Tech Blog

How AI and Facial-Recognition Can Help Teachers Teach Better

Many would agree that the ultimate goal in a classroom to maximize learning.

Professors, teachers, and cognitive researchers largely use test scores as a metric to gauge comprehension of understanding. While testing is an important tool, it’s not the only tool quantifying measure of learning.  Expressions in the face, otherwise known as facial recognition and micro-expressions provide a wealth of information about what the student experiences in the classroom.  Most commonly, advertising industries used this method when analyzing how viewers react to product commercials.  There is a common correlation of how one reacts to how one feels, in their facial reactions.

It would be tedious and distracting task  for a professor to watch the expressions of every student during a lecture hall.   A small solution to this problem  is hiring a classroom observer to come watch how students react to their professor/s, as well as video-taping lectures to be able to have record of the sessions.  However, this has proven to be costly and time-consuming.  Analysis of footage takes many hours and final results are cumbersome.

Today, a better, faster, and more efficient solution is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

A neural observer could instantly analyze how engaging a professor's lecture is, as well as how well it is being understood

One school in Hangzhou, China uses a technology that runs a facial analysis scan every 30 seconds in their classroom.  Called the ‘Intelligent Classroom Behavior Management System, it can recognize 7 facial expressions:  neutral, happy, sad, disappointed, scared, angry, and surprised.  It can also track 6 classroom behaviors and actions:  standing up, reading, writing, hand-raising, listening, and leaning on the desk. The Behavior Management Systems can also  monitor attendance.  Once enough Information about a  student’s s’ behavior is compiled, it is sent to the teacher.  This may seem a little “Orwellian” and it can be  argued as going against privacy laws, but the school’s Vice Principal, Zhang Guanchao , says,

the system only collects and analyzes the results of the facial recognition analysis and stores them in a local database rather than uploading it in a cloud. The system does not save the images in order to prevent unauthorized access to the data.

You can read more about that here on Techjuice

Orwellian: characteristic of the writings of George Orwell, especially with reference to his dystopian account of a future totalitarian state in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The Intelligent Classroom Behavior Management System at work in a classroom at Hangzhou's No. 11 High School

The use of facial recognition software in classrooms is still a fairly new concept so implementation of such technology on a broad scale over varying countries is still a while away; however, that doesn’t mean  AI in the classroom is an invaluable tool when paired with human teachers and professors.  AI in the classroom can  tailor to their lessons to encompass their students’ different learning styles  so adjustments to teaching styles can be adopted while leaning can be more effective.

We may realize that AI in the classroom is not a far reach as we may think it is.

The future of technology in classrooms

Artificial Intelligence is an amazing tool. It can be tailored to any industry in ways that can make our lives easier and better. The more the AI industry learns about how to tailor and implement AI in a positive way the better it becomes. We at BPU are always excited to be on the forefront of that technology. For example, Neil is a wonderful way to find new articles on what you want to read (or maybe what an essay a college student is assigned to write about). Neil Publisher helps you curate content and share it with the world. ZimGo helps determine how people feel on any given subject using social media, AI, and Sentiment Analysis. We’re excited to be making better technology to make the world a better place.