The world of EdTech has been no stranger to technology revolutions. We’ve witnessed profound shifts, from the rise of the internet and online learning platforms to the integration of interactive digital tools. Yet, in my years in the industry, very few have captured my imagination and excitement as intensely and quickly as the emergence of GPT and Generative AI.
Rewind a bit, the last time we saw such a rapid seismic change of this magnitude it was with the introduction of the iPhone. Overnight, it transformed our approach to learning, opening up a completely new form factor, economy and creativity/innovation seam. Paving the way for on-the-go education for all ages and subjects (Gamification, Apps, Micro Learning etc) . Today, we’re part of another such moment, thanks to the launch of GPT.
Make no mistake, while GenAI might be the biggest buzzword of the year and comes with its fair share of hyperbole, scepticism and party tricks that fill up LinkedIn and Twitter, it is so much more than just a passing trend. Underlying the hype is a genuine technological marvel with real substantive capabilities that we are only scratching the surface of. Its range of applications in education are only limited by our imagination. Unlike the ephemeral allure of some recent tech hype – Web 3.0 comes to mind – GenAI is a tool that addresses genuine, real-world challenges in education with clear benefits. It doesn’t ask us to redefine the problem landscape or overcome any huge barriers. Instead, it helps us achieve our goals faster and better than we could before.
For GenAI to achieve its potential it required two important breakthroughs – 1) the underlying technology leap in the quality and power of the AI, 2) Accessibility, creating a low barrier to entry and making it easy to use. Both have been achieved with the launch of Chat GPT. The amazing tech had existed for a little while, but the real leap was when it was combined with a Chat interface, this accessibility of a simple chat interface allowed it to catch fire and spread quicker than any other tech before it. Prior to Chat GPT, access to Ai/Machine Learning tech was complicated, specialised, expensive, time-consuming and involved access to huge amounts of data. Post the Chat GPT revolution powerful GenAI tools from all major big tech players are accessible to all who can use a chat interface or a simple API.
At Lingoda we started our GenAI journey by running a 5-day hackathon with all of our Product, Engineering and Education teams. The easy accessibility of GenAI meant our talented teams could quickly learn the tech and then focus on applying and solving real student challenges. Watching the team progress throughout the week, uncovering the potential and making significant breakthroughs was truly inspiring. The innovation and creativity on display signified a generational leap forward in our thinking across the whole student and teacher journey. We witnessed firsthand the transformative impact this technology can have on the educational landscape. It has unlocked a fresh seam of creativity and innovation in our teams.
The Hackathon was a few months ago, since then we have been working on integrating the prototypes and ideas into the Lingoda platform. We have recently seen an early glimpse with the release of our new Practice tools (Vocab Quiz & Flash Cards) which are developed using GenAI. This is just the start, there is much more to come soon. We are investing and rapidly accelerating our development initiatives, pivoting more towards unlocking the vast potential this technology holds.
Our three exploration areas are:
- Inside the classroom – We believe AI can assist our teachers by providing insights into students’ in class performance, highlighting areas that need attention, and even suggesting tailored content or resources based on individual student needs.
- Practising between classes – When students need to practise, AI can help provide immediate feedback on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. It can also generate personalised relevant questions, scenarios and exercises ensuring learners stay engaged and continually progress.
- Measuring progress – Using this technology we can more effectively assess a student’s language level. Through analysing the student’s responses, AI can quickly identify strengths, such as vocabulary use, and highlights areas of weakness. This immediate insight helps both teachers and students concentrate on areas that need the most attention, streamlining the learning process
Here at Lingoda, we are embracing this new chapter of EdTech. Our mission and vision is human first. GenAI tools like GPT, don’t threaten this, instead they supercharge it. We are making our language platform more human, more connected, more personal, more real world for our learners and teachers. Providing the world’s best environment to achieve meaningful progress in learning a language.