Meet ‘Ed,’ LA Unified’s Artificial Intelligence Learning Tool for Students

The personal assistance app can inform students about their grades, attendance, the lunch menu, and more. But does Ed know when the pop quiz is coming?
Meet ‘Ed,’ LA Unified’s Artificial Intelligence Learning Tool for Students
Supt. Alberto Carvalho said Ed will help the district "meet every one of our students where they are and accelerate them academically." Above, Carvalho visits a Los Angeles campus on Jan. 8, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Micaela Ricaforte

The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an artificial intelligence tool called “Ed” to serve as a “personal assistant” to students and parents.

According to the district’s website, Ed is “an educational friend” available 24/7 on the district’s smartphone application that can provide students with information about their grades, attendance and upcoming tests.

It additionally uses artificial intelligence to create individualized plans for students to improve their academics based on grades and other information.

Students can also use Ed to find social-emotional-learning resources, see their school’s lunch menu and determine when their bus will arrive, according to the website.

Its creation is a part of the district’s effort to catch students up on any missed learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Supt. Alberto Carvalho, who announced Ed’s launch in March.

To come up with Ed, the district collaborated with the Boston-based company AllHere, whose mission is “transforming education with AI-powered personalized learning.” AllHere won a five-year, $6 million contract for the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It is the power of this technology through Ed, that we will meet every one of our students where they are and accelerate them academically and in terms of enrichment towards their full potential,” Mr. Carvalho said last month.

The pandemic brought on several setbacks for the district, including enrollment declines, chronic absenteeism, and learning loss, according to district officials.

LA Unified students lost nearly half a year’s worth of math progress from 2019 to 2022, according to a 2022 study measuring pandemic learning loss by researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities.

When Mr. Carvalho took the lead at LA Unified in February 2022, he developed what he called a 2022–26 Strategic Plan, to help students recover from learning loss and to help the district financially.

Part of the plan includes better student outreach and attendance, attracting more students into the district, expanding tutoring, and delivering “a holistic education that responds to academic, social-emotional and psychological needs,” according to the district.

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.