AWS Public Sector Blog

New AWS survey reveals the link between AI fluency and the next education revolution

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Education leaders are eager for solutions to the difficulties facing schools across the country. With strained local resources impacting educators, it is more critical than ever for the education community to adapt and evolve to meet student needs and address challenges.

Educators know that more resources can help provide personalized approaches that better address students’ individual learning needs. With many constraints and demands on local budgets, getting additional resources can be difficult—forcing educators to do more with less. To help a limited number of teachers and administrators operate more efficiently and spend time on tasks that contribute directly to student success, cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can reduce burdensome administrative tasks like data entry and back-office functions.

Access Partnership recently conducted a study commissioned by Amazon Web Services (AWS) on AI skills across various industries globally—including education. The study found that employers and employees in the education sector anticipate that AI utilization will improve productivity by more than one-third. When asked what their organization would do with 33 percent more capacity, both employees and employers identified task automation as the top productivity benefit. In addition, a majority of education employers (57 percent) envision generative AI driving innovation and creativity within their organization, and 38 percent expect to use generative AI tools significantly in the next five years. But as demand for AI talent across all industries grows, training for employees will be the best option to bridge the AI knowledge gap. Just 14 percent of employees say they have “advanced” AI fluency today.

That’s why AWS is committed to advancing AI skills for educators, through initiatives like AI Ready, a commitment to offer free AI skills training opportunities to 2 million people globally by 2025. With courses for nontechnical audiences covering generative AI, the Amazon CodeWhisperer AI coding generator, and AI implementation, we aim to equip the education workforce with the skills they need to harness AI’s power and open the door for students to get involved in tech careers.

At its core, technology is helping teachers do more of what they’ve always done: assess students’ comprehension of material and make sure each child is receiving the guidance they need, when they need it. Now, AI and machine learning (ML) can deliver insights that can be used to improve student outcomes. Critically, it is a complement and support for educators, allowing them to spend more time on high-impact interactions with students. Using data, teachers can ensure they are reaching students who need intervention before they fall behind, and monitor student progress.

The cloud has helped educational institutions become more adaptable, resilient, and secure—digital transformation accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic drove many schools to add cloud solutions to their IT stacks. This innovation and transformation continues today as organizations take advantage of innovative AI tools that are helping teachers meaningfully engage students in lessons and deliver individualized attention to help them achieve success in the classroom. For example, BriBooks, a children’s creative writing platform, has built an intelligent writing assistant called BriBoo that uses generative AI to help young authors enhance their writing. The model uses Amazon SageMaker to provide focused recommendations based on a young writer’s age group and desired writing style.

In order to tap into the full value of AI and ML to support students, educational institutions need to ensure their employees have the skills and training they need to leverage new technologies. Nearly three-quarters of employers say that lack of knowledge of the kinds of AI skills their workforces need is the main barrier to providing training, although nearly 70 percent of the education industry reports that they are currently using AI tools. This disparity illustrates the need for employers to prioritize AI skills in hiring and workforce development to ensure that the next wave of technological advancements benefits students.

Through readily available training, organizations can support educators eager to take advantage of tools that can make learning experiences accessible from anywhere, better assess both individual students and cohorts to evaluate learning achievements, and help them do their difficult jobs more easily.

Learn more about AWS’s no-cost AI training and access the full Accelerating AI Skills study today.