Simple Ways To Use Artificial Intelligence In The Classroom –

by ARKANSAS DIGITAL NEWS

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by TeachThought Staff

Whether we like it or not, there is no denying that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the world in many ways.

Education is one of the areas affected by it. How can teachers use AI and guide their students through the challenging world of new technologies?

Although AI-based tools are fairly new, we can safely say that they may become increasingly common in our daily lives. The cat is out of the box, and it’s not coming back in. We may soon wake up in a world full of AI assistants and smart tools, but today’s decisions will shape the future.

AI in education is now a real challenge, and parents and teachers are facing a very important question: ‘How do we teach our children to use these new tools safely and responsibly?’

After all, technology in education is nothing new. Children use computers, smartphones, and the internet all the time, but we all know that while these tools can be helpful, they can also be misused.

The internet is full of knowledge but also misinformation. Google is no substitute for critical thinking. Artificial intelligence can be the same—it can be useful, but it can also make future adults overly dependent on it.

That’s why it’s so essential for today’s teachers to start helping children understand what new technology can and cannot do.

How We Might Approach AI In Education

The basics and the risks

Before you leave your students with ChatGPT or other AI tools, explain what they are and how they work. Is an AI chatbot really ‘intelligent’? From the student’s point of view, it answers questions in natural language and can provide deep insight, but does that mean it’s always right?

You should teach your students what language models and AI tools are and why they work. Explain that they’ve been fed tons of data from which they derive answers, but that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Discuss current ethical dilemmas—why are people suing AI companies? What is at stake?

It’s also important to address the security aspect. If students are using AI, they should do so in a way that is safe for them. Teachers can explain that AI tools don’t exist in a vacuum—all data goes to the servers of relevant companies, so it’s important for kids to think before publishing any personal information.

They should also secure their connection using chatbots and other tools, especially on public networks. A mobile VPN is a good solution—it encrypts data, so it’s less likely to be leaked to the outside world when using a smartphone on an unsecured network.

AI as a critical thinking learning tool

AI can provide tremendous help when it comes to teaching students to conduct research and think critically. Are you worried that children will become overly dependent on their AI assistants? If so, show them how to avoid such a scenario.

Ask students to use AI tools to find answers and solutions to a specific problem. Then, discuss these answers with the class. Are they adequate? Are they biased or false? If they were, how would students know?

Such exercises can help students discover why AI can be a helpful tool in some cases but cannot replace thinking and having knowledge about a subject.

Turn the tables around

Kids love to look into things and dissect them. Use this childlike curiosity and competitiveness to your advantage. What if instead of you checking their essays, they checked the chatbot’s essay?

If you’re talking about a book, generate a text and let your students critique and fact-check it. Let them show off their knowledge of the material and point out invalid or weak arguments. Ask them for counter-arguments to the chatbot’s arguments.

Children generally like to compete if you provide a safe and engaging environment for them to do so. Criticizing ChatGPT’s work will test their knowledge and teach them that a ‘smart chatbot’ may not be so smart.

See also Roles For Artificial Intelligence In Education

Creativity booster

AI can be a good tool to enhance creativity, so why not use it in the classroom? Let your students throw ideas with a chatbot’s help and critique their quality. Let them build on the ideas of ChatGPT or other chatbots and improve them.

Remember that AI can also help you as a teacher. Don’t have an idea of how to lead your next class? Perhaps a chatbot can spark creative ideas.

A personal tutor

It will be decades–if ever–before AI can entirely replace teachers. After all, sitting in a classroom is not only about acquiring knowledge but also about human interaction. No one would want to perform tasks assigned by a machine.

AI can, however, act as a tutor to some extent. No teacher can be fully available at all times. You can encourage your students to use AI at home to better understand the subject—after teaching them that AI can also be wrong and that they should check the facts.

AI is also an excellent tool for self-testing. Students can give it some facts and then tell it to ask them questions, just like with a learning buddy.

Tradition in a futuristic world

Many teachers worry about plagiarism with AI, and for good reason. People can, at times, be lazy. If we can choose the easy way, we’ll choose the easy way. Students are already handing in essays generated using ChatGPT, and while this shows some technological savviness, it’s still a workaround.

Unfortunately, the human brain needs exercise to learn, which means that sometimes we have to do things the harder way to gain from it. The easiest solution is to focus more on in-class writing, where students must develop their arguments and learn to communicate them on paper.

Think of chatbots as a kind of ‘calculator’—we let students use them to solve complicated problems, but we still teach kids how to perform math operations so they know why these problems are solved the way they are. AI in writing can be just the same.

Summary

Instead of leaving children to fend for themselves in a rapidly changing technology, the education system should help them use it to their advantage.

AI doesn’t have to be the teacher’s enemy. Even better, it can be an assistant. Helping children understand their capabilities and limitations is the best we can do to raise a responsible and bright generation.

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