Integrating Generative AI into Edtech

generative ai
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By learning from existing data, generative AI can create new content, such as images, videos, audio, text, and 3D models, and has the potential to help solve end-customer problems more quickly, efficiently, and effectively, says Dr. Larry Rother, a former assistant superintendent and current Global Education Strategist and Education Segment Manager for Intel. 

For example, generative AI can create personalized marketing materials, generate realistic product images, and write creative content. By automating these tasks, generative AI can free businesses to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as research and development, product refinement, and customer support.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the areas we're exploring, and it's a passion of mine because it can transform teaching and learning,” says Rother. “If done responsibly, AI can be a powerful tool for educators and students. I'm excited about the potential of AI to improve education at all levels, from K-12 to higher education.”

Rother does not believe that generative AI will replace the vast majority of what happens in schools or with the act of teaching and learning. However, it can be a valuable tool for teachers and students as it can create personalized learning materials, provide feedback on student work, and generate creative content.

Rother will discuss at the upcoming EdExec Summit how solution providers such as Intel can use AI to improve education and help students learn more effectively. 

Creating Responsible AI Pillars 

“It is crucial to address concerns about generative AI, such as equity, inclusion, and biases that generative AI can expose and present in the classroom,” says Rother. 

Solution providers must ask themselves about utilizing their solutions by students from diverse backgrounds, underrepresented students, and students with neurodiverse needs, he says. It is also essential to consider how to personalize and customize solutions for students with diverse needs.

For example, Intel is committed to advancing AI technology responsibly by using rigorous review processes, diverse development teams, and industry partnerships. 

By establishing these pillars, other solution providers ensure that generative AI benefits all students.

  • Transparency: Edtech companies should be transparent about how their AI solutions work and how they collect and use data. 
  • Accessibility: Edtech solutions should be accessible to all students, regardless of their background or needs. 
  • Democratization: Edtech solutions should be affordable and available to all students.
  • Accountability: Edtech companies should be accountable for the impact of their AI solutions.  

How can these ideas be implemented to drive edtech, accelerate generative AI usage, and make it as transparent, accessible, and democratized as possible? Rother suggests: 

  • Create internal and external advisory councils to review generative AI solutions. For example, Intel focuses on human rights, oversight, explainability, security, safety, reliability, privacy, and equity. 
  • Invest in R&D, collaboration, and customer support. Generative AI is in its initial stages, so commit to the best tech and thought leadership. 
  • Refine products through the lens of the end customer: students and teachers. Focus on data privacy, security, and pedagogical best practices. 

Human in the Loop 

“The USDOE recommends that the education community adopt a 'humans in the loop' concept in AI solutions, which I agree is key component to AI integration,” says Rother. “This concept addresses the concern that AI will be used without human interaction, without safeguards, and could lead to negative student outcomes.” 

The idea is that at key points in AI use, such as assessment, content design, planning, and intervention, a human should ensure the responsible use of generative AI and that students benefit from the technology. Solution providers should be transparent about where the human in the loop is in their solutions, and school districts should explicitly ask about this. 

Here are some specific questions that school districts could ask their solution providers:

  • How will the human element be involved in this technology? 
  • How will I be able to control this technology? 
  • What are the risks of using this technology? 
  • How will this technology be used to improve student learning? 
  • How will this technology be used to protect student privacy? 

Personalized Learning 

“I've heard a lot about how AI can personalize learning, and we have been figuring out how to do this for a long time with small learning communities and PLC,” says Rother. “However, when I think about generative AI, I think about the multitiered intervention structure implemented everywhere.” 

The first tier, which every student should have access to, is the curriculum and the way the teacher works with the students. Generative AI can intervene with students at the point of discovery when they are struggling and is one of the most effective ways to personalize learning using technology.

AI Education 

Solution providers should provide support for educators and students to democratize AI, says Rother, noting that Intel has taken steps to do this by developing educational resources and tools. 

Rother urges other solution providers to do the same. “It is not enough to simply develop and design great tools for students and teachers; we also need to teach them about AI so that they can develop it into things that we have yet to imagine,” he says. 

Big tech companies, ed tech companies, school leaders, CTOs, and chief academic officers focusing on making generative AI more widely accepted makes this an exciting time, says Rother. 

“If we can all work together to guide this transformational time and democratize and scale this technology, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work, and learn,” he says, adding that Intel is committed to doing so. “We want to make AI accessible to everyone, regardless of background or resources. We believe that AI has the potential to change the world for the better, and we want to make sure that everyone can benefit from it.”