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SPECIAL REPORT: Artificial Intelligence in schools

News 11's Valeria Rodriguez reports on how some local schools are tackling AI’s impact in the classroom

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Artificial Intelligence (AI) has not only made its way into the technology we use every day but has seeped into everyday life including classrooms.

Artificial Intelligence is not going anywhere anytime soon and has started major conversations in the classroom and has revolutionized essentially how schools function.

“I think the biggest thing to keep in mind with AI is, it is changing by the day… in education right now we have to just adapt and that is really hard to do when sometimes change in school is really slow but the technology itself is changing incredibly quickly," stated Ian McDougall, San Luis High School Ed Tech Coach.

Ian McDougall, a tech and history teacher from San Luis High School explained how he has shown other teachers how they can use AI to their benefit.

“That first question is getting teachers to think what they want AI to look like in their classroom and come up with a plan…. And this is a really important conversation because these are conversations that students will have to have at the college level and careers as well," explained McDougall.

And what AI can do for them rather than what they can do for AI.

“And I need to show my teachers how to do a better job with developing high-quality assessments that can’t be AI through," said McDougall.

Vista High School Math Teacher Dane Jacobson said AI has created a wider range of how students are tested.

“Now if a student wants to take an alternative assessment if they don’t want to take the test on paper, I can tell the student, hey try to use AI to gear something up, you like music right? Well have a right something about probability and set theory like make it design 10 ideas for a project and so suddenly instead of this big exam they can say hey does this look good and you know I can approve it as a teacher," explained Dane Jacobson, Vista High School Math Teacher.

It’s even more crucial to ensure students are learning.

“We want to make sure our students are using it responsibly, but we’re also going to have to kind of test that as well, I would say don’t be afraid to give students right there on the spot quizzes, almost bringing them back to the pop quiz days," expressed Jacobson.

McDougall shared how he implements the technology in his classroom.

“I just tell them to make their own study guides, whatever topic we are talking a lot of times it will be my ticket out the door or my exit ticket at the end of a lesson. Have AI summarize what we just covered in class… so get them to actually not just have the AI output but to do something with it, to think critically about what was given to them from the AI," stated McDougall.

Jacobson walked me through how he uses AI, showing me all the different parts of the lesson plan.

“So in Chat GPT, let's say, make me a lesson plan for a 90-minute high school class on the subject of probability… and then I’ll add one thing though I’m going to say write this in a programming language called LayTec…so I’ll just copy that, and I’ll go back to a website called Overleaf and then I’ll just select all and paste all my stuff and compile and then there you go I got a probability lesson," explained Jacobson.

“On calculating probability, but it says divide this up into 45 minutes, talk about dependent and independent events. So there’s all this stuff, there’s the brain break for 10 minutes that it included," continued Jacobson.

Jacobson said sometimes it's hard to give each student his undivided attention especially when there are over 40 students in each class.

“If a student has AI pulled up on their computer, it's essentially a one-on-one tutor and if they have a question, and I’m too busy to you know answer for them they can get at least get a little help here," expressed Jacobson.

McDougall agrees it can be a teacher’s biggest help.

“The way I have it set up is I give them a series of prompts and they are able to do self check assessments where they can have the AI create 10 questions about a topic, they answer the questions and then it grades them," said McDougall.

AI will only continue to grow and there is still so much to learn.

Jacobson also mentions we might start seeing subject-specific artificial intelligence rather soon.

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Valeria Rodriguez

Valeria Rodriguez joined the KYMA team as a multimedia journalist in June 2023.
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