If I look back at my experience with technology in school compared to the experience of today’s youth, it is completely different from one another. Technology has made huge advancements in the last 25 years and it seems that nowadays there is an endless amount of new applications, software, and platforms available for students and educators to use to further the learning experience at school. Artificial intelligence has become a powerful tool that we can incorporate into our teaching repertoire that provides a plethora of educational technology tools for both students and educators. Most importantly, “artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize the way we learn and teach” (Edutech Global, 2023). However, “the use of AI in education is valuable in some ways, but we must be hyper-vigilant in monitoring its development and its overall role in our world” (University of San Diego, 2023).
It is exciting to consider all the different possibilities and opportunities AI can offer in education. In the article entitled “43 Examples of Artificial Intelligence in Education”, the following five advantages are linked to the use of AI in the education field: 1) personalization; 2) tutoring; 3) grading; 4) feedback on course quality; and 5) meaningful and immediate feedback to students (2023). Another benefit associated with the use of AI tools relating to education was the mention that “much of the potential envisioned for AI in education centers on reducing time spent by teachers on tedious tasks to free up time for more meaningful ones” (University of San Diego, 2023). This pro is particularly interesting because educators have been stating for quite some time that we have limited time for all the tasks that are demanded of us in our profession. Having the possibility to free up some of our time from monotonous tasks and allow us to concentrate on teaching and connecting with our students is very appealing in my opinion. The concept of collaboration taking place between educators and AI tools is quite intriguing from an instructional perspective. “As AI educational solutions continue to mature, the hope is that AI can help fill needs gaps in learning and teaching and allow schools and teachers to do more than ever before… [and] by leveraging the best attributes of machines and teachers, the vision for AI in education is one where they work together for the best outcome for students” (Marr, 2021). More precisely, we need to understand that “AI does not detract from classroom instruction but [can] enhance it in many ways” (University of San Diego, 2023).
As with most topics discussed in class this semester, the use of AI tools in education also brought forth some potential disadvantages. At the forefront of this discussion regarding the negative aspects of AI educational tools was the cost associated with developing and implementing these types of tools (Edutech Global, 2023). Whenever we discuss the topic of cost the question of equity comes to mind because it is hard to ensure that all schools would have the same resources at their disposition; it is very tricky to ensure that all schools would be able to invest in AI tools and have the same tools available to all students. There was also mention of a lack of human interaction and emotional support when we allow students to use AI educational tools in the classroom along with privacy and security concerns (Edutech Global, 2023). An interesting negative that was mentioned in a few articles was the fear educators had that they could be replaced by AI educational tools. It was stressed that AI educational tools did not have the objective to replace teachers, but they were meant to assist teachers in their work and allow their teaching to be more efficient (Edutech Global, 2023).
This week’s topic encouraged me to go and explore what we had available as AI educational tools on the market right now. As I started researching the concept of AI educational tools and what was available to educators, I was pleasantly surprised that I was using a couple without even realizing they were AI educational tools. I have used Quizlet for over a decade to help my students review what we have covered in class and most teachers that teach a different language at school other than English have become familiar with Duolingo as an engaging tool to use with their students to practice different languages. Through the use of AI, Duolingo lessons are paced and leveled for each student according to their performance. In addition, Quizlet offers a feature – Quizlet Learn – that is a smart study resource that provides adaptive plans and helps take the guesswork out of what to study (Whitfield, 2023). Furthermore, Chat GPT is one of the AI tools that has been discussed recently in the media and it has certainly caused insightful discussions at my school. When we first discussed Chat GPT in class, I remember going to work the following day and engaging in an insightful conversation with my principal regarding the use of AI educational tools. This was right around report card time and I know some colleagues who used this tool to generate the tedious and arduous task of writing up report card comments. One of the main ideas that emerged from our conversation was how educators should familiarize themselves with this new tool and see how they could benefit from incorporating this tool to enhance their teaching. It is crucial to understand that
“learning has [always] been a foundational part of humanity and thanks to AI [technologies] education is [becoming] more accessible and efficient than ever” (Whitfield, 2023).