Key Learnings from BETT 2024: AI's Impact on EdTech and the Questions It Raised

AI was THE key topic at the BETT conference last week. BETT, one of the top conferences for the UK EdTech sector, is always the go-to place for discussing core transformational technologies that are rolling out in education. These advancements are having an acute and lasting impact on students and educators alike, enhancing their experience and capability potential.

This January, it was impossible to go to a meeting, a workshop session, or even walk 10 steps in the exhibition hall without hearing a debate on AI. As a key AI partner to customers across many sectors, intive was delighted to get involved in many of these discussions and idea brainstorming sessions!

Our top highlights from the 3 days were less about the off-the-shelf solutions on offer, and very much around understanding and discussing the key concerns from the education sector around AI.

  • What will happen to language learning if we have AI? Will it become defunct? Unnecessary? Is language learning facing the same destiny as the dodo when we have AI at our fingertips? 

  • Will authors no longer be needed? Can ChatGPT write books and literature well enough without the need for human intervention? 

  • How will AI change the curriculum? Are there some subjects now that just won’t be necessary for education anymore? 

  • Fake news! False facts! Are our children prepared to understand and critically evaluate fake bias that could be introduced by bias in AI? 

  • How do we ensure a humanistic element in AI? 

  • Are we using AI to its optimum level to facilitate personalization and impact for students in their learning journeys? Can AI facilitate the next evolution of spikey profiles and individualized learning journeys as well as revolutionize the orchestration of the user experience in self-enrolment systems and support? 

  • Is all AI the same? Why is AI so complicated? It's clear we need to embrace the power of AI, but where do I start?

Understanding our customers' core concerns and issues, supporting them to address them through technological developments, and evolving ideas into reality, is a core part of how we work in partnership at intive, so being part of these discussions, on core concerns, offering our views, insights, and case studies was definitely the highlight of the show for us.

Most of the challenges our EdTech customers bring to us have a very clear central objective: to enhance the learning experience for students and empower educators to focus on the most fundamental aspects of teaching, the human skills that AI can't replace. Harnessing the power of AI technologies has been the core emphasis of several recent projects, within which we have developed innovative features that enhance educational outcomes, greatly improve accessibility, and transform students' and educators' digital experiences.

How do we support and provide real change impact in such a fast-evolving area? The answer is: collaboration, agile processes, and fast high-quality execution.

We believe that close collaboration is key to the success of AI innovation projects, especially in an EdTech environment. Understanding the real priorities and identifying areas where AI technologies could potentially catalyze transformative changes are crucial aspects. This is evident in recent projects delivering AI-driven Proof of Concept solutions in:

AI Integration for Digital Content Production

  • Streamlining editorial processes, optimizing content creation and providing enhanced personalization and learner experience through dynamically adjusting the level of difficulty for each individual learner profile.

Driving a New Learning Experience

  • Generative AI for multiple-choice quizzes, open-text evaluations. 

  • AI algorithms to detect learning concerns, performance change and disengagement indicators to allow for timely intervention and proactive measures. 

  • Personalization and recommendations in media and materials management and consumption, and AI-powered tools for intelligent search functionality within books using semantic search methods to provide more efficient and useful results directly relevant to the learner. 

  • Generative AI's capacity to deliver natural language responses to significantly enrich the learning journey through personalized and positive immediate feedback for students. This “in the moment” response feedback mechanism is something that today’s learners receive in gaming apps and even in media streaming through “your recommended next watch”, and it can have a powerful impact when brought into educational pathways. 

Efficiency Optimization  

  • AI-assisted automation of the grading process 

  • AI-assisted self-enrolment and student help and support

AI has the potential to transform the EdTech field, nourishing students with a more personalized learning environment and empowering educators with increased operational efficiency. This, in turn, enables education to become more accessible, adaptive, and effective, although there are still a lot of concerns, questions, issues and unknowns to address before AI is used to its maximum potential in EdTech.    At intive, we are the software engineering partner to some of the largest education organizations and publishers, supporting them with exactly these challenges. Please reach out to see how we could work with you to harness technology and empower your learner experiences.

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