What Schools Leaders Need to Know About Embracing AI

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We are increasing the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology into our classrooms to enhance student learning. One of the overarching discussions with school leaders is "Should we block AI?" or "Is using ChatGPT cheating?" 

As a principal and district leader for the last 18 years, I know there have been many evolutions with tech, and the "Is that cheating?" conversations go back to spell check, then YouTube, then Alexa, and now AI chatbots and tools.

AI can transform education by providing personalized learning experiences, real-time feedback and assessment, and adaptive content that adjusts to the student's level of knowledge and pace of learning. 

Embracing AI: Moving On from Old Mindsets 

In my leadership roles, I’ve understood that using technology appropriately and responsibly is essential. For example, suppose a school or educational institution decides to implement any form of technology, including chatbots such as ChatGPT or Code Breaker Byte. It should be done to align with the organization's values and priorities and with appropriate safeguards and guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff. Ultimately, the decision to block or allow access to any technology should be based on carefully considering the potential benefits and risks and the organization's specific needs and policies.

Using AI technology in the classroom can give our students a cutting-edge education that prepares them for the future. Leaders, it is time to embrace and move on from the blocking of technology that will only get more sophisticated.

As educators, we are responsible for preparing our students for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. This includes equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. 

I understand that some teachers or school leaders have questions or concerns about using AI in the classroom. If this is the case, take steps as a district to ensure that the AI technology used is secure, reliable, and designed with student privacy in mind.

In addition, provide training to all teachers on how to integrate AI technology into their lessons effectively. This training will include guidance on how to use AI tools, apps, and platforms effectively.

Why AI?

AI has the potential to transform education in many ways, and here are some reasons why schools should embrace the technology: 

  • Personalized Learning: One of the significant advantages of AI in education is that it allows for personalized learning. By analyzing students' learning patterns and preferences, AI can tailor the educational experience to meet their needs, provide immediate feedback, and generate personalized study plans for each student, helping them to learn at their own pace and improve their academic performance. 
  • Increased Student Engagement: AI can make learning more engaging and interactive. AI-powered virtual assistants, chatbots, and educational games can enhance student motivation and provide support when instructors may be unavailable. AI-powered simulations and VR experiences can create immersive learning experiences that allow for more exciting exploration of subjects. 
  • Enhanced Teaching Efficiency: AI can automate routine administrative tasks such as grading, attendance-taking, and even lesson planning, freeing teachers to focus on delivering personalized instruction and building relationships with students. AI can also assist teachers by providing real-time data on student progress, which can inform instructional decisions. 
  • Predictive Analytics: AI can help schools identify students at risk of falling behind or dropping out by providing early warnings and intervention strategies based on analyzing data such as student performance, attendance, and behavior. 
  • Advanced Research: AI can also advance education research. AI-powered algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data on student learning patterns, instructional strategies, and academic outcomes, providing insights that can inform evidence-based decision-making in education policy and practice. 

Additional AI Benefits in Education 

In addition to transforming education, specific resources such as ChatGPT or Code Breaker Byte can be useful tools for schools in other ways. Here are some other potential benefits: 

  • Improved Learning Experience: Chatbots can provide students with personalized and interactive learning experiences. By engaging with students in natural language, it can answer their questions, clarify concepts, and provide additional resources to support their learning. 
  • Accessible Learning: Students can access chatbots from anywhere, anytime. This can be especially helpful for students who need extra support outside of class or those who cannot attend school in person. 
  • Time and Cost Savings: Chatbots can help schools by automating certain tasks, such as answering routine questions or providing feedback on assignments. 
  • Enhanced Curriculum: Chatbots can provide up-to-date information and insights to teachers, allowing them to create more relevant and engaging curriculum for their students. 

It's worth noting that while AI chatbots can be a valuable tool for schools, it's essential to ensure that any technology is used in conjunction with other teaching methods and that it's properly integrated into the curriculum. Additionally, schools must ensure that student data is kept private and secure.

As AI technology continues to evolve, it has the potential to transform education and provide students with new opportunities for learning and growth. I encourage all of you to embrace this new technology and explore the possibilities it presents for enhancing student learning. By working together, we can provide our students with the best education possible and prepare them for a successful future. 

Matthew X. Joseph, Director Supervision, Mentoring, and Hiring for Brockton Public Schools in Massachusetts, was honored with an Innovative Leadership Award for Best Example of Developing Professional Learning Communities at a recent Tech & Learning Regional Leadership Summit.

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Dr. Matthew X. Joseph (@ MatthewXJoseph) is Director of Evaluation and Supervision in Brockton, MA.