Counselors like you have busy and important jobs. In a given day there are always too many things to do, not enough time to do them, and a deeply important mission to help your students. Counselors prepare students to enter the world and to meet a variety of important milestones, from standardized tests to college applications. Too often, the realities of a busy schedule means that you are forced to cut short the crucial help you can provide.
This is a common challenge that educators face: how do you get everything done without sacrificing the attention your students need? This can be a difficult conversation because educators know an impossible dilemma: you want more than anything to help, but the reality of the job means you can’t realistically give that help to everyone.
Turning to Technology
To say that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may offer an answer might sound like we’re getting ahead of ourselves. When it comes to a unique relationship with each student, how can technology make a difference? It’s a fair question to ask and fortunately there’s an answer.
AI can help students with the important writing tasks that they are required to complete during high school. Those high stakes tests and college applications require students to write essays. Many students don’t feel confident as writers, so they want help. Unfortunately writing is a task that requires significant time for both the student to do and you, the counselor, to review.
Part of understanding how AI can support counselors, teachers and students comes with defining what AI can and cannot do. With respect to the latter, it’s crucial to state up front that AI is not a replacement for the educator. Technology can’t do everything a person can do. With this statement in place, a conversation about what AI can do becomes much more productive. AI does tasks that take up valuable human time. For example, common word processing tools have built-in AI functions that identify and fix spelling and grammar mistakes.
AI Writing Software
On a basic level, we know this practice produces cleaner writing, but what if AI could measure higher order concepts like essay argumentation, clarity, use of evidence, organization and more? Would you be surprised if we told you it can? When students use a dedicated AI writing software , they get fast feedback with real-time insights into what is written well, what needs minor work, and what needs major revisions.
Rather than focusing on the structure and multiple revisions, you are able to focus more time on the things that only you, a human, can do – like provide guidance on students ideas beyond the assignment. AI becomes a partner in this approach. Students get the best of what technology offers while counselors and teachers get to focus on the parts of your job that make the most difference.
Think of AI writing software as an assistant that takes away the part of your job that you just don’t like. I always think of my dishwasher when I go through this thought exercise. I hate washing dishes, so after dinner what do I do? I put those dishes in the dishwasher. The job gets done and I get more time to do what I want – like binge on Game of Thrones .
Solving Past AI Limitations
If this all sounds too good to be true, you might be aware that various companies have tried to apply AI to writing assessment over the last decade. The machine learning approaches that these technologies have been based on have lead to similar limitations across the board: Prohibitive writing prompt setup processes, mysterious and questionable grading patterns, and feedback that is too vague to be useful. In order to overcome these ubiquitous limitations, Ecree had to invent a new type of AI technology outside the umbrella of machine learning. The results are encouraging.
● Students work independently and can set up their own questions in about 10 seconds
● Students receive detailed feedback, updated every 5-10 seconds
● 92% of students say Ecree provides teacher-quality feedback
● 95% of students across academic levels improve their scores (9 points on average)
Unlimited Writing Help
For writing, AI fast feedback gives students as much early support on their work as they want, on their schedule, from any location, and any device. The tech is finally pushing that rock over the hill of previous limitations to where students can improve their writing independently. If students can build confidence and critical skills instantly with fast feedback, educators get to read better papers, engaging the content rather than the structure.
We’ve already seen firsthand tens of thousands of students using AI to strengthen skills, improve test scores, get into college, and become more confident writers. You can see it too – create a trial account at Ecree.com , upload a student paper, and see what happens.
Dr. Jamey Heit is a lifelong
learner and lover of technology. He believes technology plays an
essential role in solving big problems and insists that it is part of a
broader solution, rather than a quick fix to a temporary challenge.
He holds a Ph.D. in Literature, Theology and the Arts from Glasgow University and has taught in a variety of Higher Education disciplines. By credit hours, Dr. Heit has over 25 years experience and has graded more than 30,000 papers (yes, he counted!).
During his time in the classroom, Dr. Heit saw limits in his ability to help students consistently improve their writing. So, in 2014 he left academia and founded Ecree, a technology company that specializes in a proprietary, interactive writing tool for students and teachers.
Dr. Heit is on a mission to nurture a generation of better writers and thinkers with widespread access to easy and adaptive writing software. With the Ecree technology, he’s found a way to provide consistent, timely, and quality feedback to students to ensure they develop lifelong skills for success.