They say nothing beats face to face interaction between a pupil and a teacher, whether it be young children huddled up with their peers in a classroom, or full-grown adults battling the onset of sleep and constant buzzing of notifications on their phones while the instructor drones on in an auditorium.
But what if you can’t? Better off, what does democratization of education even look like?
In a 2-piece series, I will first discuss education in a traditional sense, for K-12 + universities, in this article. In the next, I’ll discuss e-learning in a corporate sense, for HR, training, and marketing.
Evolution of Technology and Education
My father grew up doing a 4 hour round trip from his rural home to his elementary school because there were no educators in his town. I was fortunate to have the chance to partake in online classes, take virtual exams, get help from the internet, and so forth.
He had worked diligently to provide for me, to level the playing field for me to compete with the most successful people in the world. Yet you still can’t beat the connections, the massive amount of money the traditionally wealthy and powerful people pour into raising their young to follow in their path, but I have nothing to complain, only things to be grateful for. And it was the technology that really helped me get on a somewhat of an equal footing.
With the advent of video, and later PC, technology started to really penetrate education in every step of its progress:
1980~1990: Video / Audio
1990~: PC / Laptop
2018~: Voice Assistants
Let’s focus on the two most recent trends: Voice Assistants & AI.
1. Voice Assistants as Teaching Assistants
Voice assistants opened doors for students with difficulties to find other avenues of learning and being tested, and for students to interact with the speaker as their new teacher, fellow student, and a library of information.
It freed both the educators and students from temporal and spatial limitations, and created new platform for providers of educational materials.
Aside from being potential substitutes, they compliment in-person classes with verbal readouts, reminders, taking care of simpler tasks, leading small group discussions, etc.
The influx of apps and platforms like Alexa Skills and Google Assistant Platform have opened doors for flexible, custom services to cater to individual type of students and educators, and for developers and companies to truly bridge the gap in digital learning.
A recent study by Glide, a fibre broadband firm in the UK, indicated that 48% of UK students would like to have voice assistants assist them during their studies. We might have to check back on the notion of “nothing beats face-to-face education” quite soon.
2. “Actual” Intelligence of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has been the new buzzword for the past couple years. From predicting test scores and student behaviors to full-blown character and content production, AI is carving its own territory in the education sector.
Circling back to the point of requiring some sort of “presence” of an educator, combining an AI-created visual representation with audio course materials increases engagement and performance of students.
But what happens when professors and teachers don’t have the time to go into a studio to record new classes? Or what if the cost of creating these courses far outweigh the benefits? Multiple studies point to the cost of creating 1 hour of online course between $10K ~ $50K
$10K to $50K for 1-hour. A semester’s worth of classes would knock you back a few million dollars.
That’s where Genny’s Text to Speech and AI Voice content creation comes in to play. You do not need to have the professors go into a studio for hours on end every few months to record new materials, nor do you need to finance for the studio rental or potential back up voice actors. All you have to do is create a copy of your voice in a few minutes, upload text whenever you need to create a new course, and convert the script into a usable audio file.
As students and educators, we all know doing it ourselves is worth reading a hundred times, so go ahead and try it for yourself for free with Genny!
Other helpful articles in the topic:
– 5 Types of Tools You Need in Your Arsenal for Successful Corporate Learning and Development
– How CPA Canada efficiently localizes e-learning content