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AI in the classroom: Why some teachers are embracing it

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In Georgia, educators are thinking more about what students should be learning about artificial intelligence. Their vision has started to become a reality. The youngest learners are having conversations about household appliances, such as Amazon’s Alexa. High schoolers can now take classes that culminate in using AI to solve real-world problems.

“What we’re really trying to do is teach our students how to be critical thinkers,” says Sallie Holloway, director of artificial intelligence and computer science for Gwinnett County Public Schools. 

Why We Wrote This

A story focused on

Educators are trying to balance concerns about artificial intelligence with how to prepare students for using it in the future. What does teaching look like when AI is part of the curriculum?

School-based computer labs once seemed futuristic. Now the internet is everywhere, and the next frontier – AI – is seeping into learning environments. ChatGPT’s debut more than a year ago brought ongoing concerns about cheating and the tool’s ability to mislead students. But some educators also see it as an opportunity for innovation.

Everything from smartphone apps to collision-avoidance systems on cars use AI, with experts saying that it will soon be embedded in daily life. 

“It’s not just like textbook work,” says Carter Watkins, a senior at Gwinnett County’s Seckinger High School. “You’re putting your thinking cap on.”

What if instead of being wary about artificial intelligence, schools were embracing it?

In Georgia, educators in a district near Atlanta are thinking more about what students should be learning about AI. Their vision has started to become a reality. The youngest learners are having conversations about household appliances, such as Amazon’s Alexa. High schoolers can now take classes that culminate in using AI to solve real-world problems.

“What we’re really trying to do is teach our students how to be critical thinkers,” says Sallie Holloway, director of artificial intelligence and computer science for Gwinnett County Public Schools. 

Why We Wrote This

A story focused on

Educators are trying to balance concerns about artificial intelligence with how to prepare students for using it in the future. What does teaching look like when AI is part of the curriculum?

School-based computer labs once seemed futuristic. Now the internet is everywhere and the next frontier – AI – is seeping into learning environments. ChatGPT’s debut more than a year ago brought ongoing concerns about cheating and the tool’s ability to mislead students. But some educators also see it as an opportunity for innovation.

David Touretzky chairs the Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Initiative, which began in 2018 after he realized computer science standards had barely mentioned the burgeoning AI field. The group has been developing instructional guidelines, establishing what students should know about AI, and how they should be able to use it.

Everything from smartphone apps to collision-avoidance systems on cars uses AI. And with the emergence of large language models like ChatGPT, which rely on vast amounts of data, AI will become even more embedded in daily life, Mr. Touretzky says, explaining the need for related education.



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