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AI In K-12 Education: An Innovative Change

  • Published on: April 19, 2024
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  • Updated on: May 20, 2024
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  • Reading Time: 5 mins
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Amandeep Singh
Authored By:

Amandeep Singh

As with any industry, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in education is sparking concerns among teachers. A recent study found that K12 teachers are reluctant and feel negatively about the adoption of AI in classrooms. This resistance is mainly driven by ethical concerns and the risk of fostering AI dependability at an early age.

However, in a landscape marred by poor academic performances and stressful work environments, AI is the silver lining that K-12 educators are looking for. AI in K-12 education, when used correctly, can facilitate better teaching and optimal learning opportunities. While technology may not be able to emulate the many attributes that make good teachers great, it is poised to bring out the best in every student and educational professional. Read on to know how.

A happy teen school girl sits engrossed on her digital tablet, exploring the world of AI in K-12 education.

 

Personalized Learning Experiences

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. But enable personalized learning, and you empower him to navigate the vast ocean for a lifetime. And why not?

Students become more adept at using logic by the age of 11 years and can infer patterns between organized information. By harnessing AI’s potential for psychographic and neurolinguistic analysis, teachers can tailor a custom learning pathway to ensure individual student development as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach.

Some of the ways in which AI helps promote personalized learning are:

1. The use of AI-powered teaching assistants ensures that students receive the necessary support around the clock.

2. Immersive modules with automotive AI feedback systems to enable hands-on learning.

3. It facilitates remedial learning material based on a student assessment powered by AI and ML.

AI is also impactful in K12 learning for assisting learners with different linguistic backgrounds and physical abilities. AI-powered voice assistants and multilingual captions can support the learning needs of ESL students. Sign language-powered videos can open up opportunities for students with disabilities. Further educational robots can help in the interpersonal development of students with autism.

 

Administrative Purposes

Institutes can harness AI’s power of data analysis and machine learning to help save teacher time and redirect it toward more imperative learning subjects.

In a survey of 2531 US public K12 teachers, 84% say there’s not enough time during their regular work hours to do tasks like grading, lesson planning, paperwork, and answering work emails.

AI can enable data synthesis, lesson planning, and grouping of students according to their learning needs for direct student engagement. AI automation can reduce the time spent on these tasks by 20% to 30%. Intelligent scheduling tools, course planning solutions, automatic grading platforms, and student development metrics analysis can improve educator preparedness in course planning for individual development.

AI for K-12 can also be extended to back-office administrative tasks like student database management, inquiry, and admissions. For example, Georgia State University’s AdmitHub is a conversational AI chatbot that responds to student inquiries and assists in administrative tasks. The chatbot has significantly reduced staff workload and improved the student administration process by 21%.

 

AI for K-12: Teacher’s Conundrum

To expand the role of AI in K-12 education, teachers and students must be able to develop a robust understanding of AI and how they can harness its power for enhanced outcomes. Key challenges facing the adoption of AI are:

Infrastructure Requirements and Financial Constraints

The US public K-12 education system faces a lack of availability of funding and resources. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult to upgrade the current infrastructure to support newer technologies. This disparity can foster unequal learning opportunities among students.

Data Privacy Concerns

The availability of large chunks of student data raises concerns about privacy and safety. As AI relies heavily on student data, it becomes imperative for institutions to set up security measures for increased protection and to gain parental trust.

Ethical Considerations

Ensuring the ethical use of AI in supporting the learning process is critical to its underlying purpose. The complete dependability of AI for tasks like assignment completion in schools is raising concerns among the teaching fraternity.

Technology Training

One of the major reasons teachers are not using AI is the lack of knowledge and support required to effectively use the technology. While AI training for teachers is important for effective implementation in operations, it is equally important for interacting with students who are using the technology regularly.

Teacher utilizing AI in K-12 education, teaches a school kid using a laptop in a classroom.

 

Navigating the complexities of AI

AI Frameworks

Educators can refer to existing frameworks for the development of AI curriculum. Initiatives like AI Literacy: Competencies and Design Considerations, the AI4K12: K-12 AI Guidelines, and the Machine Learning Education Framework are working towards the development of guidelines for a community of practitioners, researchers, and tool developers to support comprehensive, ethical, and effective implementation of AI in K-12 education.

AI Programs for Ethics Training

AI-led ethical training programs can help foster value-based learning among students. For example, Blakely H. Payne facilitated an AI ethics course in collaboration with The Montour School District Administration, recognizing the ethical issues presented by AI and the ability to create ethical AI technology. The three-day course mandatory for 5th through 8th graders in Media Arts has helped students uncover ethical matrix design and value-sensitive design processes. Moreover, it also presents a training opportunity to teachers as they get actively involved in the course development process.

AI Training Resources

K12 teachers looking to discover the advantages of AI for their institutions can refer to a plethora of online AI training materials and get hands-on learning for future decision-making. Many organizations and institutions host webinars and workshops focused on AI education for K-12 teachers. Educators can also join Reddit and LinkedIn AI-education dedicated forums that have active communities where educators can ask questions, share resources, and exchange ideas.

Embracing AI as a tool for innovation and enhancement is essential for shaping the future of K-12 education. At the same time, schools must also focus on helping students understand uniquely humane skills, such as creativity and empathy. Students must be able to gauge the dynamics of a given task and conclude whether a human can perform it or requires technological intervention.

By leveraging the potential of AI to augment capabilities and revolutionize the way education is delivered, teachers can drive positive outcomes for students.

Amandeep Singh
Written By:

Amandeep Singh

FAQs

AI personalizes learning by analyzing students' strengths and weaknesses to create custom learning pathways. This includes using teaching assistants for continuous support, immersive simulations for hands-on learning, and providing remedial material based on AI-powered assessments.

Challenges in implementing AI include infrastructure and financial constraints, data privacy concerns, ethical considerations, and the need for technology training for both teachers and students.

AI supports linguistic and physical diversity by providing multilingual captions, voice assistants, and sign language-powered videos. Educational robots can also assist in the interpersonal development of students with disabilities.

Teachers can access online courses, webinars, workshops, and online communities to learn about AI in education. These resources provide AI training materials and support for integrating AI into teaching practices.

Alongside AI integration, students should focus on nurturing skills like creativity and empathy. It's important to emphasize the complementary role of technology and human capabilities in education.

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