Teaching Fellows Guide Educators in Integrating AI for Enhanced Student...

Teaching and Learning

Teaching Fellows Guide Educators in Integrating AI for Enhanced Student Engagement

from Digital Promise

By Sebastian Basualto, Samira Parhizkar, Amanda Wortman and Jasmine McCallum     Feb 7, 2024

Teaching Fellows Guide Educators in Integrating AI for Enhanced Student Engagement

This article is part of a three-article series dedicated to harnessing powerful technology for powerful learning. In the articles, we share the perspectives of HP Teaching Fellows. Read the other articles here and here.

Artificial intelligence holds significant potential to address key challenges in education, particularly in enhancing student engagement and facilitating personalized learning. AI's ability to provide instantaneous, tailored feedback can revolutionize how educators evaluate and enhance academic performance. However, as the educational community navigates these innovations, it becomes essential to address ethical considerations to ensure the responsible and effective integration of AI.

The Reinvent the Classroom initiative, a collaborative effort by Digital Promise in partnership with HP, Microsoft and Intel, stands at the forefront of this movement, aimed at transforming education through the strategic use of technology. As part of the initiative, Digital Promise Global facilitates the HP Teaching Fellows program, supporting innovative elementary and secondary school educators who demonstrate the principles of Powerful Learning, consistently providing all learners with learning experiences that are personal and accessible, authentic and challenging, connected and collaborative, and inquisitive and reflective. This article features HP Teaching Fellows Sebastian Basualto and Samira Parhizkar in their journey with AI integration.

Basualto, a teacher with the Toronto District School Board, shares his experience leveraging AI for greater student engagement and more timely feedback. Parhizkar, a science and technology specialist at Alief Independent School District, discusses how AI can be used to personalize learning for students. Both approach the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom through a holistic lens, highlighting the power of this rapidly evolving technology while simultaneously addressing ethical considerations such as data privacy and digital literacy.

Assessment, Engagement and Ethics

Basualto: As I entered the school year, I was interested in leveraging AI in the classroom beyond content generation. I was eager to learn more about how AI could enhance student assessment and engagement. In some of the tools I use, I can input specific criteria to search or paste student work samples into the assessment tool, generating specific feedback on the strengths and needs of my students’ work. I then sit with my students and provide feedback that is timely and meaningful, helping students set goals for their writing.

AI provides students with almost instant feedback that they find useful and helps them understand how to grow as writers. AI programs can also help teachers differentiate content to meet students' learning needs, allowing them to generate leveled content based on an article, video or website. For example, if a student has a modified grade, AI can adjust the language level of the generated content.

As we embrace AI in the classroom, we must also consider the ethics of relying too heavily on this evolving technology, ensuring that AI enhances and does not replace the student-teacher relationship. With the emergence of more sophisticated AI tools, it is important that teachers foster creativity and promote democratic values. We must work toward enhancing the learning experience of first-generation students to be impacted by the rise of AI in education.

Personalization, Support and Ethical Considerations

Parhizkar: In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the integration of AI tools has emerged as a transformative force for educators striving to elevate student engagement and improve learning outcomes. I have experienced the positive impact of AI-driven tools on personalized learning. As an instructional coach, my monthly focus is introducing educators to incorporate AI tools into their teaching practices seamlessly. Teachers are genuinely excited to discover a tool that serves as a virtual assistant in creating personalized learning experiences for students. These AI tools are provided to offer valuable support, alleviating the daily burnout experienced by educators.

Educators now possess the capability to customize AI applications to address the diverse needs of students through adaptive learning platforms. These platforms leverage AI algorithms to meticulously analyze students' performance, adjusting content accordingly by offering personalized challenges and support. For example, in a math class, AI can discern individual strengths and weaknesses, presenting targeted exercises to enhance specific skills. AI transcends the mere provision of answers; it offers real-time tutoring support to students, guiding them through the learning process. This approach fosters a more interactive and engaged learning experience. However, achieving optimal results requires practice and training to fine-tune an AI tool, ensuring it reacts in the desired manner to specific prompts.

As AI continues to shape the educational landscape, educators must navigate ethical considerations and promote responsible practices. They should prioritize data privacy, ensuring that student information is handled securely. Moreover, fostering a sense of digital literacy among students is essential. Educators can achieve this by incorporating lessons on critical thinking about AI, helping students understand the technology's limitations and potential biases.

The integration of AI in education demands a thoughtful approach. By employing adaptive learning platforms and virtual tutors, educators can enhance personalized learning experiences. Simultaneously, they must uphold ethical standards, prioritize data privacy and promote digital literacy to prepare students for the AI-driven future.

In the wake of all that educators are navigating these days, they’ve proven to be not only resilient but innovative. They continue to intentionally find new and exciting ways to create powerful learning opportunities for all students. We invite you to learn more about our powerful learning principles and leading-edge methods through the vantage points of HP Teaching Fellows through Digital Promise’s Reinvent the Classroom program.

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