The way educators choose to teach kids has come a long way, and AI seems to be the next big step in this journey.
School isn't always as fun as one might think. Spending six hours a day learning subjects at a general pace isn't for everybody. This is why, this school in Austin chose a different route. This private school called Alpha has no teachers to teach their students. Instead, all the teaching is done by Artificial Intelligence. Journalist Ford Sanders—who goes by @fordsanders on TikTok—is a news reporter for the ABC news affiliate KB News in Austin, Texas. He recently posted a video on TikTok to talk about Alpha school.
Sanders begins by explaining what AI means before he talks about the school. From K through 12 grade here, the kids have no teachers. They are taught by AI. They have software in place that caters to each child's pace and caliber. Kids here learn all the core subjects they need to. They all have personal laptops with tutoring apps on them. While there are no teachers in the school, there surely are adults who are referred to as "guides" who, as the name suggests, guide the students. Their job is to basically help students navigate through their AI-taught curriculum.
Each day, the kids study for two hours before spending the rest of the day honing their life skills. Sanders says, "The next six hours of school are actually used for life skills, so they get to do things like public speaking, overcoming rejection, some of those life lessons, robotics. They do a whole bit more curriculum throughout the day." In fact, the school claims to be able to teach their kids twice as much in two hours as other public schools do in six hours. They back these claims using general tests.
The coolest part is that while learning certain subjects, children get to see videos of the people who were pioneers of that field narrating their stories. That kind of audio and visuals helps kids to remember what they are studying better. In a clip that Sanders played for context, important people like George Washington, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman all spoke about their fields. They said, "History comes to life, science explains the world, and math is more than just numbers. We believe that education should adapt to every student's unique needs and interests, and provide experiences which inspire." While this video was undoubtedly AI-generated, it was quite impactful nevertheless.
Can you imagine a school with no teachers?!— Daranesha Herron (@Daraneshatv) October 24, 2023
After sports on @KVUE tonight hear from Alpha school leaders and students about their unorthodox school day that they believe is the wave of the future.
Hint: AI is their teacher. pic.twitter.com/x6fHVJkjpU
According to Sanders, there are about 250 students divided into three Alpha schools. While the fee is a whopping $40,000, the cofounder claimed that 75% of the students are on some sort of financial aid. User @healthcoachmontserrat commented on this video saying, "Sounds like an amazing concept. I believe the teachers are important but the school system is a mess now so I can see why the AI alternative."
An educator herself, @cancersheila said, "I’m a teacher and I’m imagining a school of wealthy children who pay attention and want to learn. No discipline issues." All things said and all opinions heard, this school concept surely seems like the next new thing. While Alpha is yet to grow on a lot of people, some are applauding as well as understanding this education system. One way or the other, kids are learning and that's what matters.