Amrita Chandra Raju : Inviting AI Tools in the Classroom
But the barricade has fallen with the advent of AI tools. Today’s students might graduate in a world full of AI bots, tools, and generative programs.
Last week, in an open discussion with the students at our school, we tried to understand how much the infatuation for AI tools has grown. While our curriculum has always focused on critical thinking, students have mastered research skills to complete class assignments. But the latent space created by AI tools has given them a strong alternative.
However, as an educator I believe that AI tools are here to stay. Not only will they improve but also become more important. And moreover, the country’s top State of the art resource center Niti Ayog has acknowledged the relevance of AI literacy and sees it as a national priority. According to the “State of the Education Report for India 2022: Artificial Intelligence in Education" by UNESCO mentions Niti Ayog’s recommendations on prioritizing subjects in school relevant to AI. Moreover, the National Education Policy has also laid emphasis on the inclusion of AI as a subject in the curriculum for IX and XI classes.
Teacher and AI collaboration
The education system is going through major technological shifts and as teachers, we must be the guidance for students. The students need to know their way around these tools, their strengths, and weaknesses to work alongside them. With students having an easy access to these tools, it is imperative that we thoughtfully embrace AI tools as a teaching aid. Schools can find a way out to work alongside these AI tools – allowing it to help students create outlines for writing assignments & then students can write the essays longhand themselves. They can also evaluate the writing samples produced by AI tools in classroom, discuss where the AI tool falls short and suggest what constitutes a good prose. This way the intervention of tool will be a collaborative exercise rather than the generative tools towering over the brain of our children.
As educator, we also spend a tremendous amount of time grading homework and tests. AI can step in and make quick work out of these tasks. With AI automating admin tasks, it will create more time for teachers to spend with their students, understand an individual student’s need better and modify lessons accordingly.
Those trying to stuff back the AI genie back in the bottle, must understand that policing students will be a much tougher task than rethinking classroom practices and restructuring learning models.
Establishing a cat and mouse dynamic will create an adversarial relationship with students and will send a message that students cannot be trusted with technology.
Debunking all concerns, as educators we must look at the AI tools with an open mind. It may feel like they are creating a challenge in the short term for education. But for in the longer run, the biggest contribution that AI could make to education in the Indian context would be to promote the idea of learning as learner-centered.
Written By: Amrita Chandra Raju
Vice Principal, The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet