How AI can support teachers, tutors and the future classroom: Third Space Learning featured in The Times

By Sophie Bessemer 

Research today into how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can support learning will transform teachers and classrooms in the future. At least, that’s certainly what we believe. Since 2015 we’ve been working with Rose Luckin and the University College London Knowledge Lab on an exciting project to identify those patterns in teaching and learning that create positive outcomes for pupils.

This term we’re giving over 3,500 pupils every week a 45-minute one-to-one Maths lesson from our specialist Maths tutors. When you add to that assessment, testing, and feedback from pupil, class teacher, and the tutor, there are a lot of data points to analyse and work out how to improve. But that’s what technology, in particularly AI and machine learning can help us with.

So we’re very excited that today The Times has recognised our work in an extensive feature on AI for their ‘Future of Learning’ report. The article is entitled Prepare for a giant leap forward in education and is available here. The full report can be downloaded here.

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From The Times report 

“AI will not replace tutors, it will help them and it will guide them to be better teachers,” says Tom Hooper, founder of Third Space Learning Third Space began in 2012 by providing one-to-one maths tutoring over the internet by connecting children with teachers around the world Since starting, nearly 350 UK schools have enrolled 6,000 struggling students on to Third Space.

And the real magic is what Mr Hooper and his team are doing next. “We record every session that we deliver, thousands of hours of teaching and learning every week  a huge quantity of data on human interaction,” he says.

“About 12 months ago we started a research project with the University College London looking at what patterns there are around positive teaching outcomes and how we can optimise teaching interactions to promote best practice.”

By boiling down teaching to this level, Third Space’s ultimate goal is to build a platform that can give real-time feedback to its online tutors and empower them to become even better educators.

Say a child misunderstands a core mathematical concept or a teacher accidentally skips something, the AI could alert the teacher to this problem before it becomes a bigger issue later in the child’s education.

“If we can aim to shape the performance of the teacher- the teacher being the significant input into a child’s learning – then you’re creating something truly powerful,” says Mr Hooper. He imagines a world where every teacher, both in and outside the classroom, is guided by an AI that has itself been trained by the learnings from millions of lessons.

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Want to find out more?

If you want to discuss any aspect of our work with UCL, or find out how to give your pupils access to more personalised one-to-one Maths lessons, just get in touch on hello@thirdspacelearning.com or 020 771 0095.

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