As Cognita rolls out AI across its classrooms in Europe, Sabrina Espasandin, Digital Learning Advisor for Cognita, explores the fundamental difference technology is making to how teachers and students are sharing ownership of learning.

Our main focus is on teaching and learning, so one of the things I was most excited about when I joined Cognita is that they understand technology as a tool and as a means, not as an end, in itself. It is there to support, to augment, to amplify teaching and learning.

The focus is put on pedagogy, on planning, on quality teaching and quality resources. And technology is used whenever it fits the purpose of the lesson. So whether that be for feedback, for connecting with students or creating special resources, it’s only used when necessary.

One of the key elements of our digital strategy is ownership for learning. With AI-powered learning tools, like CENTURY for example, students are able to access a personal dashboard and see how far they’ve come, what their strengths are, what their areas for improvement are. They can stretch themselves; if they need to, they can revisit the material at their own pace; they can see the learning material when they get back home.

From my experience with AI, it has proved to be super-efficient in the sense that it allows teachers to focus on exactly what they need to focus on, which is teaching, as well as enabling an agility to adapt to your students. There’s an element of instinct that every teacher has, adapting mid-lesson to whatever it is that pops up at that point. What AI definitely brings into the picture is objective data on student progress that supplements that instinct and helps teachers make informed decisions. It also offers the possibility of creating different learning opportunities for students, depending on what they are experiencing at that time.

It has been really helpful for developing those skills that for us are just vital – the possibility of developing independence in our learners, to own their learning, so that they know where they are and where they want to go. And also to reflect on how far they have come.