As we navigate the intricacies of the 21st century, the traditional paradigms of society are being reshaped, reimagined and revolutionized to meet the diverse needs and aspirations of people everywhere.
More specifically, in the ever-changing terrain of education, a dynamic shift is on the horizon, fueled by an ever-growing appetite for personalized and more effective learning encounters.
To meet these rational demands, a thoughtful and responsible integration of Artificial Intelligence in Montgomery County Schools is not solely a technological choice but an educational imperative that will significantly enhance student learning and productivity.
On Jan. 3, 2023, MCPS announced that ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools would be banned on all school networks, devices, and would not be permissible to use for assignments. Eerily similar to the mistrust and hesitancy of calculators in the late 1900s, MCPS’s growingly persistent stance on AI is a disenchanting callback to the counterintuitive, un-innovative approach towards education amidst the initial rise of technology.
And in yet another similar sense to previous stances on calculators and technology, this decision overlooks the role the MCPS administration can have revolutionizing the educational landscape through AI-driven learning.
For starters, AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard can personalize student learning in a way that human teachers and professors can’t, leveraging its vast processing capabilities, knowledge database, and advanced algorithms, thus streamlining advanced learning. How so?
Many AI tools have the capabilities of developing adaptive learning paths using neutral dataset analysis that can accurately analyze a student’s past performance and gaps in knowledge to tailor lesson plans, activities and study materials to ensure they progress at a reasonable pace.
Moreover, advanced AI models have the capacity to process natural, conversational language and provide rapid, real-time feedback on a 24/7 basis, thus user-friendly support outside traditional classroom hours.
In addition to the extensive benefits AI can offer students, AI has the potential to act as a crucial instrument in supporting educators in their various teaching responsibilities. Firstly, AI tools can streamline the grading process, reducing the time required for grading assignments of any type, thus enabling teachers to dedicate more of their time to delivering meaningful guidance.
Secondly, AI can also offer its data-driven conclusions to help teachers gain more specific insight into what their students tend to be struggling with and offer various methods to help them adapt to diverse groups of thought.
Finally, as the terrain of education is forever changing, real-time AI tools can offer teachers educational resources and articles to help ensure that they are kept up to date with recent developments in the field and are offering the most accurate information to students. As a result, AI can enhance educators’ overall effectiveness, automate administrative tasks, and maintain learning consistency within dynamic classroom environments.
By permitting AI to be used in schools it can greatly improve accessibility, equity and help bridge the achievement gap. AI may possibly address the various challenges that Special Education Educators across the county face. AI-driven tools can enhance accessibility for disabled students. Text-to-speech, speech-to-text, smart readers, and communication devices, for example, can help students with visual or auditory impairments interact with course materials and engage in classroom discussions, ensuring they have equal access to information and opportunities.
Furthermore, recently advanced and diverse methods of education can be made available to students, teachers, and parents alike to assist students with disabilities. Additionally, school courses that are powered with AI can ensure access to quality education across the county. Given the currently free status of many AI programs, via content generation, AI can reduce the cost burden of educational and bureaucratic tasks from the county and allow those funds to be directed to other crucial areas.
Finally, AI tools can assist the county in curating a diverse and inclusive curriculum that incorporates various perspectives, cultures, and voices that allow all to be represented in their studies.
The capabilities of AI in personalizing learning experiences cannot be overstated. As we stand at the crossroads of the 21st century, the potential for Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize education in MCPS is undeniable. The decision to ban AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard represents a missed opportunity to harness the transformative power of technology for the benefit of students, educators and parents alike.
Adam Yerima of Rockville is a member of the National Cyber League, Montgomery College Cybersecurity Major Program, and Software Programmer.
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