The potential use of AI, such as OpenAI and ChatGPT, in the education sector has been a hot topic recently. In this article, we’ll explore how these technologies can be utilized within a learning environment like Microsoft Teams Education. Here are my top 5 feature requests/ideas for AI and Microsoft Teams Edu:
1. Breakout Rooms – Student Activity
To help students with group-based activities, Microsoft introduced the feature of breakout rooms where a class can be split into multiple groups to work separately but still within the same Microsoft Teams meeting. This feature has helped many students with remote learning to interact more than they would have done within a wider call. However, one of the downsides for a teacher with breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams is monitoring the activity of students in those groups. AI can be used to monitor text by each user and report this to a teacher on a dashboard. With more cognitive recognition and AI, it could also report on the type of interaction such as short words, quiet talking, and the type of language and behaviour they are using. Teachers can then see trends and could look to group more active students together but also students who are not participating as much to encourage them and grow their confidence in group settings.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could use this technology in the classroom too.
2. “This will be included in the Test”
When you were at school, how many times did you hear during your lesson that “This will be on the test” and you either ignored it or were frantically writing it down. Teams already has the ability to record and transcribe meetings, so why not train it to pick out key points that might be in an upcoming test? New features coming to Microsoft Teams include being able to capture Action points to help with meeting minutes. Why can’t a feature like this help a student with getting all their test information into a single place?
3. Search and Reporting
ChatGPT will give both teachers and students massive opportunities to learn and as mentioned earlier, many challenges but what are the benefits if we could use ChatGPT within a closed environment. Imagine a student being able to ask a question and it pull up all the information built by the school, resources that have been made by teachers and also content they have purchased from third parties. Having the whole curriculum and resources mapped by AI will empower the student to have the correct data and information about the subject they are learning. Reporting is also key, a teacher being able to see what a student is looking up, what resources did they get and being able to see that across a whole class.
4. Lesson Planning:
There is so much in the edtech industry where we look to help teachers improve their productivity and decrease their workload. If you ask ChatGPT to write you a lesson plan on a certain subject, it can do it. It won’t be a 100% accurate lesson plan but it will give a teacher a format which they can then copy into their schools lesson plan template. Why can’t Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft 365 environment do all this and get closer to an assurance lesson based on the language that teacher uses in current lesson plans, find resources across third-party applications and then submit it to a central bank of lesson plans to learn more from.
5. AI Assistance:
I’ve looked many times into how you could build an education assistant as a bot. Why couldn’t one now be in Microsoft Teams? With Microsoft School Data Sync, the open-source project Open Education Analytics and utilizing features within the collaboration suite, a student could ask the bot what their lessons are today, what homework is due next week but also how can I structure this project with example templates and recommended deadlines.
Microsoft have a great opportunity to integrate OpenAI with Teams. I hope to see some of these features to help both teachers and students.