Artificial Intelligence for Supply: Alexa, I Need a Teacher Next Week

What’s all this AI hype?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something we seem to be hearing a lot about these days. From the slightly gimmicky to the downright cool, it’s evident that AI is on the brink of becoming a part of both our personal and our working lives.

AI is about teaching computers to recognise complex and evolving patterns in data so that they can react to a particular situation. It may sound pretty complicated, but it’s actually all around us. When was the last time you saw someone pull out their phone and say “Hey Siri” or “OK Google”? What about the Amazon Echo? All Artificial Intelligence.

Because AI is becoming so mainstream, we’re being inundated with ways to use it. There’s a load of hype around AI, but we want to join those who are using it to enhance our working lives.

Hiring supply teachers using AI.

With the technology we’re currently working on at SupplyTeacher.jobs, schools will soon be able to ask their Amazon Echo (or Echo Dot) or mobile app to find a supply teacher.

We know that working in a school is like trying to juggle a million different roles at once, all as well as teaching and inspiring the next generation. You don’t have time to faff around; when you need a supply teacher you need one now. Our AI will enable you to ask Alexa to find you a supply teacher for next week without taking your eyes off your laptop (or your marking!).

Once our AI is live, schools will be able to keep a shortlist of all their local favourite supply teachers based on their profiles and video interviews. This will mean that when you say “Alexa, I need a supply teacher next week…”, our platform will be able to pull the supply teachers from your shortlist that are available, you guessed it, next week. The platform will then either display or email you the media rich profiles of those supply teachers meaning that you can appoint them in just a few clicks.

Like autonomous cars, we’ll start off slowly with semi-automation where your hands are still on the wheel. You’ll have the final say on who to appoint (and can continue to have that final say forever if you wish). As time goes on, AI can learn what is and isn’t right for your school then you can leave it to make the decisions using your previous reviews for a teacher, teacher tags, and location data for example. Alexa will respond with something along the lines of “John Smith is available for 5 days next week, has up-to-date DBS and CPD. Last month you gave an overall 5* rating for the position Maths cover – would you like to appoint him?”.

The most important thing, and the overwhelming benefit of this usage of AI, is that it will free up more time and resources to enable your school’s team to do what AI is many hundreds of years from doing, which is teaching our kids in the classroom.

Women holding phone in front of laptop

Artificial intelligence in teaching is closer than you think…

This may seem like make-believe, but within a few years some of you will be sat in the car with no hands on the wheel. It’s all closer than you think.

Soon, we’re going to be giving away a number of Amazon Echo Dots to schools around the UK to help us trial and refine our platform. If you’re concerned about the hardware cost, remember that the price of technology always goes down so we hope to be able to give your school free hardware so you can have it in your staff room.

Although we’re still a little way off the AI element of our platform, SupplyTeacher.jobs is already up and running. We’re in the process of signing up supply teachers across the UK and once we have enough in each area, we’ll get schools involved.

SupplyTeacher.jobs is a platform that connects schools with supply teachers. We’re replacing agencies, saving you thousands on the agency fees and giving you access to a live database of supply teachers. Each school and teacher has their own media-rich profile complete with rating systems and auto-invoicing. For a teeny, flat fee, you’ll get access to local supply teachers, and cut out the agency. The money you’ll save can go straight back into education rather than lining the pockets of agency owners.

Why wouldn’t you want all this at your fingertips? Pre-register for your area today or head to our site to find out more.

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