Tony Wheeler is head of innovation at UK edtech firm Digital Assess, and is responsible for the original design of many of the Digital Assess systems. As a former teacher, he co-founded TAG Developments in 1990. Tony recently coordinated a trial to help educational institutions realise the benefits of AI in the classroom through FormativeAssess, a web application developed by Digital Assess. The app, which uses machine learning to simulate the role of an expert mentor, aims to scale good teaching practice by engaging in conversations with students during early stage project work. The focus is on nurturing the creative process and encouraging a deeper level engagement. Digital Assess is now planning to introduce this technology to more learners across the UK.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise learning and enrich the classroom environment in a way that most teachers probably aren’t aware of. Whilst the technology itself isn’t new to education, it is yet to be utilised to its full potential. Too often, AI is perceived to be disruptive, or is employed to produce a specific outcome – better exam results being the obvious example. Teachers need to recognise that, actually, AI can slot effortlessly into normal teaching practice, and it can provide immeasurable benefits that go much further than simply ticking boxes.