AWS Public Sector Blog

How EdTechs use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create personalized learning experiences

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are transforming education and fundamentally changing teaching and learning across higher education, K12, and lifelong learning. New AI- and ML-powered technologies are helping identify and attract students to institutions, forecast enrollment and predict outcomes, and identify at-risk students; plus they’re helping improve teacher efficiency and impact with personalized content and AI-enabled teaching assistants and tutors. These new advancements are generating more data than ever, and education technology (EdTech) companies are using this data to create their own ML models to take advantage of the many out-of-the-box AI services available in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

As AI and ML becomes more ubiquitous and simple to use, EdTech companies and startups around the world are unlocking the benefits of these technologies, particularly when it comes to personalizing learning content for a learner or educator’s specific needs. Learn how EdTech startups and AWS EdStart Members are using AI and ML to help revolutionize the education industry.

Enabling literacy through voice

Bamboo Learning is an EdTech based in the United States that uses AWS to develop applications based on the K–5 standard curriculum. Using Amazon Alexa, Amazon Lex, and Amazon Polly, Bamboo Learning helps young students have fun learning and practicing different academic subjects while listening, viewing images, and using their voice. Children learn at different paces, and to help meet children at their level, Bamboo Learning uses innovative voice and ML technology to create applications that help children grow their listening, speaking, and reading skills. Based on voice recognition technology, the application – available on Alexa and IOS – evaluates children’s voice responses and provides immediate feedback to the learner. This supports students in listening comprehension, language arts, math, and music.

Building in the cloud provides benefits for Bamboo Learning as well as providing innovative learning models for their customers. “AWS has helped us achieve ‘five nines’ [99.999%] uptime for our Alexa skills,” said Irina Fine, co-founder and chief content officer of Bamboo Learning. “Due to autoscaling and other related AWS features, we have been able to scale peak usage several times to 10-50 times our daily average during significant marketing events, like inclusion in TV broadcasts, for our service, without any negative customer experience impact.”

Improving cognitive health through gamification

Cognifit, based out of San Francisco, combines brain science with AI algorithms in the form of gamified tests to assess and improve cognitive health. Using AWS Glue, Amazon SageMaker, and Amazon QuickSight, the team has developed tools to virtually measure, train, and accurately monitor cognitive abilities and their relationships with neurological pathologies. They asses 23 fundamental cognitive skills and provide an automatic understanding of the cognitive condition of each student, followed by a personalized brain training program. They work with schools to explore brain functions in adolescence through assessments that measure cognitive abilities in relation to academic skills and provide educators with actionable reports to help students in the classroom via mobile, tablet, or PC. As a result, Cognifit has helped over 24,000 students, and is used by over 1,800 students per month. For individuals, they offer personalized brain training programs that measure brain function performance.

The analytics and ML capabilities of the cloud help Cognifit combine data with personalized actionable insights to help people improve their brain health at the individual level. According to Carlos Rodriguez, chief executive officer (CEO) of Cognifit, “AWS has allowed us to host our technological infrastructure, and make our processes increasingly efficient. Through data analysis we have been able to better understand client behavior during training sessions and obtain a high level of personalization, allowing us to improve the client experience, and optimize the evolution of their cognitive improvement.”

Teaching practical application of AI to students

Xingzhe AI, based out of China, provides education and training institutions with a gamified learning platform and course content that has helped over 10,000 students in over 40 countries understand and master the practical value of AI programming. They provide a training platform that uses a combination of theory and hands-on reinforcement learning to teach students about AI theory and concepts in an adaptive learning environment. To power their platform, the team uses Amazon SageMaker to build, train, and deploy their machine learning models with fully managed infrastructure, tools, and workflows. The team also uses ML to schedule and model basic algorithms to eliminate tedious tasks for teachers and save time, so that they can more efficiently provide AI courses to their students.

“[Last] summer, Xingzhe AI and AWS jointly supported an AI summer camp for virtual football, to help children explore the world of gamified AI,” said Chen Hongyu, Xingzhe AI’s chief operating officer. “The Xingzhe AI team brought professional reinforcement learning algorithm training to the students, and gave specific explanations on the application of deep reinforcement learning in games to stimulate children’s interest in AI. We look forward to continuing our work with AWS.”

Personalized English language learning with the power of AI

Lalia is an interactive online education platform based in Singapore that helps non-native English speakers learn English by providing adaptive materials scaled to the proficiency of each individual learner. Laila personalizes its learning activities to each individual student with AI to help students enhance their vocabulary and grammar and improve their communication at a pace that meets their learning needs. Lalia originally started as a tool that could automate grammar correction with AI, but the Laila team realized they could make a bigger social impact in education, and shifted their focus to helping students accelerate their English language learning. Currently Lalia serves the Japanese Market, and has attracted interest from more than 60 schools.

“Lalia leverages AWS Amplify to easily access Amazon Translate, Amazon Transcribe, and Amazon SageMaker which has enabled us to quickly test new ideas,” explained Phang Wei Jun, Laila co-founder. “At the AWS EdStart Global Builders Conference, we learned best practices from the webinars to improve and secure our overall system design. When in doubt, we also reached out to the team’s friendly solutions architects who were more than happy to provide us with technical reviews and advice. All in all, Lalia has greatly benefited from leveraging AWS Services, both technical and non-technical, to get our startup off the ground.”

AWS EdStart resources support EdTechs to help students thrive

AWS EdStart, the virtual startup accelerator for EdTechs, helps entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. Learn more about how other AWS EdStart Founders are using technology to revolutionize education.

Read more stories about EdTechs using AWS to innovate in education:

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Rachel Van Dinter

Rachel Van Dinter

Rachel is a global business development manager for AWS EdStart, primarily focused on EdTech startups and community organizations. Prior to working with EdTechs, Rachel worked as a global startup marketing manager for the AWS startup marketing team, building and growing global event programs around the world including AWS Startup Day and Startup Central at AWS Summits along with immersive event activations at third-party startup conferences around the world.