- Using Teacher Advisor With Watson 1.0, K-5 educators can now use IBM's famous Watson artificial intelligence (AI) to search an open educational resource database for the most relevant math concepts to base lessons around, District Administration reports.
- The database's offerings currently include more than 2,000 lessons, teaching plans, activities and videos, and the AI's understanding of natural language allows it to return meaningful results for queries like "collaborative learning with fractions" even if items don't contain the phrase "collaborative learning," according to District Administration.
- Through beta testing that included the American Federation of Teachers, school boards and thousands of teachers, as well as ongoing feedback from educators and others, the technology's power to make recommendations and understand academic prerequisites and standards is expected to improve further.
Thus far, AI isn't turning out to be the teacher-replacing bogeyman that some feared it would be. It is, however, seemingly making educators' jobs easier via curriculum recommendations, automated grading, digital tutoring and more. While the amount of time saved may seem miniscule when looked at in individual increments, estimates have suggested that 30 seconds saved each day can add up to six extra instructional hours during the school year.
Continued investment in professional learning opportunities around these new tools, as well as cooperation in improving their development with consistent feedback and testing, will only maximize their potential in the classroom. While they aren't a be-all, end-all solution that will magically produce results in achievement and other metrics, they are an increasingly invaluable tool that can help educators focus more attention on students' needs and achieve those goals regardless.