13 Investigation: Some teachers are embracing artificial intelligence

It is easy to see AI as the enemy, as a product of cheating and a shortcut to getting the job done.

Some educators say schools should see it as an opportunity.

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. It’s been part of our daily lives for a long time: it’s an app for our phones, used in navigation systems, social media, and even Siri on the iPhone is AI.

Now, educators are at a crossroads on how to integrate AI into their curriculum.

Artificial Intelligence is on display as an interactive exhibit at the MiSci Museum in Schenectady. You can learn how the human mind goes through the learning process and how different that is from trying to teach a machine how to think.

“This exhibition, from elementary school student to college students, can come and learn something and learn something here,” said Thenkurusi “Kesh” Kesavadas, a professor at the University at Albany.

Professor Kish has been studying artificial intelligence since the 1990s. He is the university’s vice president for research and economic development.

“I would say AI has been around for a few decades now.”

It is growing at a rapid pace.

A new study by UNESCO, a specialized agency of the United Nations, found that less than 10% of schools and universities have formal guidance on artificial intelligence. The agency reports that education systems are working to catch up with new technology.

Many educators, from elementary to college, have AI on their radar after the launch of ChatGPT last year. It’s a chatbot that can answer questions and write articles, social media posts, and emails.

Now teachers face the question: What to do with AI in schools?

“Students of all ages use Google. Students use PowerPoint even when they are in first grade. We are already using technology. Now, schools should think about giving students the basics of AI, and teaching them how AI can be used in… “Making more efficient ways to generate knowledge they don’t understand.”

Professor Kish states that schools should assume that many students already use technology to help them with their assignments, but it is never a substitute for practical experience.

There is a way to use both together.

Many schools have learned the importance of hands-on experience during the pandemic – including Middleburg Junior/Sr. Principal Matt Sloan. High school.

“For a long time, education has been content-based. Professionals take a major in college. They become teachers, and they share that information with students. The content is now available at your fingertips. So, how do we adapt to that methodology? It’s about an existing learning environment,” Sloan said. On skills.”

Sloan had this discussion with teachers.

Sloan gave us an example of how ChatGPT can be useful if a teacher is creating a lesson plan. A teacher can use artificial intelligence to help them write one. It gives teachers a deeper understanding of AI and how students can use it.

One of the biggest concerns with AI in schools is cheating. Overcoming that is easier than one might think, Sloan said.

“Cheating has been happening since the beginning of time. Ever since the first person figured out how to make a wheel, someone else has made a wheel from their model. With ChatGPT in particular, teachers have to get better at asking questions. If they ask more multi-step questions, and if They would ask questions that were more about a thought process, you would be able to quickly tell if a student wrote that down in the AI ​​program.

Like Sloan, some teachers said they are trying to move forward and embrace AI in students’ assignments.

“What I decided to do was find out what ChatGPT is all about,” Peter Gabak said.

Gabak is an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT. He also works at MiSci as Vice President of Institutional Advancement.

“I told my students, ‘If you use ChatGPT in your midterms and finals, which are written essay tests, I will give you five extra points on your final grade.’ That was a great incentive. Then I was able to control what was happening,” Gabak said. “I want to see the process. I just don’t want to see the final product.”

The bottom line from the three gurus: Don’t be afraid of AI; They say use it carefully and wisely.

“It’s not just a tool to help improve our lives, our writing, and our ability to communicate information on a large scale, it’s an early adoption of technology,” Gabak said.

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