Artificial Intelligence is poised to revolutionize K-12 education offering a range of possibilities that can enhance teaching and learning experiences. As we stand on the cusp of this technological transformation, public schools should be proactive in embracing AI’s potential while addressing key considerations.
Teacher Support: AI can be a valuable assistant for teachers. Virtual tutors and chatbots, available outside of the school day, can answer student questions, provide additional resources, and offer feedback on student work. We will start seeing these features from vendors in the near future available within the core digital curriculum.
Early Intervention: AI algorithms can detect learning difficulties early by analyzing student data, and then suggesting instructional plans. Schools can leverage these tools to provide early intervention and efficient support to the students who need it most.
Accessibility: AI-powered tools can enhance accessibility for students with disabilities. Text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies, for instance, can empower students with various needs. Public schools should ensure that AI-driven accessibility tools are readily available to all students.
Teacher Training: We are committed in Bellbrook- Sugarcreek Schools to remain forward-thinking about the future of AI in order to best prepare ourselves and our students for this rapidly changing technology. Some states, such as Georgia, have begun creating a middle-school curriculum for AI with accompanying teacher training to support the instruction.
Equity and Inclusion: AI-powered educational platforms can adapt content and teaching methods to individual student’s needs. This personalized approach ensures students receive the support they require regardless of background or learning pace. It can help bridge achievement gaps by addressing the unique challenges students from different backgrounds may face.
Data and Security: At Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools, safeguarding student privacy is paramount. As public schools integrate AI, increased expertise, strict privacy policies, and robust data security measures will be in place to protect sensitive information. We will continue to prioritize compliance with regulations like the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
Ethical AI Use: The use of AI raises many ethical questions in the educational setting. Educators need to wrestle with these issues now. In Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools, board policy now addresses the use of AI by staff and students. The policy makes it clear we must educate all stakeholder groups on proper, acceptable use to support educational goals. Policy 7540.03 states, “Teachers have the discretion to authorize students to use AI/NLP (natural language processing) tools for the following uses: Research assistance e.g., scientific experiments and marketing research. Language translation … Writing assistance: grammar and spelling corrections, as well as suggesting alternative word choices and sentence structure, to help students improve their writing skills. Accessibility: to help students with disabilities access and understand written materials. For example, text-to-speech software can help students with specific learning disabilities or visual impairments to read texts and AI-powered translation tools can help students with hearing impairments understand spoken language.”
In conclusion, AI holds tremendous potential to reshape K-12 education, but its successful implementation requires careful planning and consideration. Schools should embrace AI’s capabilities for teacher support, early intervention, and accessibility while prioritizing teacher training, data security, equity, and ethical use.
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools’ staff participated in AI professional development on August 14 and September 15. Additionally, a group of 12 teachers and administrators will attend the first National Conference on AI for K-12 Educators, on Nov. 7 at Fairfield High School, sponsored by the Butler County Educational Service Center.
*Some content in this document was generated with the assistance of ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI.