Integrating AI into Gifted Education
This week we chatted about integrating AI (artificial intelligence) into gifted education. Many GT students are well suited for using AI. There are two primary aspects of AI which may be appealing to gifted students; using AI as a supplement to learning and AI programming as a career. For a multitude of reasons as numerous as there are GT students, many view AI with the understanding that it is a tool to be used in their education; not a threat or as an instructor who questions their ability. GT students often express intense interest in areas outside the mainstream. AI can aid in research and communication with genuine academic peers. Many GT students have an affinity for technology. AI programming is a natural extension of that interest to improve the tech; to make it more user friendly while being cognizant of its potential misuse. AI also provides GT students the freedom to pursue their interests and an authentic audience for their findings.
Gifted education faces the same challenges faced by education as a whole to implementing the use of AI in the classroom. Unfortunately, the technology for wide-spread use of AI isn’t there yet. The vast potential uses for AI in education are mind-boggling. The prudent way forward would be to start small and build on early successes. Ethical questions and concerns over cyber-security issues are challenges which must be addressed in the immediate future. Programming biases can affect the usefulness of algorithms. Economic concerns are top of mind as school districts cannot afford to dedicate resources to unproven or not fully developed technologies. New technology always incurs the added expense of ongoing training for school personnel.
For decades it has been observed that so often GT students languish in classrooms while age-peers are taught material they have already mastered to the point it has become fodder for mean memes and the comics. Using AI in the classroom is more than employing robots as teachers. AI is just as likely to be a web application used to enhance learning. GT students can be supported in the classroom through digital assistants to personalize learning through differentiated instruction, timely feedback, and tutoring when necessary. For years, schools have focused on addressing students’ weaknesses and rightly so. However, AI has the ability to see potential without bias and address students’ strengths. The use of VR (virtual reality) in the classroom is only beginning to be explored. Providing first-hand experiences in a safe environment can be a game-changer. AI has the real potential to assist talented students where quantifying results and the resulting information feedback can be used to improve performance.
How can AI be used to support teachers? First and foremost, AI should be considered as an assistant not a replacement for teachers. AI is a valuable tool for communication, assessment, differentiated instruction, analyzing student data, classroom management, and teacher training. It can be used to support teachers by assisting with lesson planning, scheduling, adaptive learning, classroom audio-visual device management, and test prep. AI can empower teachers to become lifelong learners, policy influencers, and provide time to connect to their students to facilitate learning. It can support schools with scheduling staff, transportation, facilities management and maintenance, safety and security, and cybersecurity.
Smarter content is an excellent example of how AI can support the learning process. Digital lessons can be enhanced through customization in the form of digital textbooks; targeted and individualized lessons; and study guides. Information can be presented in new ways such as AI produced visualizations, content simulation, and within online study environments. AI allows for instantaneous updates to information contained in lessons and the ability to customize content to different learning abilities.
How has COVID19 impacted the use of AI in K-12? Cash-strapped schools due to coronavirus may delay acquiring new tech. However, others will have benefited by the purchases of tech devices to provide remote learning. Many will also benefit from the data provided by AI already in use. COVID19 propelled many of us into the future to accommodate hybrid and remote learning. Research into the feasibility of AI occurred in real time. Security and accountability issues were addressed head on. It became more of a tool and less of a threat.
A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/Midnight UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Five Ways to Make AI a Greater Force for Good in 2021 | MIT Technology Review
Unleashing the Power of AI for Education | MIT Technology Review
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad
Posted on February 19, 2021, in curriculum, Differentiation, Education, gifted and talented, gifted education, STEM, Technology and tagged AI, Artificial Intelligence, COVID19, gifted education, gtchat, TAGT, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.