Empowering All Learners: The Role of AI in Adaptive Teaching

Blog post by Dan James

In today’s diverse classrooms, teachers are tasked with ensuring every child, including those with SEND, can access and excel within the classroom environment. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a powerful tool in this endeavour, offering adaptive teaching methods that cater to individual needs. This blog will focus on the potential advantages and practicalities specifically for writing. None of the strategies discussed here are new to the teaching profession. However, I investigate which strategies AI can support teachers with, to quickly create specific resources and tasks. This list is by no means exhaustive and teachers are using a wide range of strategies for adapting resources to ensure we meet the needs of all our learners.

The AI world at your fingertips

Teachers today have at their disposal a rich suite of AI platforms and chatbots aimed at enhancing educational experiences and accommodating diverse learning needs. From Google’s Teachable Machine, which allows for the creation of custom learning activities, to adaptive learning paths offered by Brainly and Khan Academy, to resource development platforms like TeachMateAI; these tools provide personalised support and instant feedback. Additionally, chatbots like ChatGPT stand out for their ability to engage in meaningful dialogues to generate educational content. Alongside specific SEND support tools like Proloquo2Go, these technologies are paving the way for more inclusive, engaging, and efficient teaching and learning practices.

 

Strategic Use of AI for Inclusive Education- writing.

1. Visual Writing Prompts: Engages children visually and contextually.

2. Structured Worksheets: Provides a scaffold for writing tasks.

3. Vocabulary Lists with Images: Enhances word recognition and usage.

4. Story Sequencing Activities:  Aids in understanding narrative structures.

5. Adapting Model Texts: Makes complex texts accessible.

 

Practical Applications example: Adapting Year 5 Writing Objectives

Imagine a Year 5 child working at a Year 3 level, tasked with a writing assignment based on a World War II narrative. Here’s how AI strategies can be applied:

Visual Writing Prompts:  AI selects an image of a wartime scene, asking the child to describe it using simple prompts.

-Structured Worksheets: The teacher uses AI-generated worksheets with sentence starters like, “During the air-raid, I felt…” to guide the child’s writing.

-Vocabulary Lists with Images:  AI compiles a list of period-specific words with pictures to help the child grasp and use them in their narrative.

-Story Sequencing Activities: The teacher employs AI tools to break down the narrative into manageable segments for the child to arrange.

-Adapting Model Texts:  AI simplifies excerpts from class texts or modelled texts. Specifically allowing the child to engage with age-appropriate materials that reflect their reading level and the requirements of the lesson.

 

The Pros and Cons of AI in Education

Pros:

Tailored Learning: AI meets children where they are, making the curriculum accessible to learners at all levels.

Timesaving: It automates resource creation, allowing teachers to focus more on direct teaching and support.

Engagement Boost: AI’s interactive and visual tools can make learning more appealing and relevant.

Cons:

Dependency Risk: Over reliance on AI could diminish the importance of teacher-child interactions.

Accessibility Issues: Not all schools have the resources to implement AI effectively, risking further inequality.

In conclusion, AI presents a promising avenue for supporting diverse learning needs in the classroom. By carefully integrating AI with quality first teaching, we can ensure that every child, including those working below their year group, has the support and scaffolding needed to succeed. As we navigate this technological integration, maintaining a balance between AI assistance and the invaluable human touch of teaching will be crucial.

What are your views and experiences of utilising AI to adapt teaching for all children?

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