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Keeping One Step Ahead Of Your Students With Applied Intelligence

Keeping One Step Ahead Of Your Students With Applied Intelligence - Saasyan Blog by Sidney Minassian

Education technology for k-12 is trending in the right direction

With technology now a core enabler of learning and education for students in Kindergarten through to Year 12 (K-12), the market is exploding with EdTech solutions from large incumbents as well as new innovative startups.

As a tech entrepreneur and father of three kids, one in primary and two in high school, I welcome this trend and am somewhat envious.

Just imagine having had this luxury in our days of schooling

My kids get to flick through their timetable on their smartphones, chat to their teachers on Microsoft Teams after school and submit their assignments at 11:59pm on a Sunday night via Google Classroom.

Additionally, from a very young age I've encouraged my kids to share their homework with me online during my business hours, where I'm able to collaborate with them while I'm still fresh and in a good headspace, instead of waiting for me to get home, tired, hungry and not my best self.

So, as a parent, from this perspective the benefits and the impact of technology in advancing my kids education has been significant. I'm massively grateful and happy for them that they are at school during this era.

New technologies bring new risks

However, along with the intended benefits, we know new technologies sometimes also introduce unintended changes and risks.

This is certainly the case when it comes to student safety and wellbeing, given many would agree, the social, mental and emotional impact of students being mostly online when in and out of the classroom is a new frontier.

Just ask any Teacher, Wellbeing Counsellor or School IT Manager and they'll tell you how complex their world has become when it comes to actually knowing what the students are up to, ensuring engagement and being aware of students who are emotionally struggling or getting bullied.

We know for certain what doesn't work

  1. Using supervision methods from yesteryear when the only learning tools in the classroom were physical books and chalkboards will not work now when each kid is on their own device and free to search, view, post and send and receive private messages.
  2. Trying to lock, block and digitally tie-down students. This has the unintended consequence of getting in the way of positive student experiences and successful learning outcomes.
  3. Putting your head in the sand. Whether you're a parent, a principal, a teacher, a school IT manager or wellbeing counsellor, trying to avoid short-term pain by denying knowledge of what's going on is only setting up for bigger pain down the track.

A Framework for Student Safety & Wellbeing

I've learned over the years that there's almost never the one solution and or one approach that is right for everyone. 

Instead, approaching problems based on principles and frameworks provides a more flexible approach to do what works in a given context with the opportunity to test, learn and iterate.

So with that in mind, here are the framework elements we see our 600 plus school customers adopting for addressing student safety and wellbeing.

  • Structure and Leadership
    School leadership sets the structure and approach to student safety and wellbeing. Wellbeing is a priority, it's top of mind and is communicated with the right level of intensity. The school's leadership takes ownership and accountability.
  • Inclusion and Engagement
    Includes and engages students, teachers, principal, parents, school IT and Wellbeing counsellors, making 'student safety and wellbeing' everyone's responsibility.
  • Education and Training
    Provides education and training that is age-appropriate, context-relevant and delivered in a way that is understood, embedded and actioned.
  • Actionable Insights
    Implements an enabling technology solution that works across all student digital activities to provide insightful wellbeing alerts and reports.
  • Response & Counselling
    Appoints professional, certified, child psychologists and wellbeing counsellors to respond, support and counsel students who are need.

Keeping one step ahead

As the provider of a comprehensive Ai-Powered Student Safety & Wellbeing solution, Saasyan connects to existing school systems and provides actionable insights to help schools detect cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide and threats of violence across chat, email, search, websites, social posts and videos.

The Saasyan solution is powered by artificial intelligence and applied intelligence to help schools keep 'one step ahead' of students.

Here are 5 applications of our 'applied intelligence' in the Saasyan solution:

  1. Crowd-sourced 'word & phrases' dictionary
    Saasyan's 600+ school customers who among them are responsible for 400,000 students have the option to share (crowd-source) the trending and emerging words and phrases they wish to monitor and report.  When one school adds a phrase, 599 other schools are empowered.
  2. Fuzzy logic & near-term analysis for misspelt words
    We acknowledge kids are smart. Our 'fuzzy logic and near-term' AI function looks for words that have been purposely or accidentally misspelt. This means schools don't have to take on the burden of precisely defining every misspelling of every word and phrase that needs to tracked.
  3. Natural Language Processing to pick up context
    It always comes down to context. Our Natural Language Processing AI function ensures we don't report a 'false positive' when a student posts "I killed the switch" but does raise an alert when one kid writes to another "You're not funny, stop posting".
  4. Cohort analysis to identify outliers
    By comparing individual activities to those of their cohort, the Saasyan solution is able to identify true outliers for alerting and reporting. For example it knows to not raise an alert when the entire Year 9 Science class is searching for 'drugs' on Wednesday during Period 3 but does raise an alert when one student is searching 'how long will I be imprisoned for selling drugs' on Thursday right after school.
  5. Recurrence analysis to detect alarming patterns
    Students' online activities, when analysed can reveal 'intent' and 'state of mind'. The 'Recurrence Analysis' function in the Saasyan solution creates a 'high priority' alert when it detects alarming patterns. For example a student has visited the 'suicide hotline website' 5 times in the past 4 hours. 

Want to see 'applied intelligence' in action?

Sign up here for an on-demand demo of the Saasyan AI-Powered Student Safety & Wellbeing solution.