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How Teachers Can Use AI (Responsibly!) in the Classroom

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June 12, 2024


If there’s anything that the last couple of years have taught us, it’s that we need to stay on our toes as educators to make sure we’re keeping up with the latest technology.

There’s a lot of discussion about the pitfalls of generative AI in education, from students using ChatGPT to generate essays or to cheat on exams.

But there are also some major benefits at play here, particularly for educators who want to be able to free up some of their time from administrative burdens and find new, meaningful ways to reach their students.

Here are a few examples of how teachers can use AI (responsibly, of course!) in the classroom.

How Teachers Can Use AI (Responsibly!) in the Classroom

AI in the classroom

AI isn’t going anywhere –  it’s here to stay. Whether you love it or hate it, it does have some applications that may prove to be useful in your classroom. Here are just a few.

1. More Individualized Instruction

One of the best use cases – if not the best – of AI in the classroom is for more individualized tutoring programs. AI can be used as a tutoring program to help students learn in the ways that work best for them – and at their own pace. 

Because the vast majority of AI tools out there are also free or low cost, that means it could become a lower-cost form of tutoring for families that might not otherwise be able to afford it. 

Of course, like any type of technology, this AI used for tutoring will still require some oversight to make sure the information students are learning is accurate. 

However, it could save thousands of hours of time. It could also be much more effective because it’s able to reach a student where he or she is at as an alternative to a teacher who must cater their instruction to a class full of other students.

2. Improved Accommodations

For students with disabilities, AI can be a godsend. 90% of teachers surveyed in an Imagine Learning post reported that AI will make education more accessible because it can be used for screenings. 

Though the use cases of this are still new, it’s becoming clear that generative AI could flag students who need extra help, then, based on that information, teachers could be tagged in to develop treatment plans accordingly. 

3. Task Automation

Teachers are leaving the workplace in droves, which unfortunately leaves those remaining with more expectations and responsibilities than ever before. 

Enter – AI. Generative AI could be used to help teachers manage tasks like filling out forms and finding evidence-based classroom interventions for their classrooms. 

4. Lesson Planning

If you’ve ever felt stumped trying to figure out what to teach, then AI may be able to help. With AI, you can create high-quality, incredibly personalized lesson plans that align with your students’ grade level, needs, and interests. 

ChatGPT, in particular, is a highly effective search engine replacement. You can type in a prompt like, “I want to teach about ‘x’ subject to a class of ninth-graders. What are some strategies I can use?” 

Within seconds, you’ll have access to all kinds of resources, including a lesson plan, rubric, and so much more – without having to read dozens of articles to get inspired in the first place. 

5. Grading

Another repetitive task that AI can help with is grading. Grading is time-consuming and can be overwhelming, but it’s necessary to get an idea of where your students are out. There are all kinds of grading tools powered by AI, including Gradescope, which let you upload assignments and their assessments, then grade them using machine learning algorithms.

Of course, you’ll want to review these carefully, both to make sure the grades are accurate and to make sure you understand where your students are struggling. But it can free up a ton of time and has even been shown to reduce grading bias.

6. Improving Test Prep

AI-powered test prep tools can help you better prepare your students for exams. These tools use natural language processing technology to analyze student data and give you more targeted practice exercises to help your students boost their test-taking skills. Examsoft is an example of this. 

7. AI for Admin Tasks

AI isn’t just for teachers, either. In addition to the rote, somewhat mundane tasks we describe dabove, AI can also improve workflows in schools by helping administrators automate tasks like student registration and generating report cards.

Not only can this make your entire building more efficient, but it can also help reduce errors – that way, schools can manage their resources and focus on what matters most.

8. Improved Virtual Learning

We live in a post-COVID world, where digital learning is just as common (if not more) as face-to-face instruction.

A big benefit of AI is that it can be used to provide personalized learning experiences that track progress and introduce elements like gamification to make education more impactful. Duolingo is one example of an AI-powered learning app, and it’s one teachers have already been tapping into for many years. 

9. Writing Emails

While you will still want to add the personal touch to any emails you write (particularly those to parents and colleagues), AI can also help with its voice to text features. If you’ve ever found yourself crunched for time and mentally running through emails you need to send on the drive home from work, this will be a gamechanger. 

You can use voice to text on your phone to generate an email, then the AI technology will brush it up and enhance it so that it can be sent as an email once you’re ready.

10. Creative Presentations

There are even AI tools that can help on the creativity side of things. Canva, for example, has an AI text to image generator that can give you ideas and word prompts so you can create a visually engaging presentation in half the time it would normally take.

What is the Role of AI in Teaching?

classroom uses for AI

It’s clear that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to the responsible use of artificial intelligence, both in the classroom and outside of its walls.

However, teachers would be wise to start exploring the many uses of AI now. Not only can AI be used to help you streamline some of your more mundane tasks and become more efficient, but keeping tabs on the latest developments and capabilities might also give you a clue to how students might be using it in less-than-kosher ways.

So what do you think – are you ready to be part of the AI revolution?

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