Coronavirus: English-language schools in Hong Kong and China use AI to teach students remotely
Exclusive: A UK tech firm has given schools free access to its AI system so pupils can continue to learn without a teacher being in the room
English-language schools in China are using artificial intelligence to teach students remotely while they are closed by coronavirus. A UK tech company has given schools free access to its AI system so pupils can continue to learn without a teacher being in the room with them. To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, all Hong Kong schools have been shut until at least 2 March, while students across mainland China face long school closures and isolation. Twenty-five impacted schools have already taken up the offer, but Century said it is open to requests of support from any affected school using the British curriculum, which its system is designed for.
There are 201 English-speaking schools in Hong Kong alone, teaching 91,000 students. Priya Lakhani, Century’s founder and chief executive, said: “The health and safety of students and teachers is the utmost priority. We hope that our technology can be of some help while schools are closed.”
The firm’s AI works by providing teaching which constantly adapts to the student. Personalised learning Pupils log into a digital platform, where they are given “personalised learning content”. The platform tracks their interactions, looking for patterns to understand each child’s knowledge, skills, gaps, focus, difficulty levels and preferences. It then creates an “individualised path” for the pupil based on a series of “micro-lessons”. Teachers are kept abreast of how they are doing via data and analysis on their students’ performance. Mark Steed, principal and CEO of Kellett School, the British International School in Hong Kong, said: “The closure of schools presents a wealth of challenges for teachers and students. “At international schools, like here at Kellett School, we have to find ways of continuing to prepare our students for the upcoming British public examinations.” ‘Health takes primacy’ He said use of the platform would “give our teachers the tools they need to help our students to continue to progress throughout the disruption”.
Oliver Wells, head of Rong Qiao Sedbergh School in Fuzhou, China, said the technology would allow students to make progress during three weeks of isolation at home, while providing “diagnostic data on the areas where they still need human support”. The move was also welcomed by Sir Anthony Seldon, vice chancellor of the University Buckingham, who set up the the Institute for Ethical AI in Education. He said: “All those affected by the outbreak of coronavirus are in my thoughts. “Here, I hope that these measures will help to keep the young people of Hong Kong safe. Protecting their health takes primacy. “It is heartening that, despite the disruption, this innovative use of technology means they will also have genuine opportunities to learn, develop and grow.”
By Will Hazell first published on February 12, 2020 on https://inews.co.uk/