How School Teachers Can Stay Ahead of the AI Curve

Artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be both a blessing and a curse for a variety of sectors, and for schools it’s no different. In this article we look at the role teachers must play in educating their students on the ethical use of AI technology.

The Upside to Artificial Intelligence

On the upside AI tools, such as ChatGPT, can enhance learning and reduce teacher workload. It can give students instant feedback, adapt learning paths, and provide personalised content. It can provide teachers with support to design curriculums, develop assessments and rubrics, and provide intervention strategies to support the individual needs of their students. For example, ChatGPT can generate topic tests questions and answers based on specific text, produce outlines or summaries, and can provide video transcripts.

Important Role of Teachers in AI Education

Educators need to be aware of both the benefits and risks of AI technologies, as these tools can also be a threat to integrity and quality. They can enable students to plagiarise by using auto-generated texts for assignments and learning tasks. It can also raise social and ethical issues, like bias, data privacy and misinformation. There is a responsibility for teachers to upskill students on how to use AI ethically and productively.


Five Assessment Methods to Promote Ethical Use

Additionally, educators need to consider updating their assessment methods, focusing on developing higher order skills like critical thinking, metacognition, creativity, and problem solving – those that AI cannot easily replicate. This will help students to critically analyse and evaluate the information they encounter.

Here are some ideas for how teachers can assess students’ true knowledge and skills through updated assessment approaches.

1. Assigning individualised questions based on students’ level of understanding, preference, or interest. For example, in a science class, students will need to research and present on their problem and solution making it difficult to utilise AI-generated text.

2. Providing case studies and theoretical scenarios for students to analyse and solve complex situations. For example, in a business course, students will need to propose a strategy or recommendation on a case study of a business facing a specific challenge.

3. Requesting the final submission to be either an oral presentation or video recording. This will require the student to effectively communicate the ideas and information using a variety of visual aids and resources.

4. Developing student portfolios of work progression that can demonstrate a student’s learning and growth over a period of time.

5. Students analysing and annotating AI-generated texts to show their understanding of the accuracy of information, or application of skills being taught.

By changing their assessments in these novel ways, teachers can reduce the use of AI by students to shortcut on task completion, and therefore uphold the ongoing integrity and quality of education.

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