4 groundbreaking innovations shaping the learning environment of tomorrow

Today’s students are at the forefront of educational transformation, increasingly integrating new technology into their learning, which promises to redefine education and how students interact with content.
Industries: Education
    1. Holoportation box signals new frontiers in ASL learning
    2. Google NotebookLM’s AI might upend traditional education
    3. Full grade boost attributed to the implementation of Inspired AI platform
    4. Full grade boost attributed to the implementation of Inspired AI platform

Education as we once knew it is undergoing significant changes, mainly propelled by technological breakthroughs. Modern learners are not just passive recipients; they’re digital natives, seamlessly integrating technology into their daily learning activities, both at home and in educational institutions. As technology further solidifies its presence, it holds the potential to redefine teaching methodologies and student engagement. However, for this evolution to be truly effective, future educators must strike a harmonious balance between leveraging these tech tools and fostering genuine human interactions. Let’s delve deeper as we spotlight four new educational innovations: the Holoportation box, which transports students to a world of immersive 3D learning experiences; Google’s NotebookLM, an ingenious tool harnessing machine learning to redefine content creation; the Inspired AI platform, an innovative system tailoring educational content to each learner’s unique needs; and finally, Learnosity’s GPT-4-powered tool, a game-changer in automating and enhancing the realm of test generation.

1. Holoportation box signals new frontiers in ASL learning

During a recent Visual-Centric Teaching and Learning (VCTL) Symposium in Washington DC, the world’s only liberal arts university for the hearing-impaired delved into the prospects of distant education by trialling a life-size holoportation box. The event was organised by Gallaudet University, an institution founded in 1864, dedicated to the education of the deaf and hard of hearing, and named in honour of a prominent figure in deaf education, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. At the event, the manufacturer Proto Inc. introduced the Epic, formerly known as Portl, a unit crafted to project full-scale human images into event venues, museums, conference rooms, and so on, for live engagement. This technology incorporates AI-driven cameras, a touch-responsive display, integrated mics and speakers, and interior LEDs to enhance shadow and reflection detailing. During the symposium, Roberta J. Cordano, the university president, was virtually ‘transported’ into a Proto Epic. Through a live video stream, she engaged with attendees using ASL and responding in real time. Pioneering chief bilingual officer, Dr. Laurene E. Simms, in conjunction with several faculty members, administrators, and students, also took the stage as holograms. 

It was a vivid demonstration of how this technology can transform the way we host and engage with international personalities and speakers. The CBO said: “This is a dream come true for me personally and for the deaf community. For so long, we have been eager to utilise ASL and English bilingualism through hologram technology, which allows us to fully express ourselves in ASL, a spatial language”. The university has consistently been a pioneer in adopting digital visual technologies, utilising them to promote American Sign Language (ASL) instruction and advance English bilingualism. Doug Barry, founder and CFO/COO of Proto Inc. said: “We started Proto to bring people together across every kind of divide. We have tested Proto with our employees who use sign language and now I’m so proud to work with Gallaudet University to show how holograms can facilitate much clearer conversations and learning with ASL than any flat screen could ever provide”.

2. Google NotebookLM’s AI might upend traditional education

Recently, Google unveiled NotebookLM, a product resulting from extensive research in artificial intelligence and natural language processing over several years. The standout feature of Google NotebookLM is its adeptness in discerning and interpreting human language. Not only can the tool grasp the context and connections between various bits of information you input, but it also offers valuable suggestions and insights. This transforms note-taking into a dynamic, interactive, and enriched process. Google’s NotebookLM offers an array of impressive features designed to enhance productivity and creativity. One standout trait is its remarkable organisational capabilities. By harnessing sophisticated algorithms, the tool effortlessly arranges your notes, making it simpler than ever to retrieve a specific project outline or even personal reflections. Furthermore, it’s not just limited to text; for those who prefer verbal expression, the platform’s voice-to-text functionality is a game-changer. It allows users to dictate thoughts, and in seconds, they’re transcribed. This capability is especially beneficial during commutes or moments when typing isn’t feasible. Another strength of NotebookLM is its emphasis on collaboration, as the platform’s real-time sharing and collaboration features greatly simplify group brainstorming and project coordination. 

Educators and students find immense value in NotebookLM as it optimises note-taking during lectures, paving the way for enriched comprehension. Additionally, its seamless integration across devices, from tablets to desktops, guarantees accessibility. This universality ensures your insights, data, or musings are always within arm’s reach, irrespective of your location. And with the added advantage of its integration with Google Workspace, your notes are consistently synchronised, nurturing innovative ideation and maximising efficiency. The potential of Google’s NotebookLM in the educational sector is vast. For educators, it promises an organised repository of lesson plans, research notes, and student assessments, all automatically categorised for swift retrieval. This can substantially reduce prep time, allowing educators to focus more on instruction and student engagement. For students, the voice-to-text feature is especially beneficial during lectures, ensuring they don’t miss out on any crucial points while jotting down notes. The collaborative aspect of NotebookLM also encourages group study and project coordination, fostering a more interactive learning experience. Moreover, its suggestions and insights can help with research, pushing students to explore topics more deeply and encouraging them to think more critically. In essence, NotebookLM could well be the bridge between traditional education methods and a more tech-integrated, efficient future, paving the way for a more dynamic and interactive learning environment.

“It’s clear that the future of education will be increasingly personalised, and that technologies such as AI will be key in helping to ensure students can flourish and reach their full potential. Educational technology is evolving, and we are determined to remain at the cutting edge of this innovation”.

Nadim Nsouli, Inspired Education Group

3. Full grade boost attributed to the implementation of Inspired AI platform

The prominent Inspired Education Group, renowned for its network of premium educational institutions worldwide, has recently shared data insights gathered from five of its top international schools. These insights are derived from a larger experimental initiative aimed at integrating AI technology into daily teaching and learning processes. The Inspired AI platform harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to create customised learning tracks for students, encompassing both classroom activities and assignments at home. Through an initial evaluation, it gauges a student’s specific areas of proficiency and areas needing improvement. Based on this insight, the platform creates individualised tasks and learning modules for students, spanning subjects like science, maths, and English. Furthermore, it offers real-time insights and suggestions to educators as well as parents, enhancing the collaborative effort in a student’s educational journey. Within educational settings, the Inspired AI platform plays a tri-fold role. It pioneers new methods for fast-tracking student learning by tailoring content to individual needs. Additionally, it alleviates the burden on educators by automating tasks like grading, data interpretation, and resource creation. The platform also augments educators’ efforts by offering detailed feedback on each student’s grasp and proficiency, pointing out areas that might benefit from targeted intervention.

Over 14,000 students from 26 schools spanning 12 countries had the opportunity to trial the Inspired Education Group’s Inspired AI platform. Feedback from this pilot was overwhelmingly positive; data gathered from top-tier schools in locations such as Hamala, Milan, Madrid, and the Bahamas revealed that an impressive 84.50 per cent of students believed the AI platform enriched their educational journey. In fact, students using the Inspired AI platform saw performance increase with an average of 8.12 percentage points, the equivalent of a full grade boundary. Furthermore, a significant 80.18 per cent of the educators who engaged with the platform vouched for its efficacy, expressing their willingness to recommend Inspired AI as a valuable learning tool. Founder, chairman, and CEO of Inspired Education Group, Nadim Nsouli, reacted to the findings: “Whether it be physically in classrooms, or through digital and remote schooling, it’s clear that the future of education will be increasingly personalised, and that technologies such as AI will be key in helping to ensure students can flourish and reach their full potential. Educational technology is evolving, and we are determined to remain at the cutting edge of this innovation”. 

Educators will also have a responsibility to be vigilant about latent biases and they need to ensure the educational effectiveness of AI-generated questions as well as their cultural sensitivity.

4. Learnosity’s AI-enhanced approach to test generation

Recently, the assessment technology firm Learnosity made its debut in the AI domain by introducing a tool partly powered by ChatGPT-4. This innovative tool aims to facilitate the development of high-quality assessments for students. Advocates for AI’s role in education often highlight test creation as a labour-intensive administrative task. With the right supervision, AI can handle this task with greater efficiency than humans. Gavin Cooney, co-founder and CEO of Learnosity, emphasises that AI has the potential to significantly boost student learning by generating a larger amount and variety of responses to different student answers. Learnosity’s innovative tool not only enables test publishers to produce extensive item banks fast and efficiently, but also transforms traditional multiple-choice questions into short-answer or more intricate contrast-and-compare questions. Cooney and his team at Learnosity approached the concept of AI test generators with a unique perspective. Rather than aiming to substitute human authors, they pondered on how to enhance the efficiency of an expert author tenfold. Their study centred on whether these authors, with the aid of AI, could produce content that was not only more abundant but also of superior quality, more engaging, and offered improved feedback for students. The potential for richer assessments that can truly enhance learning comes from providing students with detailed feedback, especially concerning incorrect answers or distractors. Previously, the capabilities of AI technology were limited in this regard. However, with the evolution of tools like ChatGPT-4, such comprehensive assessments have now become achievable. Cooney: “It would be massively expensive and labour-intensive to write student feedback for every possible distracter all the way along, but now it’s possible. You’d also want to make sure each option provides detailed feedback to students and enhances student learning”. 

As AI tools become more accessible and user-friendly, there’s a growing interest among educators to incorporate them into their teaching methodologies, such as using them to create test questions. Learnosity’s tool, currently designed for professional test authors, could soon be a valuable asset for these educators. However, Cooney emphasises the significance of not limiting these tests to mere knowledge-based questions. Instead, the aim should be to encourage critical thinking, cultivate problem-solving skills, and promote deeper learning. Educators will also have a responsibility to be vigilant about latent biases in these kinds of tools and they need to ensure the educational effectiveness of AI-generated questions as well as their cultural sensitivity. For instance, a query about Thanksgiving might not resonate with everyone, given diverse global backgrounds. What’s considered acceptable or relatable in New York might not be the same for individuals in Florida — or in Japan or Italy for that matter. Cooney emphasises that educators should meticulously guide AI, likening the technology to a copilot in student learning. He cautions against letting AI independently steer educational trajectories, suggesting a more hands-on approach and providing the AI with continuous review and adjustment.

In closing

The landscape of education is rapidly transforming, fuelled by the integration of cutting-edge technological innovations. From Gallaudet University’s pioneering adoption of the holoportation box and Google’s NotebookLM to the Inspired AI platform’s personalised learning pathways and Learnosity’s AI-powered approach to creating rich, diverse assessments — the future of education gleams with promise. The contemporary student is no longer just a passive recipient of knowledge. With tools at their fingertips that cater to individualised learning needs and promote active engagement, learners are better equipped to traverse the intricate pathways of knowledge. However, as we welcome these innovations, we also need to exercise some discernment. We should keep in mind that technologies, however advanced and no matter how many benefits they bring, should complement — not substitute — the essential human interactions that form the foundation of the learning experience. As AI continues to evolve, and as we further integrate it into our educational processes, we will need to be constantly cognisant of the fact that cultural sensitivity, curbing biases, and promoting universally relatable content are pivotal. In the end, the ultimate goal is to foster an environment where every learner can thrive, irrespective of background or capability. 

Industries: Education
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