AI’s pivotal role in authentic PD

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Many people envision artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in education with a sci-fi twist, but in reality, AI is already embedded in promising new tools that address student learning, real-time feedback, and continuous professional development (PD).

AI-powered learning tools can offer students immediate feedback and a customized learning experience. And when used in PD, time-strapped educators can better reflect on their instructional practices and target areas for improvement.

Edthena, a provider of video-powered PD tools, is harnessing AI in its new AI Coach platform. The solution helps schools and districts give teachers access to supportive coaching to improve teaching effectiveness. AI Coach uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas.

Using AI Coach platform, teachers connect with Edie, their virtual coach. Edie asks teachers about their professional goals, and then teachers analyze and reflect on videos of their classroom instruction by adding time-stamped comments.

Edie takes a guide-on-the-side approach to help teachers summarize the evidence found during video analysis and develop action plans to increase impact with their students. As part of their conversation with Edie, teachers develop a short-term goal, identify a strategy for change, and commit to a timeline for implementation. This evidence-based process enables teachers to receive many of the benefits of instructional coaching even if an in-person coach is not available.

“In the conversational AI space…you’re fundamentally able to have a conversation with the computer on the other end. That’s really exciting,” said Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena. “What it means is that we’re able to take the ideas of some general-purpose technologies people are becoming familiar with and translate those techniques to professional learning for teachers. High-quality coaching is essential to helping teachers succeed in the classroom. However, ensuring that a coach is available for every teacher on a regular basis to support ongoing reflection was a near-impossible task until now. The AI Coach platform is a support tool for teachers that complements the efforts of school leaders and instructional coaches.”

Laura Ascione
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