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Artificial intelligence used to teach maths during lockdown

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A WARRINGTON school is using an online platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure pupils don’t miss out on vital maths knowledge due to the coronavirus crisis.
Teachers at Culcheth Primary School, Warrington, say the Maths-Whizz program has been a vital tool to enable children to practise their numerical skills from home.
The program uses AI to mirror the behaviour of a human tutor through interactive learning content in order to tailor maths lessons to each child’s individual needs. The school has used the virtual tuition platform throughout the lockdown period – and pupils are free to continue over the summer holidays.
Deputy headteacher Karen Rodgers said: “The quality and engagement of the Maths-Whizz learning content inspires our children to complete their tasks and tests. This was particularly important during school closures to maintain engagement in maths learning. Each week I receive a weekly school report and it’s easy to look at school, class, and individual reports. This level of reporting provided great visibility and insight on student learning during lockdown. The children learn each topic at their level, so therefore it caters to every individual’s needs. The online support and advice has been a huge success at our school.”
It is widely accepted that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many pupils being out of school since March, will produce substantial losses in learning that will be further impacted by the summer holidays.
Experts say maths knowledge normally regresses by two to three months over the summer break due to lack of practise. This loss of learning is known as the ‘Summer Slide.’ It means many schools will potentially face disruption in September – with pupils struggling to catch up.
Research shows that just 60 minutes of online tuition per week over the course of a year can boost a child’s maths ability by the equivalent of 18 months learning.

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