School & District Management

Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Lessons for K-12 Tech Leaders

By Alyson Klein — December 19, 2019 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Artificial Intelligence is being cited by some as the next big teaching tool, and a new area of study for students. But in addition to helping students learn, it may also make life easier for chief technology officers.

That’s according to a report from Campus Technology, a higher education technology magazine. The report, released earlier this month, was sponsored by Cherwell, a private software company. Although it focuses on the role of AI in higher education, there are potential lessons for K-12 technology leaders too.

The report notes that AI in K-20 is growing annually at about 48 percent. It is big in three areas: automation of routine administration tasks (like grading papers), helping create more immersive experiences for students, and coaching and tutoring. (For an in-depth look at AI in K-12, check out this explainer.)

But the report emphasizes that, on college and university campuses, IT departments might find other uses for the technology. For instance, chat bots might be able to help students resolve problems with hardware, software, or a printer. And if the chat bot can’t answer the question, it can typically refer the student to an IT professional who can.

Just over 70 percent of businesses and organizations, including higher education institutions, were already using AI in at least one IT project, according to a 2018 survey conducted on Chartwell’s behalf. More than half expected to see a return on that investment within 12 months. And 21 percent of respondents said they expected that machine learning would help them “identify patterns, proactively improve, and identify potential new service offerings.”

Higher education institutions interested in investing in AI should consider several steps, the report suggests. For instance, they should “promote a culture of self-service,” in which staff members and students are willing to turn to AI to help solve problems. And they should make sure that any AI-powered programs they purchase will help create interoperability, or the ability of different software systems to communicate with each other. Schools shouldn’t “bet big on one all-encompassing solution.” Instead, they should choose a platform that allows for integration and find solutions tailored to specific program needs.

Want more on AI? Check out these Education Week stories.

Image: Getty

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips