So, we’ve covered how chatbots are ushering in a new wave of conversational commerce. Even if that term doesn’t sound familiar with you, most digital natives have some familiarity with it through the messenger services they use such as WhatsApp and Facebook. However, beyond commerce, one of the industries most ripe for chatbot integration is the educational industry.
Recently, LiveTiles partnered with Rokeby High School in Tasmania for our annual designathon event series. Rokeby has now launched their first STEM portal using LiveTiles. The page brings together external video content as well as integrates the schools Yammer Feed.
But the real treat was the page’s chatbot integration. The school did away with the old survey format of in class quizzes, a staple of the traditional academic pedagogy, and instead assigned this function to the chatbot. Because a chatbot can be programmed by the teachers or administrators with the desired information, it can effectively gauge a student’s understanding of the topic the same way a quiz would. The difference is that because it gauges this information in a conversational way, it is more engaging for the student and requires less work on the part of the educator. The chatbot integration provides instantaneous real time feedback to students.
The chatbot, which is relatively simple and took about 20 minutes to create, is a perfect example of how simple AI in the classroom can provide a dynamic change. No, the robots aren’t taking over and there is no major change to the material the children are learning. It is the way in which they are learning that has changed to the learning process just a bit more engaging and innovative.
Improving student engagement is a big part of educational reform. Implementing chatbot integration in place of a quiz meets students on their level by engaging them through a medium they are familiar with, much like the new age pedagogies of BYOD and the flipped classroom. We’ve talked before about the benefits of bringing AI into the classroom, how at its best, it optimizes the human element rather than replaces it. Chatbots definitely meet this criteria as some of the ways they can be implemented are both innovative and yet incredibly simple. For example, according to Chatbots Magazine, chatbots provide educators with an easy way to implement differentiated instruction, effectively simplifying the instruction of students with differing academic levels within the same class. Because programming a chatbot can be a simple as feeding it information via text and video, different levels of chatbots are easily integrated into a LiveTiles created page.
It is this ease of integration that allows educators to not only implement the latest AI in the classroom, but to implement it effectively. The page at Rokeby High, with its chatbot integration and links to external sources, was created using the cloud version of the LiveTiles platform by two of their teachers and only minor help from LiveTiles’ techs.
This empowerment of the end-user is what the goal of any technology should be; to allow us to better interact with the world around us. As the world engages the digital transformation, bringing digital solutions like LiveTiles and chatbots into the classroom is part of that natural progression. More so, when that solution empowers both educators and the students they teach, the dynamic of the learning process is changed. It becomes collaborative, conversational rather than rote. And the students that this produces are better equipped for the dynamic environment they will step into.