Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Conversations on AI in Education

Pat Yongpradit from Code.Org tweeted an image of what they are seeing in conversations about AI and Education. (The link on the image below goes to that tweet)

Now I am not having the detailed conversations with policy makers that Pat is but these boxes pretty much match what I am seeing in my social media these days. That bottom right hand box is where I’d like to see myself and others but it feels like people in power are more on the left hand column.

The usual tech bros are touting the AI can replace teachers line. We’re a long way from that and I am not sure we’ll ever be at a point where that is a good thing.

Lots of teachers are afraid of cheating. That’s not an unreasonable fear. There are pundits, some of whom are teachers, saying “just change the way you teach and all will be well,” I see a shortage of detailed information about just how to teach differently to avoid AI cheating. I think some of those people are fooling themselves if they think they have all the answers. Students are very good at finding new ways to cheat no matter what the assignments are.

The right hand column is where I think we need to be but there are more questions than answers there. Frankly, I think the technology is still to new and experience with it is to little to answer these questions with any strong level of confidence. We really need teachers to experiment with these tools in actual classrooms. That takes some freedom that doesn’t exist in as many places as we would like. Government and administrators in too much of the US are more interested in constraining what teachers do in the classroom than giving teachers freedom to develop new ways to teach.

The question is, are schools going to still look the way they did 100 years ago, as they do today, or are we going to see real change that uses technology to the fullest?


Mike Zamansky said...

On the "will we replace teachers" front - you pretty much know ed "reformers" an policy makers will want to go in that direction as will some people who call themselves educators Look no further than David Malan's post on CS50 (shared in the CS Educators Facebook group) about AI for grading as as virtual TAs. That's step 1.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think schools are the same as a hundred years ago

Cennet Koyuncu said...

Schools are not the same, teachers are not the same and also students are not the same either. Kids are getting very used to reaching information very quickly and their attention spans are also very short. Sometimes, explaining subjects in very traditional ways may not be the best for new generations. Letting them use tools and explore the subjects on their own might work better for students.