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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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The AI revolution is turning into an invasion!

Just a few months ago, I wrote a column about the AI (artificial intelligence) revolution taking place around the world. 

I’ve had an opportunity to learn more since that time, and I’m even more excited about what is transpiring. 

AI is a rapidly advancing set of technologies that can enable new forms of interaction between students and educators, help teachers and support staff address variability in learning, and provide a wide range of additional support to educators and students that can enrich the teaching and learning process. 

This is scary, exciting technology. The more I learn about these incredible tools, the more I long to be back leading schools again. 

Last week, I met another AI chatbot named Claude. Anthropic, the artificial intelligence company founded by ex-OpenAI employees, is the creator of this incredible tool. 

This particular chatbot, like my other two AI friends, ChatGPT and Bard, can summarize data, answer questions, assist with writing, and generate code. 

Even more exciting, you can also tweak Claude’s tone, personality, and behavior, which is a bit more comprehensive than the creative, balanced, and precise settings the other chatbots offer.

I had a real conversation with Claude about crime in the Black community. The intriguing thing about the entire exchange was that it felt as if I was having a conversation with a real person. 

Claude was actually debating (arguing) with me about my request for information while never providing the raw data that I requested. It was both fascinating and frustrating at the same time. 

Claude did, however, provide other sources I could access to obtain the information. 

This exchange was both exciting and scary.

Quite frankly, I’ve never argued with my computer before. Claude’s responses were so human-like that I had to pause from time to time to check my pulse. 

So, I asked Bard and Chat GTP for the same information. The results were quite different. They both provided me with the information I requested without questioning my intentions. 

So now I have three very cool AI friends. I haven’t yet figured out which I like best. I’m still deciding. But these tools are evolving at an incredibly rapid pace. 

In some ways, while I no longer lead or manage a school, I feel as though I’m missing the most exciting transformation in the history of humankind. 

Educators can sometimes be slow to embrace new technological innovations, especially K-12 public school educators. 

I spoke to several teachers about my AI friends, and they had extremely limited knowledge of what I was talking about. 

If I were leading a school or district right now, I would make sure my entire organization was AI literate.

So, note to school systems nationwide, especially here in Shelby County: 

Start preparing in-depth AI professional development for your teachers, administrators, support staff, and students. 

The revolution is here! 

The feds, of course, are fully aware. The federal government continues to collaborate with school systems nationwide, aligning AI models to a shared vision for education, informing and involving educators, and developing education-specific guidelines and guardrails.

In the meantime, however, the AI wars are heating up as companies battle for their slice of a rapidly growing market for their technologies.

But, once again, users of this technology should proceed with both enthusiasm and cautious optimism. 

AI is infiltrating every aspect of the education landscape. Developers of technology systems for student information, classroom instruction, school logistics, parent-teacher communication, and more are adding AI capabilities to their systems.

AI will change the way teachers teach, students learn, and society functions. 

It can help to reduce teacher workload, improve student engagement, help to identify, and address learning gaps, and help personalize the learning experience.

AI algorithms can analyze students’ strengths and weaknesses in real time and adjust lesson content and difficulty accordingly. This allows for more personalized and effective instruction.

Virtual simulations, powered by AI, allow students to interact with historical events, science experiments, or scenarios to complement classroom learning. 

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