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✏️ Transforming Student Learning with AI
Explore how AI is transforming learning experiences through engaging and personalized resources and tools.
Given the integration of AI within educational spaces, traditional learning methods are frequently being redefined, offering students a more engaging, personalized, and effective educational experience. In this edition, we will be discussing some innovative AI-powered tools that educators and students can leverage for a more enriched learning experience. What additional types of AI usage tools are you interested in learning about?
Here is an overview of today’s email:
Powerful AI tools to foster effective learning experiences for students
Impact of AI on student outcomes
Schools using oral examinations to counter AI-assisted cheating
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🚀 Practical AI Usage and Policies
By harnessing the capabilities of AI, educators and learners alike can explore dynamic, personalized learning experiences that adapt to individual needs, preferences, and paces. Here are some free tools and resources that can help create learning experiences that are more engaging and effective:
Wisdolia is an AI-powered flashcard maker that instantly converts any lecture slides, YouTube videos, web pages, and textbook material into smart flashcards. Students can practice by typing out their responses to these flashcards and will get instantaneous feedback to identify areas that need further clarification. This encourages active learning rather than passive learning, allowing students to consistently review and fully grasp new material.
(Video Credit: Wisdolia)
No-Code Learning Games
Breshna is an no-code game design tool that allows educators and students to build interactive digital games without any technical expertise. This tool can be used to engage students in retaining new information while adding an element of fun to student learning! There are endless possibilities with this tool, from creating math-related video games, to trivia for English and history.
On-Demand Writing Editor
Grammarly’s Generative AI tool, Grammarly Go, is designed to accelerate the writing process by allowing users to enter a prompt related to their literary work and having the tool create an outline or parts of it. Grammarly Go is incredible for emails, replies, project outlines, and any other short form of writing, heavily boosting the productivity of students using it. It can help improve the quality of any writing in businesses, education, or entertainment, and for students, this can increase their efficiency and quality of writing without producing large works such as completed essays.
ChatGPT Prompts for Students
AI for Education offers a library of ChatGPT prompts for student use cases. From using ChatGPT as a thought partner to a personalized tutor, these prompts help students leverage the power of AI to create learning experiences tailored to their weak points or preferences.
📝 Latest Research in AI + Education
Unpacking the ‘Black Box’ of AI in Education (Read the paper ↗️)
This paper provides an overview of various concepts in AI such as supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning as well as deep learning. It discusses AI applications in education, such as intelligent tutoring systems, automated assessment, counseling chatbots, and optimization algorithms. With these applications come limitations, including issues around interpretability, causality, abstract reasoning, and generalization. This leads to risks like algorithmic bias, opacity, and failure to identify underlying causes of educational challenges. The authors argue understanding the technical aspects of AI is crucial for educationalists to contribute to human-centered AI development.
They conclude with guiding questions educationalists can ask when encountering AI, such as what type of AI is it, does it enable something otherwise impossible, what are the risks, how equitable are benefits/risks, and how it could be improved. The goal is to open the AI "black box" so all stakeholders can shape ethical, responsible AI in education.
Gillani, Nabeel, et al. “Unpacking the ‘Black Box’ of AI in Education.” Educational Technology & Society, vol. 26, no. 1, 2023, pp. 99–111. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/48707970. Accessed 7 Nov. 2023.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Human Loss in Decision Making, Laziness and Safety in Education (Read the paper ↗️)
The study investigates the effects of AI on decision-making loss, increased laziness, and privacy concerns among university students. Despite the anticipated growth in AI investment in education, there are notable downsides that are often overlooked. Using a qualitative approach and PLS-Smart for analysis, data from 285 students were collected, revealing the significant impact of AI on human laziness, privacy and security issues, and decision-making loss.
While AI can benefit education by supporting and automating tasks, it also poses risks to human decision-making capabilities, promotes laziness by doing tasks for users, and raises security and privacy concerns.
Ahmad, Sayed Fayaz, et al. “Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Human Loss in Decision Making, Laziness and Safety in Education.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 9 June 2023, www.nature.com/articles/s41599-023-01787-8#Sec25.
📣 Student Voices and Use Cases
We interviewed students to learn more about their experience using AI in schools. This week, we had a chance to speak with Leo Wu, a third-year Economics student at Minerva University. Here are some of our highlights:
Q: How have you seen AI being incorporated into your classes, if at all?
AI hasn't been incorporated structurally into any of my courses, nor have most of my teachers addressed it. I use pretty much only ChatGPT and use it to help me understand concepts, simplify readings, explore ideas not covered in the readings, structure my work for assignments. I think it's quite useful in the explore phase of the explore-exploit framework.
One teacher does sometimes ask the class for suggestions on how to use AI for a specific goal. For example, using it in helping understand a difficult reading. However, most of my use is personal and to aid me in writing assignments, doing readings, exploring concepts. This is quite good, as it creates the understanding in the class that AI use is accepted and encouraged, and allows students to share with each other tips to help improve collective competence.
Q: What are the most urgent problems caused by AI you think educators should address first?
Uncertainty. The fear from students is that you use AI in a well-intentioned way (because you genuinely believe it is beneficial to your learning) and a professor punishes that use, in a worst case without any justification. So educators clearly addressing AI in their courses so that students feel safe and that they can trust their teachers is really important. Of course, also students using AI to cheat, but cheating has been around forever and we know very well that cracking down using force will never solve the structural causes of cheating. Instead, teachers should build trust and explain why - much more difficult to do, but much more rewarding.
Q: What do you think educators and administrators could do to incorporate AI into classrooms better?
The question of incorporating AI into classrooms feels a bit too high-level. You can incorporate into the activities students do in class (tests, assignments, homework), but that's quite subject specific, and can also encourage students to use it in their own learning, but again subject specific. However, overall, I think conversation and trust is essential to do this succesfully. Individual students will figure it out whether teachers like it or not, it's the question of whether teachers (the authority) can then create the environment to allow that AI to live up to its potential.
📰 In the News
Generative AI is rapidly entering K-12 education, leading to discussions on how schools should adapt to leverage its benefits and mitigate its downsides.
Glenn Kleiman from the Stanford Graduate School of Education believes these AI-induced changes are significant and irreversible, advocating a proactive approach to integrating AI in schools.
Kleiman identifies three prevailing perspectives on AI in education: resistance, acceptance as a useful tool, and recognition of its profound impact on work and life.
Educators are encouraged to develop consistent policies for AI tool usage and invest time in learning about AI.
Fundamental skills like the four Cs—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—remain vital, alongside increased focus on social-emotional learning.
The “essay” as a measure of student learning is under scrutiny due to AI tools like ChatGPT, which can generate essays easily.
Educators are revisiting oral exams as an alternative, a method that dates back to the 1600s at Oxford and Cambridge and is still used in certain contexts like graduate theses or the IB curriculum.
Oral exams are recognized as time-consuming and draining for educators, but some are experimenting with technology to make them more feasible. Stanford researchers developed Sherpa, an AI tool to assist with oral exams, which asks students questions about a text and uses AI to analyze responses, offering a potential counter to AI-assisted cheating.
Despite the benefits of oral exams in teaching critical thinking and providing immediate feedback, there are challenges in scaling them up, designing fair tests, and maintaining the dynamic questioning seen in traditional oral settings.
“Chatgpt.” ChatGPT, OpenAI (GPT-4), openai.com/chatgpt. Accessed 06 Nov. 2023.
Based on the results from our previous newsletter poll, the top three aspects of AI in education that educators are currently the most concerned about include academic dishonesty, over-reliance on technology, and equitable access.
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