OECD Digital Education Report 2021, CIO News, ET CIO

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics and blockchain technology, when used in a coordinated and combined manner, can potentially revolutionize the education system. The 2021 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report highlighted the growing importance of robotics, AI and blockchain technology in the field of education, from schools to universities.

The report highlighted the need for advancement or digital education in recent times citing the following conditions of the current scenario:

  • With the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools have transitioned to digital learning to continue their children’s education.
  • However, screen fatigue and the stress of adapting to digital devices for a long time created problems to prepare for the learning process.
  • Technology readiness and the use of innovative technology can better prepare schools around the world for effective digital education.

The three advanced technologies of the AI, blockchain and robotics era are already being used in some countries. A look at each of them:AI and its growing relevance in education:

  • AI can enhance digital learning experiences by making them more interactive and adaptable in the following ways:
  • It can help teachers gauge the varied attention and focus of different students and the areas where they get bored and the areas where they speed up.
  • AI can allow amateur teachers to better perceive and get a feel for the classroom, such as when to slow down, speed up, and ask questions to stimulate a passive class.
  • Learning analytics can help create practical assessments and exams through simulations, in vocational settings.
  • AI technology can help reintegrate learning and assessment, using real-time data and feedback to help students.

The role of robotics in digital education:

  • The effective use of robotics will require a great deal of reinventing the role of teachers. Robotics in combination with AI can help improve the quality of teaching for human teachers in the following ways:
  • Social robots are constantly receiving a stream of data and have enormous potential to disrupt teaching and learning. For example, while one is studying Psychology on a computer, the computer can in turn measure how well the student is studying Psychology and make the learning experience much more granular.
  • The robots can easily perform some routine actions of the teacher. For example, you can take 2 students to a corner of the classroom and have a 10-minute conversation in French while the rest of the class works on action verbs with the human teacher.

The growing importance of blockchain:

  • Blockchain has been claimed to be the most mature technology across applications among the three technologies covered in the report.
  • Blockchain can relieve the education system of the task of maintaining decades of certificate and degree data.
  • Blockchain verified qualifications can make the entire process of providing certificates and maintaining huge amounts of data and records extremely seamless, easy and manageable.

The OECD report concluded by underlining the following points about the implementation of these technologies:
The relationship between the use of technology and learning outcomes varies greatly between countries
Teachers need to invest in learning about the use of AI and robotics and optimizing them with a human approach to deliver the best possible education for students.
Technology produces the best results when humans are involved in and benefit from it, not when left to their devices.

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