Artificial intelligence has certainly come a very long way since it first began being developed in the mid-1950s. While many teachers are concerned that artificial intelligence will soon consume their jobs and places in our society, AI should be looked at as a better tool with guidance from the teachers. AI has many different uses that help people every day, from asking Siri to call “mom” to tell Alexa to “lock the front door.” Artificial intelligence has come so far as to help students with learning disabilities be successful in the classroom. Machine learning has allowed students with special needs access to many more personalized educational resources that help the classroom setting and social skills and social skills. In this article, you will find four great ways how teachers can use AI to help students with learning disabilities in the classroom.
Ways to Use Artificial Intelligence with Learning Disabilities
Artificial Intelligence in education is no longer a thing of the future. It is more and more a reliable tool that allows students to learn better through this technology. Historically, students with learning disabilities that are not prominently seen, such as dyslexia, fall under the radar. These students learn how to scoot by on wit and charm while never really learning as well as they could be. Many traditional teaching methods don’t recognize those with a learning disability in education, which is where AI comes into play.
Text to Speech Modes
Many reading programs or writing technology tools allow students to hear what the story says and write about it later. For example, a couple of different programs that can be used in the class for reading comprehension and writing are Commonlit and Grammarly. Both of these programs offer a form of text to speech and are forms of AI that can help students with disabilities such as autism or dyslexia.
Great Things About Text to Speech
- Students can see and hear how words should sound.
- Kids who have speech issues and undergo language therapy can use these programs to assist in their learning.
- Kids can both see and hear how sentences sound with various forms of punctuation.
- This form of AI makes kids slow down to understand the text better.
- Students can easily place thoughts and words onto a word document through a computer microphone.
- Students can use AI programs such as spell check or Grammarly to check their spelling and flow then.
Differentiated and Personalized Learning
Special education is one of the places in education where differentiated and personalized learning is an absolute must! Identifying specific areas of need in students with disabilities is particularly important because they already need additional support in learning. Various forms of technology that include artificial intelligence can tell educators exactly where a student is struggling in any subject.
How Does Using AI Help With This?
- Educators can use these artificial intelligence programs to pinpoint what methods of instruction will work best with any student and any disability.
- Allows education to begin to focus on the individual student rather than a whole group instruction mentality.
- Once a students’ weak area is determined, educators can begin figuring out which technology can work best for the student.
- Differentiating and personalizing becomes easier with AI because every student is working on something specific to them.
Immediate Responses and Feedback
Any great tutor or classroom teacher knows that providing quick and reliable feedback to students is imperative to providing an exceptional education. Artificial intelligence allows teachers to provide almost immediate results on tests and assessments through automated grading. For example, quizzes and tests made through Google Forms have the option of allowing teachers to create quizzes that are graded immediately. Furthermore, students can see their scores immediately.
Why is Immediate Feedback Important?
- Because when students can see what they missed immediately, it allows for a learning opportunity right then and there.
- Education occurs as a process rather than an instance and result. Work with kids as they receive scores and go back with them to fix wrong things.
- Immediate feedback allows the student to be more goal-oriented.
- Allows the tutor/teacher to see where a student is struggling right then and there.
- Immediate feedback increases student engagement.
Reading Level & Comprehension
Tutoring those in a special education setting requires educators to assess exactly where students are in their ability to read and comprehend text. If a student cannot read in English, they cannot read the word problem in mathematics. Kids who already have learning difficulties most certainly need help with where they are so that their teachers/tutors can bring them to where they need to be.
AI and Reading Assessment
- Some great AI programs can tell you exactly which reading level your students are on. For example, ReadTheory (which is totally FREE) will tell you a student’s Lexile level and areas of struggle on certain questions.
- ReadTheory (and other programs) uses AI to automatically level a student up or level them down in reading level.
- Look for AI programs that provide immediate grading for students and you.
- Knowing a child’s reading ability allows for further personal and differentiated learning.
- This form of assessment can help educators be able to recognize learning disabilities for undiagnosed children.
Education is a forever evolving thing. The next and best thing in education shifts from day to day with little to zero notice to the ones actually educating. However, the development of AI has given many teachers much-needed tools to help students with learning disabilities. Being able to help kids who otherwise would not get the help they need is invaluable.
Rather than being fearful that this new AI technology will take over jobs in the field of education, we should embrace that these new tools are helping students reach new heights of learning. The learning and growth of every child is the common goal of every tutor and educator in the world. So with that, embrace these tools that help all of us work toward that goal.