U.S. Public Schools Students are facing a major problem: no one is showing up to teach them.
The U.S. teacher shortage has been a problem for years now. Fewer undergraduates than ever are pursuing degrees in education according to a recent Pew Research study and high teacher turnover means that these new would-be teachers are almost certainly going to feel overwhelmed and worn out by the amount of work they are forced to take on by their school system.
Our hackathon team proposes the creation of a platform that educators can use to interact with one another, share resources, give each other feedback, and more. Teaching can be stressful, but the instructor.ly community believes that “teaching together is always better.”
To make preparation for lessons easier, we decided to target one such task instructors perform on a frequent basis - which is generating lesson plans and syllabus. An AI powered model trained on reddit information is used to assist in lesson plan generation. The lesson plans require the instructor to add a few sentences that in turn generates lesson description and activities.
Education is one of the most powerful weapons that can be used to change the world. This is made possible by teachers who make a significant impact on generations. The teacher shortage that has plagued the United States for years now will severely impact America’s children and America’s FUTURE. While there are many factors behind the U.S. Teacher Shortage, research has repeatedly shown that stress, mental and emotional pressure, and lack of access to resources are significant factors behind it. We believe that the community that Instructor.ly provides can help the worklife of educators across the country easier and more enjoyable.
What it does
Instructor.ly provides a space for instructors to connect with each other, share their experiences with each other, and resources such as lesson plans, textbooks, and videos.
The AI Lesson Plan Generator:
The Lesson Plan AI allows teachers to auto generate a sample lesson plan using a few sentences submitted by the teacher on the concept of the lesson. This is a jupyter lab environment where we tested with various input prompts and using the data generated a word document is automatically created.
How we built it
Backend: Python Libraries: pydocx, ipython, NLTK Model used: HuggingFace GPT2 Tools: Jupyter Notebook, Postman
The AI Lesson Plan Generator:
For the model, we decide to use GPT2 which generates additional sentences based on the prompt provided earlier. The training data for this model was Reddit data. This is a basic POC for the hackathon.
In the future, we hope to train a model with actual lesson plan data for better generation and accuracy.
Challenges we ran into
Due to limited time and not a lot of access to open-source lesson plan data, we did not use custom training data for the model. This affects the overall accuracy and performance of the model.
What we learned
We learned more about the problem space through interacting with the mentors and through additional research we made into the Teacher Shortage Crisis. We used tools like bootstrap, AI algorithms, Figma, and more throughout the development of our project as well.
What's next for Instructor.ly
We hope to share this with faculty at our university and with peers that are K-12 educators for further feedback to create a better version of Instructor.ly that we can deploy in the future.