Matthew Urwin | Oct 09, 2023

Students are not computers. But thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, computers are becoming more like students. 

Machine learning — a subset of AI that facilitates the analysis of large data sets and enhances pattern recognition — allows computers to automatically anticipate and adapt to certain outcomes. In short, they can learn autonomously.

Machine Learning in Education

Machine learning changes the education experience for both students and teachers. It optimizes and personalizes the learning experience for students and helps teachers to grade more quickly and accurately.

And as computers get better at learning, humans do likewise. That’s certainly true in the edtech industry, where companies employ machine learning to devise innovative and more intuitive methods of teaching.

Here are some other examples of how machine learning is being used in education.

Related Reading16 Machine Learning Examples Your Industry Needs to Know Now


Machine Learning in Education Examples

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Paper partners with K-12 schools across the U.S. and Canada to offer 24/7 online tutoring support. In March 2023, the company announced it acquired Readlee, a tool that uses AI and speech recognition technology that helps students improve their literacy skills. Now known as Paper Reading, the tool listens to students read aloud and provides real-time feedback and literacy support. Paper’s remote-first team also develops AI and machine learning tools for their product including statistical models and natural language processing, or NLP, solutions.


Founded: 2011 

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Duolingo makes learning a new language a lot like playing a game. The company has over 500 million active users on its platform who complete language exercises that cover French, Spanish, Japanese and more. Using data and machine learning, Duolingo has made course improvements by taking into consideration the nuances of various languages. As a result, Duolingo reached a $4 billion valuation and became the world’s most-downloaded education app.


Founded: 2006 

Location: Redwood City, California 

Serving as a hub for instructors and students, Course Hero is an online learning platform that offers study guides, practice problems, lecture notes, step-by-step solutions and other e-learning resources. The platform runs on Amazon Machine Learning, which enables students and teachers to navigate Course Hero’s wealth of materials and select the resources related to the topics they’re most interested in.


Founded: 2006 

Location: Bellevue, Washington 

DreamBox Learning delivers a personalized K-12 math and reading curriculum for students by leveraging Intelligent Adaptive technology. The company’s tools compile data on factors like how many lessons students complete and the time spent on each lesson, determining areas where students need extra support. Teachers can also reinforce their knowledge with professional development courses that promote self-paced learning. 


Founded: 2014 

Location: Fully Remote 

Mainstay aims to enhance digital conversations between students and academic staff by instilling AI-powered responses with behavioral intelligence. Responses are produced from research that factors in variables like cultural context and sensitivity levels. These features have made it easier for AI to connect students with relevant resources and determine when it’s best to escalate a conversation to teachers, admissions counselors or other appropriate personnel.


Founded: 2020 

Location: San Ramon, California 

Applying AI and machine learning technology to education, Riiid Labs provides students with what it calls an “Exponential Learning Experience.” The company’s platform collects data by delivering micro-interval assessments and monitoring testing behaviors. Then it uses its AI Tutor and AI Coach to deliver in-depth guidance and timely encouragement, making sure students stay engaged and retain information during the learning process.


Founded: 2013 

Location: Palo Alto, California

Osmo blends the online and physical worlds by allowing students to interact with digital games using tangible game pieces. Reflective AI technology is activated when students attach an Osmo Reflector to their tablets, allowing the tool to sense the tactile pieces that come with each game kit. While Osmo offers individual products through its online store, the organization has made an impression on educators and now showcases its technology in over 30,000 classrooms.


Founded: 2005 

Location: San Francisco, California 

Quizlet is an online studying tool that lets users create quizzes, flashcards and diagrams — or use pre-existing ones. Employing statistics and machine learning, the company leverages its data on users and user content to discover how students can study more effectively. One solution that has resulted from this research is the Learning Assistant Platform, which  detects terms that students struggle with and prioritizes them in future study sessions.  


Founded: 2013 

Location: Fully Remote 

Every student navigates a unique learning path, so CENTURY takes this reality into account with its learning platform. Students begin by completing diagnostic assessments, which reveal learning gaps and areas where students can most improve. CENTURY’s AI-powered features then recommend topics that each student needs the most help with while reintroducing content at timely intervals to ensure students don’t forget what they’ve already learned.


Founded: 2011 

Location: Dallas, Texas 

Trivie is on a mission to make employee training more effective by offering online learning as a service. Relying on gamification principles, the company creates online challenges and assessments that make learning feel like competitive play. Trivie’s AI technology then sends learning boosters after these initial interactions, enabling employees to retain over 90 percent of their knowledge up to a year later.


Founded: 2013 

Location: Austin, Texas 

For those who find math and science to be the most challenging subjects, Querium has developed a digital learning solution. Students who work on Querium’s platform can leverage StepWise AI, which functions as a master tutor that is available 24/7 and provides instant insights into errors made and potential next steps students can take. Rather than continue down an incorrect path, students can quickly recognize their mistakes and make adjustments.

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Founded: 2011 

Location: Redwood City, California 

Teachers and organizations can view each student’s progress with Kidaptive’s Adaptive Learning Platform. Machine learning algorithms power this cloud-computing platform, which analyzes various learning materials to create a complete picture of a student’s progress and preferences. As a result, instructors can understand where each person’s strengths and weaknesses lie and tailor learning content to individual needs.


Founded: 2012 

Location: San Diego, California

Younger students looking to explore advanced topics like AI can satisfy their desire to learn with Robolink’s robotics kits. The company designs accessible kits with the goal of providing interactive experiences for curious minds. Robolink’s line of products includes Zumi, a self-driving car kit that allows students to engage with AI and machine learning principles by studying car sensors, writing Python code and more.

Related Reading13 Edtech Applications You Should Know


Founded: 2017 

Location: Kendall Park, New Jersey 

For children who need help with math, Thinkster combines AI and machine learning tools with individualized math tutoring. Students begin by taking an assessment and receiving a detailed report revealing their strengths and weaknesses. After this initial step, each student works with a personal tutor to develop unique curricula and complete online math worksheets that come with tutorial videos.


Founded: 2013 

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Cognii’s AI-powered virtual learning assistant provides virtual tutoring and quick grading of open-ended responses, as well as study and review tools. Machine learning is used to individualize and improve learning and feedback, allowing Cognii to play a key role in the future of education. The company now has over $1 million in total funding.


Founded: 2012 

Location: New York, New York 

Knowre is taking the frustration out of math with its algorithm-based curricula and math support features. While Knowre Math leverages data-rich insights to identify where students can improve, the Walk Me Through tool keeps students engaged with instructional videos and in-depth assistance. Teachers have adopted Knowre’s solutions as supplements to traditional education, creating more dynamic learning environments for their students.

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