The Textbook Is Dying. Meet the Artificially Intelligent Software That’s Replacing It.

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo Eighteen students file into a brightly lit classroom. Arrayed around its perimeter are 18 computers. The students take their seats, log in to their machines, and silently begin working. At a desk in the back, the instructor’s screen displays a series of spreadsheets and data visualizations to help her track each student’s progress in real time. Will Oremus This isn’t a Vulcan finishing school or a scene from some Back to the Future sequel. It’s Sheela Whelan’s pre-algebra class at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York. Advertisement The students in Whelan’s class are all using the same program, called ALEKS. But peek over their shoulders and you’ll see that each student is working on a different sort of problem. A young woman near the corner…


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