May 26 2021

3 Ways K–12 Schools Can Use AI to Improve Student Engagement Online

Educators can support students and personalize learning with the help of data curated by artificial intelligence.

The country’s school system has been rocked by the pandemic, with many of the largest districts experiencing unprecedented drops in student enrollment. According to enrollment data from 78 of the largest school districts in the nation, at least 240,000 students are unaccounted for.

The crux of the issue is the lack of visibility into student productivity. Educators no longer have the direct, in-person insight into how and what students are doing online. This directly impacts schools’ bottom line — enrollment, graduation rates, funding, student and teacher satisfaction, and more.

To address these issues, schools must first understand how their students work. This includes knowing how they’re using their time, what time is most productive, which work is yielding the most positive output and which areas are cause for concern. The key is knowing how and when to use this information to help students succeed.

1. Educators Can Improve Student Support with AI

Data — analyzing and applying it — provides teachers with the insight and guidance needed to keep students engaged. But data alone doesn’t make the grade; schools need AI.

A great educator learns from data-informed feedback and is able to make adjustments in real time based on what works and what doesn’t. Schools can use AI to derive data value from systems and activity logs such as Blackboard, student information systems and Google apps. This allows them to proactively pinpoint areas for improvement, making productivity tangible and customizing recommendations for students to get on — and stay on — the path to success.

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2. AI Can Help Design Individualized Assignments and Projects

The pandemic has forced many older students to work to help their families financially, which is one cause for students’ grades suffering. Students must prioritize work over attending classes and completing their assignments. To address this issue, educators need to know when students are prioritizing outside responsibilities over schoolwork. These students will require individualized attention and projects.

This is where educators can use AI to identify and examine student data. For example, if data reveals that one student has suddenly changed her study patterns, it may be a sign she is at risk of falling behind. Educators can take the necessary steps to work with the student on an individualized learning plan as a preventive, rather than a reactive, measure.

3. AI Can Offer Customized Recommendations for Improving Classes

Data can also show how students have succeeded in a particular course. It can make recommendations to help other students who may be struggling with a particular subject, allowing the teacher to course-correct while there is still time to do so.

This data is a powerful linchpin in identifying and resolving issues as soon as they arise. With the help of customized and actionable recommendations generated by AI, both educators and students can see which areas deserve more focus to improve their productivity.

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With customized, actionable recommendations from AI, educators can support students and create personalized assignments and class materials. In this way, AI helps schools motivate and encourage students who may otherwise face a disconnect from learning online.

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