What’s brewing?: exploring artificial intelligence in education



A cross-section of participants that included staff, faculty, and students discussed the possibilities and implications related to artificial intelligence (AI) in education during the latest What’s Brewing? session. The college offers these open, informal discussions every two weeks, hosted in the IgnitED Lab in Farmer 144. With a focus on the future, attendees talked about the amazing potential that lies within AI as well as concerns about privacy and the importance of human connection.

I shared the collection of resources below with the group. Interacting with these resources led to thoughtful exchanges about personal AI use with devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Framing these experiences within classrooms for student and teacher use resulted in numerous ideas. Chatbots, for example, can learn how to respond based on programming. Students can use web-based applications to create chatbots to solve problems, help a student learn a skills, or even act as a confidant for a student who needs to talk to someone. We discussed how beneficial it might be for a chatbot to be able to listen to and respond to a student who needs support. One of the participants worried this might be deceitful if the child thought she were talking to a real person. However, we considered a student might feel more comfortable telling a “computer” something rather than a person. Of course, the student would need to know to whom she was chatting. Teacher can use AI to learn more about student needs through personalized learning. Teachers can also automate certain grading functions with AI.

The ideas shared here are only a few of those produced during the discussion. People who visit the IgnitED Labs, and MLFTC students in some classes, are learning about AI the influence on education through inspirational and ethical lenses. The key is to harness the capability appropriately for all learners. Learners have fantastic opportunities now through AI, and the possibilities are quickly advancing. The college is building a digital path for learners, and AI is but one brick in the road.

Visit and interact with the articles and experiences related to the concept of AI and educational AI in this collection. Learn a bit, explore, and play.