Answers to educators’ most frequently asked questions about artificial intelligence

Answers to educators’ most frequently asked questions about artificial intelligence

2023 was the year of AI for K-12 education.

artificial intelligence Its use had been gradually gaining momentum for years, but when ChatGPT With the arrival of AI, AI suddenly became easily accessible to everyone. Anyone can use ChatGPT and other tools like it, which conduct human-like conversations and instantly respond to seemingly any prompt.

Since then, K-12 educators across the country have been thinking about what and how much role AI should play in teaching, especially since experts say today’s students need to learn how to use technology effectively to be successful in teaching. Future jobs.

ChatGPT has been around for about a year, and there are teachers using it to craft lesson plans, communicate with parents, and show students how AI technologies work. However, many teachers say they are not prepared to teach with and around AI, and have many questions about the benefits and drawbacks of technology in teaching and learning.

Here are answers to five frequently asked questions about AI in K-12 education.

1. What are the risks of artificial intelligence?

AI tools are trained at a point in time, and the datasets they are trained on are not updated regularly, so these tools can provide outdated information or can make up facts when asked about events that occurred after they were trained.

Because the datasets that AI tools are trained on contain biased information, it is also included in the responses that the tools generate. These AI tools, if left unchecked, can amplify harmful stereotypes and fuel false and misleading information.

To combat the errors that come with using these AI models, some educational institutions are focusing on a version of the technology that some call “fenced-in-the-garden AI.”The AI ​​in the Walled Garden is only trained on content that has been vetted by its creator, rather than all unverified content online.

2. How can teachers integrate AI into the classroom?

Experts agree that it is important for teachers to try out AI technologies first before bringing them into the classroom so they can learn about the tools’ strengths and weaknesses. Some teachers are already using AI to create lesson plans, provide feedback to students, and communicate with parents.

Experts say students need to learn how to use AI technologies as assistants or advisors. One way to do this is for teachers to allow ChatGPT to be used in class assignments but require students to acknowledge and document how they use it. For example, a student who used ChatGPT to get feedback on a draft of an essay could explain which of the tool’s suggestions he agreed with and which he didn’t. Using this method, students can learn how to use the tool as a partner, rather than having it do all the work for them. It can also build on students’ ability to evaluate and analyze writing.

Other ways teachers use artificial intelligence

3. Can AI help diverse learners?

Some educators have found uses for ChatGPT and similar tools that help diverse learners with their tasks. For example, teachers can use ChatGPT to reduce Lexile levels– Text difficulty scale – for English language learners. Special education teachers They’re already using AI to reduce paperwork and create individualized education programs, or IEPs.

However, educators should remember that generative AI tools can spread biased or incorrect information. The researchers also found that some AI-based fraud detection tools incorrectly flagged writing by non-native English learners. As created by artificial intelligence.

Additionally, special education services often include sensitive information that would be risky or even illegal to share on a publicly accessible AI platform that ingests all the data it receives.

4. What is the best way to pursue professional development in this topic?

To make teachers more comfortable with artificial intelligenceThey need time to use technology as teachers and learners, time to try different approaches with students, and opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and talk about what works and what doesn’t, according to experts. Teacher preparation programs They can also begin to establish a basic understanding of AI and begin to develop the skills needed to harness these tools effectively, so that by the time teachers reach the classroom, they are ready to integrate AI into students’ learning experiences.

5. What policies have school districts put in place to address the use of AI in the classroom?

Most districts still have not established clear policies or guidelines on the proper use of AI tools in the classroom. Only two states, California and Oregon, have provided formal AI guidance for schools, according to an analysis by the Center for Reinventing Public Education at Arizona State University.. One reason for this may be that technology changes so quickly and teachers fear that the policies they create will become outdated soon after they are issued.

When drafting guidelines for using AI, two key issues need to be addressed: ensuring teachers understand the strengths and weaknesses of AI and keeping student data secure, teachers say.. The guidelines must also address students’ academic integrity, which is a major concern for teachers.

Many educational organizations have created checklists and guidelines for districts to use as they formulate policies around generative AI. Generative AI Readiness Checklist From the Consortium of School Networks, the Council of Greater City Schools, and the AI ​​Guidance for Schools Toolkit From the Teach AI initiative are two examples.

During this process, it’s important to involve teachers, students and parents, as they may pose questions and challenges that district leaders may not have considered, experts say.

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