A quick Google search for top AI tools for teachers can bring up hundreds of different platforms they can use in their classrooms - ranging from using ChatGPT to write lesson plans to Bing Image Creator that can create a Salvador Dali-style cartoon dog sipping tea on a red couch. With this latest trend in technology, many educators are wondering: how can we help students navigate a world where AI is inevitable but still harness the skills and elements of what makes us human?
This June, I attended the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, ISTELive, where Richard Culatta, ISTE and ASCD CEO, identified five ways we can continue to support students in their educational journey in collaboration with AI. First, we need to teach students how AI really works. AI is not magic - it’s data. Students need to know when and how to use it, and they need to know that it’s pulling from reliable and unreliable sources. Second, we should teach students how to use AI to support brainstorming. Students are no longer bound by the top hits from a google search - they can have a chat-like experience to refine their thoughts on any topic. Third, we need to teach students how to work in hybrid teams where all team members may not be human. Fourth, we should teach curation over creation. When you get 30,000 solutions to a problem, how do you identify which is correct for your situation? Finally, we need to teach students what it means to be human and cultivate those human skills in the classroom, such as, adaptability, intuition, empathy, civility, love, and reasoning and sense-making.
In an effort to incorporate the use of AI among teachers and students, Madison City Schools has created an Acceptable Use policy that outlines many aspects of appropriate uses of AI. As stated in our policy, “...it is our responsibility to educate and train students to utilize AI in an ethical and educational way. Therefore, Madison City Schools is not banning the student or teacher use of AI, but each student will need to be aware of the limitations and guidelines of its usage...” The Instructional Technology Specialists in the district have offered training, and will continue to offer training, on ways teachers and students can engage with AI.
I am excited to embrace the use of AI in education in our district and look forward to the ways we can continue to grow in our use of technology but also in our ability to cultivate our skills as human beings.
*100% of this blog post was written by a human.
*Image was created using AI.