How these 6 EdTech companies are revolutionizing AI in education

Techie Rebecca
6 min readAug 24, 2021

There are two necessary approaches while thinking about children in the Artificial Intelligence driven digital world of today. The first, and most important approach, is the question of how everyday interaction and intrusion of Artificial Intelligence in homes and schools, impacts children. The second approach pertains to the education of children in the most benign, yet impactful way, about AI and machine learning, to equip them with awareness, as well as technological know-how.

Children and young adults are constantly in interaction with AI today, and have access to information that children from previous generations did not. This accessibility goes both ways. A child is put in a vulnerable position while interacting with Artificial Intelligence technology, and on the internet in general. Thus, it would be useful to keep in that mind some fundamental inalienable rights that cannot be violated in child-AI interactions. These are — right to privacy, right to protection against discrimination, abuse and harassment, right to healthcare, education and information, right to expression, and right to complain formally and legally.

Children stand to benefit from ethical use of AI as well. AI has been used to track down child traffickers, and to make learning easier for instance. However, this positive intention in itself could harm the child. The child’s right to privacy is very seriously impacted in certain instances. Stacey Steinberg, of the London School Of Economics and Political Science, points out that using data to predict children’s health or welfare outcomes has a downside to it too. Law enforcement agencies, for instance, use children’s data to predict future criminals, and this is a harmful practice that is subject to various biases. Exposing children to such biased AI driven technology and policing is detrimental to them.

In light of such complications, UNICEF has partnered with the Government of Finland to ‘ explore approaches to protecting and upholding child rights in an evolving AI world’. Drawing upon the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this project, namely the Artificial Intelligence for Children Policy Project, lays down 3 necessary guidelines. First, AI policies and system must aim to protect children. Second, They must provide equitably for children’s needs and rights. Third, they must empower children to contribute to the development and use of AI.

One exact matter of contention with regards to child-AI interaction is that the parent is no longer able to fully decide and control what the child consumes. Restricting children from devices no longer seems to be a plausible option, especially given the extent of online-learning during the ongoing pandemic. Regardless, the internet has a lot of useful information that young learners can greatly benefit from. The lack of a clear boundary between the right information and the wrong ones, and the creation of such a boundary being left to the discretion of AI nonetheless, is a huge point of concern.

Children are also subject to consumer campaigns and some harmful unconscious consumption patterns, as a result of the AI driven hyper-advertising regime on the internet. Furthermore, the constant visibility of the child on online platforms, impacts their behaviors and thought patterns too. The effect of an internalized gaze has the capacity to alter the child’s growth trajectory. This affects the way the individual relates to the world, makes human connections and develops views about important matters. Issues of self-image and confidence, thus tend to develop early in children these days.

The sad reality is that policies, laws and rights take a much longer and slower route to be implemented in comparison to AI driven technology. Children thus come in contact with AI much before they benefit from policies and laws for safety and protection. The solution to such a problem then perhaps lies in awareness. The workings of AI, is just science that the children haven’t understood yet. This knowledge empowers the child, and disarms the perilous technology.

The past decade has seen a widespread emergence of EdTech companies. These companies stand to benefit from new technologies, by way of better business analytics and operations. On the flip side, these companies use the technologies to improve a child’s level of education. This industry that sits at the cusp of education and AI technology, has the potential to protect children using the very technology that is of harm to them.

There are various online platforms that aim to teach AI to children and young adults. Here are 6 of the best platforms/courses that children and young adults can learn all about AI and machine learning from –

AI World School

AI World School is an initiative by a group of educators and technologists. This website hosts various AI and Coding courses aimed at young students. This initiative aims at creating a strong STEM foundation for children to broaden their career options. The platforms makes interactive courses that are playful, fun and engaging for children. These courses are also transnational. Some of the flagship course offered by this initiative are AI Novus, AI Primus, AI Meritus, and Virtual Driverless Car. These courses are targeted for different age groups of students.

ReadyAI

ReadyAI is a vendor of the K-12 online learning platform — Outschool. The platform hosts instructors from across the world, who are specialists in education as well as in AI and Machine Learning technology. They offer programs for children and for beginners of any age. However, they do specifically have interactive and fun education camps targeted at children — Artificial Intelligence and Programming Multi-Day camp. Apart from this their courses include Introduction to Artificial Intelligence : The Big Ideas, Machine Learning for Beginners, Train Your Own Alexa: Machine Learning Through Conversation, to name a few. They also offer coding and AI classes via live online streaming that makes these sessions very accessible and effective.

AI for Everyone

AI for everyone is a course that is offered on the well-known online education platform Coursera. This course is curated and presented by the founder of a reputable EdTech company that specializes in teaching AI and machine learning to wide variety of audience. This company is called Deep Learning.AI, and the co-founder Andrew NG teaches the AI for Everyone course on Coursera, in both English and Chinese. This online course is at the beginners level, easy for children and adolescents to grasp. It has flexible deadlines, which makes it easy for school and college going students to balance it with schoolwork as well. This course also provides a certificate for a fee as does any other course on Coursera. This course also provides an introduction to Data Science and Machine Learning, alongside AI terminology and concepts.

Machine Learning for Kids and Beginners

Machine Learning for Kids and Beginners is offered on the online education platform Udemy. This course aims to teach AI for real-world applications, and is catered to a younger audience. This course is also popularly taken by teachers and parents who could benefit from this knowledge and impart it to students and children. This course is fully online, with a certificate of completion available too. This course equips the students with knowledge about AI related theories and concepts, teaches them how to build Machine Learning models, apply Machine Learning models for real-life, as well as teach them the impact of this technology on the society and the world.

IBM

The computer hardware company, IBM has launched an initiative that aims to teach AI and machine learning to young students and beginners. This initiative is structured in the form of activities and kits that makes learning interactive and fun. The website also has many simple machine learning projects and tools to learn from. The activities aim to teach students the basics of AI and machine learning, along with their applications.

Elements of AI

University of Helsinki, Finland and the tech company Reaktor have joined hands to create a platform that enables free education. The Elements of AI platform offers absolutely free of cost courses that aim to teach the basics of AI and Machine learning to people all around the world. These courses focus on teaching the fundamentals as well as the applications of AI. These courses include some introduction to coding and algorithms as well, which would help children and young adults to learn about basic programming through Python for example. The Elements of AI platform currently benefits over 730,000 students across 170 countries.

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