“Built and designed by teachers, for teachers.”
Stan Litow, President Emeritus of the IBM Foundation
IBM’s Watson, everyone’s favourite supercomputer, is taking on a new challenge – education! Over 1000 educators contributed to the project, 1000s of hand-selected lesson plans and activities were categorized and rendered, and the use of the artificial intelligence interpretation. All of this came together to crete Teacher Advisor, a tool to help find and create lesson plans, activities, standards information, and strategies from a database of effective materials. As of now, it supports kindergarten – to grade 5 math resources and has the intention of expanding.
Populating the search engine is a collection of more than 1,000 Open Educational Resources (OERs) from sources such as Achieve and UnboundED. When teachers search a particular concept, such as fractions or place value, they get a targeted lesson, standard, recommended activity and strategy. From there they can adjust variables like grade level while keeping search terms the same, which may assist teachers in classrooms where students have different math proficiencies.
The real hook, however, is Watson’s continuously evolving AI. The search tool improves and refines itself based on data from users, providing more relevant results as time passes.
Within the OER content bank, there are print materials as well as diagrams and even a video player, which takes advantage of Watson tech that can pinpoint the specific parts of any given video relevant to the search query and cue up just that part.
Teacher Advisor makes it easier to differentiate lessons more effectively and quickly, designing multiple versions of what we teach to create authentic, genuine learning experiences for all our students. After all, isn’t that the point of what we do?