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The Classroom Of The Future – Will AI Replace Teachers?

Written by: Salim Sheikh, Executive Contributor, in collaboration with Fatima Al Husseiny.

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The increasing advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have led to the development of innovative tools and technologies that have the potential to transform the education sector. While AI tools can offer several benefits to the education system, such as personalized learning and data-driven insights, there has been a growing debate about whether these tools could replace teachers in the classroom. This article aims to explore the potential impact of AI on the teaching profession and examine whether AI tools can replace human teachers in the future. While AI tools have shown promise in improving education, the thesis of this essay argues that they cannot fully replace teachers, as human interaction, empathy, and creativity are integral components of the learning process. In this article, we aim to answer the following question: Will AI Tools Replace Teachers?



Setting The Scene


Online education has recently drawn much interest as a substitute for traditional classroom instruction. Traditional education is more teacher-centered, but as e-learning has developed, there has been a trend toward a more student-centered approach. ¹ We all live in a digital age, and online learning is a thing of the future. ² Online learning is here to stay. Thanks to technology development, online learning platforms have made it feasible for students to access educational resources anywhere and anytime. Others contend that technology only supports education rather than replacing it, despite some who claim that online learning may replace traditional classroom instruction. This blog will examine both arguments and share our viewpoints on the subject.


As a matter of fact, the flexibility of online learning is one of its key benefits. With the ability to access educational resources from their own devices, students may study at their own pace whenever and wherever they want. Online instruction can also be customized to meet each student's needs, allowing them to concentrate on their areas of interest or difficulty. This is very beneficial for students who struggle in traditional classroom settings or who need more one-on-one attention.


Nevertheless, despite these benefits, online learning can only partially replace traditional classroom instruction. The advantages of hands-on learning, social engagement, and collaborative learning that classroom instruction offers are different from online learning. Students can participate in group discussions, debates, and other activities that reinforce their education in a regular classroom format. Traditional classrooms also offer a more structured setting, which is advantageous for students who struggle with motivation or self-discipline.


With that in mind, using technology in education is a crucial additional consideration. While technology can help with education, it cannot replace a teacher's human touch. Teachers serve as mentors, role models, inspirations, and educational resources. Technology must maintain the relationship between students and teachers, a crucial educational component. Additionally, face-to-face encounters allow instant feedback and concept clarification, which is impossible just through online learning.


It is significant to note that there has long been discussion regarding whether online education can replace traditional classroom instruction. In actuality, it has been a hot-button issue for many years. Due to social segregation measures, schools and institutions were compelled to transition to online learning; nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed this discussion to the fore. Global higher education is one of the industries undergoing a substantial digital transformation due to the reality of the new normal, which has been upended by COVID effects. ³ The efficiency of online learning systems in providing high-quality education has thus come under closer investigation.


As a result, even if online learning has numerous benefits and can be a helpful addition to traditional classroom instruction, it won’t replace it. Online learning cannot replace traditional classrooms' structured learning environment, social interaction opportunities, and hands-on learning experiences. Furthermore, rather than serving as a substitute for interpersonal communication and classroom instruction, technology should be viewed as an aid to education. It is crucial to keep researching the advantages of both online and conventional classroom instruction and figure out how to combine the two in a way that plays to each method's advantages.


Concluding Thoughts


In conclusion, the impact of AI on the classroom of the future is significant and promising. AI has the potential to revolutionize the way students learn and interact with the educational system. By using AI, teachers and educators can tailor teaching methods to meet the unique needs of each student, allowing them to learn at their own pace and receive personalized feedback. Moreover, AI can help teachers automate administrative tasks, giving them more time to focus on teaching and mentoring their students.


However, in our view, while AI can enhance the learning experience, it cannot replace the critical role of teachers. Teachers play a crucial role in the classroom, providing guidance, mentorship, and support to their students. They can use AI as a tool to improve their teaching and better meet the needs of their students, but they must remain actively involved in the learning process. As such, teachers need to continually learn and adapt to the latest AI technologies to ensure that they are well-equipped to provide the best possible education to their students.


In summary, the future of the classroom is exciting, with AI poised to revolutionize the way we learn and teach. However, the role of teachers remains paramount in ensuring that students receive a quality education. By embracing AI and working alongside it, educators can create a more effective and personalized learning experience for all students.


Call To Action


We end this article with a “call to action” to governments inviting them to take several proactive steps to reduce the potential negative impact of AI on the future of teaching and teachers. First, governments can invest in education and training programs to help teachers acquire the skills needed to effectively use AI in the classroom. This can include providing professional development opportunities, creating certification programs, and establishing partnerships between schools and technology companies. Second, governments can regulate the use of AI in education to ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly. This can involve establishing standards for the use of AI in the classroom, ensuring that student data is protected, and providing oversight to prevent the misuse of AI technology.


Third, governments can invest in research and development to create AI systems that are specifically designed to enhance the role of teachers rather than replace them. This can include developing AI systems that assist teachers in the grading process, identify areas where students are struggling, and provide personalized feedback and support. Finally, governments can work to ensure that the implementation of AI in education is equitable and accessible to all students, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. This can include providing funding for schools in underserved communities to ensure that they have access to the same technology and resources as other schools.


Overall, by taking these steps, governments can help ensure that AI is used to enhance the role of teachers rather than replace them and that all students have access to a quality education.


Fatima Al Husseiny, Instructor, Editor, Copywriter, and Tech for Social Good Advocate


Fatima is an Instructor, researcher, LinkedIn content creator, content writer, and editor. She holds a Master's degree in Educational Management from the Lebanese International University and a BA in English Language and Literature from the Lebanese University. She is part of the LinkedIn for Journalists Premium Program 2022-2023. Fatima's professional goals are related to developing academic research in Education, Educational Technology, AI, and Social Media. She has been awarded two achievement awards for her contributions to Wikipedia and has various certifications from Google, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy. Fatima enriches her social responsibility by contributing to writing educational blogs for reputable media outlets (e.g., Annahar Media Group Website) and content editing in an international context, such as The International Girls Academy, NJ, USA.


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Salim Sheikh, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Over the past 25 years, Salim has built a career in consulting, working both client ‒ and supplier-side as an interim CIO/CTO and a Business Change / Transformation Consultant. Facilitating digital and technology transformations programmes that have included rescue & recovery ("turnaround"), process optimisation & improvement and organizational change – across diverse industries in the UK, Europe, Nordics, Turkey, UAE, US, and Australia.

Salim is an Oxford University (Said Business School) alumni who also has strong academic roots in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was previously a mentor in the “Responsible Tech Program” managed by “All Tech Is Human” and an academic scholar on topics relating “AI for Social Good”, “AI for Society” and “Human-Robot Interaction (HRI)”.

Salim authored "Understanding the Role of Artificial Intelligence and Its Future Social Impact" –available on IGI Global (https://bit.ly/34cfJVf) – and a new series on “Societal AI” available on Amazon (https://amzn.eu/d/bmYm9K7).

 

References:

  • [1] Coman, C., Țîru, L. G., Meseșan-Schmitz, L., Stanciu, C., & Bularca, M. C. (2020). “Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education during the Coronavirus Pandemic: Students’ Perspective. Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410367

  • [2] García-Morales, V. J., Garrido-Moreno, A., & Martín-Rojas, R. (2021). “The Transformation of Higher Education After the COVID Disruption: Emerging Challenges in an Online Learning Scenario”. Front Psychology. 2021 Feb 11;12:616059. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.616059

  • [3] Dwivedi, Y., Hughes, L., Coombs, C., Constantiou, I., Duan, Y., Edwards, J., et al. (2020). “Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on information management research and practice: Transforming education, work, and life”. International Journal of Information Management Volume 55, December 2020, 102211. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102211.


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