to do 2 + 3." it would reply something like this? "Let me explain, lets say you have FOUR apples and then you went out to pick TWO more apples, How many apples would you have? 6! Now do the same thing but with TWO apples, and THREE apples. How many apples would you have?" Thanks!(7 votes)
- You pretty much answered your own question but yes.
Khanmigo is supposed to be designed to not tell you the correct answers, but to help you to understand and lecture you on what you know.(2 votes)
- This is phenomenal. I am a grade 6/7 teacher with 30 students in my class. Khan Academy is my main math tool. When will this be available in Canada?(7 votes)
- What do you mean by "personal learning edge"?(3 votes)
- limits of ur understanding(1 vote)
- Very interested in teaching this. I have 7th grade through 12th. Any idea when this would be available?(2 votes)
Khanmigo is up!(1 vote)
- One argument, as a former teacher, commonly heard is classrooms teach culture, societal relations, necessary communal norms, etc. besides subject matter. Similarly, is not true Happiness, as in Dante's "Divine Comedy" better achieved by having a physical body (interacting in person)? (one of the laments of a soul at the top level - what she missed most about human life)(2 votes)
- How is it guaranteed (or approximately so) that a chat box application of AI or even an educational platform that uses AI is not engineered with a bias, such as that exhibited just recently by Twitter et al. in regard to Progressive ideas and content, with more traditional or conservative ideas shadow banned, etc.?(2 votes)
- Why should we do this(2 votes)
- Can AI set up steps to form a process to a goal or procedure?(2 votes)
- Yes, AI can be used to set up steps and form a process to achieve a goal or procedure. This is often referred to as "planning" or "automated planning" in the field of AI.(1 vote)
- How important are railroads in today's economy?(2 votes)