Somehow, we’ve gone from artificial flowers and sweeteners to artificial thinking, calculating, and learning. Heady stuff, no?

And very brave new world, even otherworldly.

For many, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also scary, the stuff of science fiction, which, says,  “… makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks…and can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data.”

Man-made not nature-made and making headway everywhere from healthcare and manufacturing to finance and self-driving cars. Into our K-12 schools, too, just not big time quite yet…

For now, an Education Week Research Center survey of 924 educators finds that:

  1. 79% said their districts lack clear policies on the use of AI tools.
  2. 56% expect their districts will increase their AI use.
  3. 20% said their districts prohibit students from using generative AI, such as ChatPT, but teachers are allowed to use it at will.
  4. 7% said AI tools are banned for everyone across the board, including staff.
  5. 78% said they don’t have the time or bandwidth to teach students about AI and how to use it, as they’re too busy dealing with everything from academic challenges and social-emotional learning to safety concerns.
  6. 88% believe students should learn how AI works before graduating from high school.

As for when it’s appropriate to teach students how AI works, those same educators said:

  • 1%:  pre-school
  • 5%:  kindergarten through 2nd grade
  • 18%: grades 3 through 5
  • 31%: grades 6 through 8
  • 34%: grades 9 through 12
  • 6%:  college/postsecondary education
  • 6%:  “Never.”

What say you?

~ With my thanks, Carol