AI Role in Education
Unlocking the potential of AI for schools: A guide for educators
Lulu Gao | email@example.com
Dec 6, 2023
Illustrated by AI, written by humans.
AI is here to stay, and its impact on education has led schools to question how best to incorporate this technology into their classrooms. Since ChatGPT’s launch about a year ago, the Flint team has had thousands of hours of discovery, sales, and professional development calls with educators across the U.S. and beyond.
In this post, we want to share what has been top of mind for the school leaders we’ve spoken to and explain why a school-wide adoption strategy is necessary. By sharing what our research deems best practice for AI use in classroom settings, we hope to inform you on how to enhance student learning and promote responsible AI usage at your school.
Moral and ethical considerations: Giving educators oversight
Security and privacy: Enabling AI usage for even the youngest learners
Security and privacy are paramount when adopting AI tools in schools. Many consumer-facing and free tools out there treat users as the product and collect user data to train their models. This violates child data protection regulations, meaning schools can’t openly let their students, especially those under 13, use these AI tools. Schools must be critical of what they endorse and choose platforms that prioritize data privacy. Flint, for one, doesn’t share any data with third parties and only tracks and shares student data with the students themselves, their legal guardians, and their educators. We will even personally review your school’s AI policy for compliance with safety and usage regulations. You can read more about how Flint addresses data on our security page.
AI for education: Why a school-wide platform is necessary
The AI space is crowded with seemingly all-knowing chatbots, productivity assistants, and generative writing tools. Personal tools powered by AI are great for early adopters in some contexts. However, for education, these tools only create imbalances between those using them and those who aren’t. The most effective way of implementing AI into classrooms is to have that effort led by the experts of those classrooms: teachers. How? Well, many studies have shown that teachers learn new teaching methods in two ways:
Teachers learn from experimenting.
Teachers learn from other teachers.
The AI solution you present to your school should allow all teachers to freely give AI a try and learn together how AI should fit into their unique classroom environment. A school-wide adoption plan not only creates this level playing field for students and teachers but also fosters a culture where teachers can innovate their teaching strategies together.
School-wide platforms also benefit students. It provides them with a sandbox in which to safely play and experiment. Giving students access to and guidance on how to use AI responsibly is critical to their AI literacy. This is technology available to them now that will only become more ubiquitous when they graduate and enter the workforce. It is a school’s responsibility to prepare them for this future, teaching them how to write effective prompts and how to maintain their voice when leveraging AI for brainstorming, editing, and more.
Implementation strategy: How to promote innovation in learning
To adopt a school-wide AI strategy, you need a platform built to support not only individual learners and educators but also the connection between teachers and students. Adding AI to your classrooms needs to go beyond simply handing teachers a task-automater or students a question-answerer. That would limit learning possibilities to the individual level rather than collaborative levels.
The U.S. Dept. of Education has outlined 5 key benefits of adding AI to the classroom. They highlight how AI’s adaptivity can enhance feedback loops and support educators to provide personalized learning and enable new forms of interaction. Your school needs to enable teachers and students together by:
Empowering teachers to diversify their teaching: AI-powered tools can provide teachers with resources, insights, and adaptive learning materials that personalize education material to students’ needs.
Giving students agency: AI can provide personalized recommendations, adaptive assessments, and real-time feedback to students. It can enable them to learn at their own pace and explore topics of interest.
AI makes it possible to address one of the biggest challenges in education: achieving the same level of effectiveness as one-on-one tutoring. Benjamin S. Bloom’s research on what he coined The 2 Sigma Problem highlighted the significant impact of personalized instruction on student learning outcomes. By leveraging the adaptability of AI, schools can bridge this gap and provide personalized learning experiences to a larger number of students.
Conclusion: Top schools are embracing AI and you should too
Incorporating AI into schools requires careful consideration of moral and ethical impacts, data security and privacy, and teaching and learning opportunities. Flint stands out as the sole AI platform designed explicitly for the teacher-student dynamic in schools. We have witnessed teachers effectively integrate AI into their courses and innovate their educational methods. These experiences have been invaluable in shaping our product. Some impactful feedback we’ve gotten includes:
“In all cases the assignment has always gone exceptionally well. Even as the novelty [of using AI] has worn off, engagement has stayed exceptionally high. This is in large part due to the pacing. I can rotate as just a facilitator and Flint automatically scales the assignments accordingly. Every student has their own lesson plan uniquely catered to their skill level.”
“Flint supports me in implementing differentiated instruction because I can have students working on an assignment and getting feedback on it while the rest of the class is practicing their conversational skills. It’s like having a friendly TA!”
"After the [exit ticket] activity, I could see who scored well and who didn't. I can also see, via the transcript, where they may have gone wrong. In the past, I would have just seen an incorrect multiple-choice answer. With the AI transcript, I can actually see what the kids are thinking through their writing. It was really a useful activity.”
Embracing AI in education opens up new possibilities for personalized learning, prepares students for the future, and sets your school up for success in a changing educational environment.