How will Artificial Intelligence improve education?

by Jeff Camp | May 21, 2023 | 0 Comments
featured image

History is being written, again

I’m old enough to have lived through quite a few technology changes, including many that changed the world of learning. Microfiche, for example. The photocopier. Post-it notes. The VCR. The personal computer. Word processors and spreadsheets. The web browser. The iPhone. Google. YouTube.

It’s obvious at this point that Generative A.I. (artificial intelligence) belongs on history’s ever-growing list of education upgrades. It’s not yet clear why, however. Inventive people are only beginning to scratch the surface of what they can do differently with the help of A.I.

As an editor, I find ChatGPT useful, currently as a copy editing tool. “Simplify this text,” I ask, pasting in a wordy draft passage. Like a competent co-writer, it untangles clauses, offering useful alternatives. I understand what it’s doing for me, and, to be clear, I like the help.

My daughter, studying computer science for the first time, has found ChatGPT helpful as she wrestles to unpack the quirks of Javascript and C++. My son is using ChatGPT to help him personalize cover letters for his resume as he explores job openings in A.I.

These are tiny use cases that barely scratch the surface of what is to come. Very smart people in large numbers are tinkering with A.I. systems, and how to ask them good questions. ChatGPT is just one of the platforms out there, and powerful stuff has already made its way to open-source development. It’s a wild west moment.

Teachers: Try it

This summer, I hope that all teachers will spend time experimenting with A.I. Don’t wait. Keep an open mind. Don’t make assumptions about what A.I. systems will be bad at. Ask yourself how tools like this change what it means to learn or create. With the help of A.I., what should students learn about how to craft a sentence or a paragraph? What does it mean to write with flair? Are grammatical and copy-editing errors permissible in a world where technology can so easily help you remedy them?

Students will have fresh reasons to ask why am I learning this? Teachers will need to prepare themselves afresh with authentic answers. Rote assignments will be an increasingly hard sell to students in a world of A.I.-supported learning. What makes for a good assignment in this new learning environment? How should students be asked to demonstrate mastery of a concept? What approaches are authentic, relevant, and not easily faked? If the answer involves presentation skills, how will you help students adapt to the new expectations?

Try Khanmigo

One of the most hopeful things I have seen so far is the work that Khan Academy is doing to add A.I. to its already-valuable resources for teaching and learning. Under the name Khanmigo, Khan Academy is developing A.I.-based solutions to help educators and students learn whatever they want to know in a way that seems personally relevant. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for the waitlist.

Implications for Ed100

Pardon my introspection, but we all have to consider the implications of A.I. on what we do.

Ed100 explains the education system in plain language so that people can navigate it and play a role in making it work for everyone. Many of our readers discover our lessons through Google searches because we provide reliable, well-written answers to clearly-expressed questions. When I began this work more than a decade ago, plain explanations were fairly hard to find.

As people learn to turn to A.I. with their questions (and as Google builds A.I. into its answers), I sense that the role of Ed100 will need to change. Want to know how LCFF works? Chat GPT can generate a perfectly good, succinct answer in seconds. It doesn’t include the depth of Ed100 Lesson 8.5, but it might be all that you want.

Our truest aspiration for Ed100 is to help school communities develop well-informed leadership, including adminstrators, parents, teachers and students. The challenge ahead of us is to connect with community leaders who actively want to develop well-informed communities. We can help as part of their plan.

Questions & Comments

To comment or reply, please sign in .

©2003-2024 Jeff Camp
Design by SimpleSend

Sharing is caring!

Password Reset

Change your mind? Sign In.

Search all lesson and blog content here.

Welcome Back!

Login with Email

We will send your Login Link to your email
address. Click on the link and you will be
logged into Ed100. No more passwords to

Share via Email

Get on Board!
Learn how California's School System works so you can make a difference.
Our free lessons are short, easy to read, and up to date. Each lesson you complete earns a ticket for your school. You could win $1,000 for your PTA.

Join Ed100

Already a member? Login

Or Create Account