Private schools group Curro Holdings is piloting an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform called Century to help improve the performance of learners.
The platform, which was created in the UK, uses AI to create personalised learning for children.
Speaking to TechCentral, Angela Schaerer, digital transformation manager at Curro, said the tech has been piloted in its schools since last year in grades 8-10 but will be introduced to all grades soon.
Schaerer came across the Century solution in 2020 at the British Educational Training and Technology Show. Century uses the Cambridge system, which aligns with the national Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement – better known as Caps – which is used in South Africa.
Learners log onto the program and start with a diagnostic test that provides a baseline view of the topics that will be addressed in a particular subject.
The system then recognises the areas of weakness or gaps in knowledge in each learner and recommends content (called “nuggets”) to help the learner close the knowledge gap on a particular topic, helping them with the retention of knowledge.
Learners can go through the nuggets independently or with the teacher. The Century technology supports a data-informed teaching practice.
Teachers can access the data from the diagnostic tests, stored in the system, and can tailor the curriculum to address weaknesses in the class. Teachers can also allocate homework and other assessments on the system. “The system is there to support and accompany teachers and make things easier for them,” explained Schaerer.
Curro is piloting the technology at nine schools. It’s being used by 131 teachers and 2 500 learners with a focus on maths, English and science. It has found there has been an increase in learner performance where the Century technology is used. In a grade 10 class, the average from test results went from 57.5% to 62.2% after using the technology for two months. “Initial finds are showing that the tech is really working for our learners,” said Schaerer.
The system will be launched in all Curro schools next year. And although there have been no extra costs to parents during the pilot period, Schaerer said that there could be additional costs once it’s introduced to all schools.
“AI can do things way faster and we have to leverage the power of technology to enhance education,” she said. – © 2022 NewsCentral Media