How AI is Impacting Education

By Kathleen Phillips, Ph.D., Program Chair for the College of Education at University of Phoenix

At a time when the educational landscape is being reshaped by technology, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is both an exciting and complex development. As parents of K-12 students, understanding AI’s potential, its drawbacks, and how to guide your child’s AI-powered learning journey responsibly is of paramount importance.

What is AI and ChatGPT?

AI, short for Artificial Intelligence, represents computer systems capable of performing tasks that usually require human intelligence. In the context of education, AI tools like ChatGPT simulate conversation we would normally only experience through human interaction. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is one such AI-powered tool that can engage in text-based conversations, essentially creating a dynamic interaction between technology and learners.

Drawbacks of AI in Education

While AI undoubtedly offers significant benefits, there are potential drawbacks of which parental awareness is critical:

  • Reduced personal interaction. Face-to-face interaction has already been affected by widespread usage of the internet and social media, but as AI becomes a more integrated into education, it might lead to even greater reduced face-to-face interactions, impacting social and communication skills.
 Benefits of AI in Education

The integration of AI offers several compelling benefits in the education space:

  • Personalized learning. AI can adapt materials to individual students’ learning styles, pacing, and preferences, fostering a more engaging and effective learning experience.
  • 24/7 accessibility. AI-powered platforms are available around the clock, enabling students to learn at their own convenience and pace.
  • Data-driven insights. Educators can gain valuable insights from AI-generated data, allowing them to identify struggling students early and tailor their teaching methods accordingly.
  • Interactive learning. AI enables the creation of interactive and immersive learning experiences through simulations, virtual reality, and gamification, enhancing student engagement.
Guiding Your Child to Use AI Responsibly

Parental guidance is crucial in ensuring that your child uses AI in education responsibly:

  • Know the tools. Practice using AI platforms yourselves. Be familiar with the uses for AI and utilize these systems often to stay up-to-date with capabilities.
  • Initiate open conversations. Start a dialogue with your child about AI and its role in education. Encourage them to ask questions and express any concerns they might have.
  • Select reputable resources. Help your child choose AI-driven educational resources from trusted sources that align with their learning needs and grade level.
  • Nurture critical thinking. Teach your child to think critically about information presented by AI. Encourage them to verify facts, question assumptions, and evaluate sources. Help them formulate appropriate prompts and to drill down to obtain the information for which they are searching.
  • Balance AI with traditional learning. Emphasize the importance of a well-rounded education that combines AI tools with traditional learning methods, ensuring a comprehensive skill set.
  • Promote digital ethics. Educate your child about digital etiquette and the responsible use of AI-generated content. Emphasize the importance of respecting intellectual property and privacy.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, AI’s role in education is undeniable. By understanding its potential, recognizing its drawbacks, and actively guiding your child’s AI experiences, parents can play a pivotal role in ensuring a balanced and enriching educational journey that harnesses the benefits of AI while upholding responsible usage.