A new student survey reveals that the majority of students in grades 6-12 acknowledge the critical role of AI in education.

More students are seeking an AI-powered school year

A new student survey reveals that the majority of students in grades 6-12 acknowledge AI's critical role in academic excellence

Key points:

Students are gearing up for the 2023 school year, and new research from Brainly reveals the vital role of AI in education and its place as an integral element in middle and high school students’ academic life – even as educators debate and worry whether the revolutionary technology belongs in the classroom.

Brainly’s Back-to-School survey highlights a growing trend–66.5 percent of students in grades 6-12 actively seek external support for their homework and study needs. With 57 percent expressing concerns about excessive homework, it is evident that students are keen on finding additional resources to aid their academic progress. Forty-five percent of these students spend more than two hours daily on homework. 

Where are students going for help? To their AI tools. The research shows that 67 percent of middle and high school students are using AI to help with their schoolwork.

Notably, the survey confirms what parents and teachers experience daily: Mathematics is the most challenging subject, with 45.2 percent of students identifying it as their biggest academic hurdle. No other subject comes close in terms of difficulty, with English ​​(16.8 percent), history (14.7 percent), science (12.3 percent) and world languages (11 percent) following way behind.

Following suit, over the last year, mathematics has emerged as the most sought-after subject among users on Brainly, capturing a substantial 31.4 percent of all subject searches and underscoring the need for assistance. Brainly’s users also seek help in science (18.84 percent), social studies (17.2 percent), and English (16.3 percent).  

Brainly’s latest research dovetails with its research from June, which highlighted the importance of AI to students’ learning experience, with over 60 percent of high school students already seeing long-term positive educational outcomes of AI integration:

  • 60 percent feel AI will better prepare them for their future
  • 64 percent feel it will help them better understand what they’re learning at school 
  • 65 percent feel using AI will improve their grades

Teachers prepare for AI in the classroom

A recent Brainly roundtable featuring education experts underscored the impact of AI on education, its importance in providing a better learning experience for students and its productivity benefits for teachers. Moderated by Victor Rivero, Editor-in-Chief of EdTech Digest, and Sean Salai, a cultural reporter at The Washington Times, the roundtable also featured Brainly’s Bill Salak; history teacher Cody Ashley from Cristovall Middle School and High School in Cristovall, Texas; science teacher Heather Haas from John Glenn High School in Walkerton, Ind.; and English teacher Mary Ann Rafferty from Williams Middle Magnet School in Tampa, Fla.

“AI in education is not about replacing teachers, but rather about empowering them to deliver personalized instruction,” said Salak. “If we can provide teachers with more and better resources and allow them more time with each student individually, we will get better outcomes. AI can solve this problem by equalizing the playing field, working consistently for everyone in the same way at the same cost.”

AI is poised to facilitate a sea change in education, said Salak. With tools like ChatGPT, enabling access to information should no longer be the primary focus of classroom learning. “Instead, we need to teach kids how to vet and critically assess the vast amounts of information they have at their fingertips so that they become better critical thinkers,” he said.

Echoing that thought, Ashley emphasized that “as educators, it’s our job to keep up with the technology and prepare kids to use AI and other technologies effectively.” He acknowledged that AI could alleviate the burden on teachers and provide additional resources, ultimately improving the learning experience for students.

The roundtable participants collectively conveyed the belief that AI, when used thoughtfully and in conjunction with teacher expertise, can be a powerful tool to enhance learning outcomes for students. 

This press release originally appeared online.

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