This week’s debate was on the hot topic of the semester, will AI technologies revolutionize education for the the better. AI is a tricky thing, sure it has its advantages but with every new innovation, especially with education and classroom settings, comes challenges as well.
Rokhsareh and Hanieh presented the benefits to the class. In their shared article, the authors examine how AI could be used in the classroom setting. What did we find out? Well with AI you basically have a built in teacher. Information can be relayed to the student similar to a tutor, but then it can also be assessed in real time. This data can be used to create more of a personalized learning menu for the students at any time of day. The resources available are mind boggling. I stopped in a Grade 6 Arts Ed class the other day and students were examining the works of Canadian painter Ted Harrison, and learning his style of paintings. Their task was to now create their own in response to viewing his. The problem? The same thing that always happens, students end up just replicated one of his paintings. Insert AI to the rescue. I showed them Dalle-E, and asked them for some landscape topics. Mountains! Streams! Farm! Ideas were flying, then I hear Volcano! Well I was sold. After a quick search, it showed them instantly some recreations with colour variations. We learned to refine searches, for key words and soon they were able to still replicate something but add their own spin to it.
Pretty cool use of AI. For the teachers there are many benefits too. It can be used to generate comments, rubrics, clearer assignments and suggestions for further feedback. Be used as a tool for students to edit and refine work.
That’s all fine and dandy but will it create more work, or allow for students to become less involved in their learning?
Every time you ask educators to change their current teaching practice you will be met with some skepticism. Rightfully so! It seems the topics we teach and how they are taught fade away, and then 10 or more years later some new spin on the topic comes back. We start teaching and realize this is something I used to do all the time! For instance, how we teach reading and what to focus on. The truth- there is just so many different reading strategies and ways to teach it, that a balance is needed. With AI, this won’t be any different. George and Kanwal were up to the task speaking to these challenges. George made some strong arguments about the legitimacy and cheating standpoint of using these AI technologies. Where should the credit go? A very valid point. Even mainstream performers are using, such as David Guetta.
Is it cheating? Well no. Is it forcing students to necessarily show their true understandings of the topic matter? Not really either. AI Technologies will need to be taught properly to students on how to use as well PD for Educators. The problem I see is that AI is moving so quickly, teachers might start to feel burnt out keeping up with the new and planning how to incorporate it all into their classrooms.
Is it the future of education? For sure. Will it revolutionize education? You bet. Will it be for the better? I guess in 10 years we will know the answer to just that. What do you think? Ready to take the jump?