How AI is Transforming Education: Engaging Students while Empowering Teachers

Across the US, AI fears have rendered knee-jerk AI bans in some schools. Fortunately, many of those schools have reversed their decisions. Many schools have embraced AI and have included the tech in their curriculum. This is the correct answer.

Obviously, generative AI is raising valid concerns among educators about plagiarism. That’s the first thing almost everyone considered upon its release other than Terminator 2-style world domination. But AI is more for teachers than students. AI is an incredible learning tool, providing personalized education at scale.

Teachers already create lesson plans and quizzes, and AI can personalize them for each student’s learning goals and requirements. For instance, my middle school-aged kids are currently tackling Western Expansion this semester. I asked Claude (my normal Generative AI) to come up with a quiz for 6th graders. I pasted the example after the article. Also pasted is the same prompt, just swamped out 6th graders for 11th graders. Within seconds it came up with relevant questions.

Want to learn how to do long division the way your kids do? ChatGPT is great at this. Ask it to tutor your child for 30 minutes on long division and it will deliver an outline and script and can ask your student relevant questions. Want to make it about boating, Minecraft, or how to make friends? You can make it happen with a simple prompt.

Who does this benefit most? This benefits teachers and students, including and maybe especially homeschoolers and their parents. For advanced students or even students who may connect to a specific topic like Western Expansion, this provides teachers a way to easily scaffold additional concepts to ensure everyone is engaged.

AI-powered apps can adaptively quiz students in subjects like math, meeting them at their level. This allows for tailored instruction similar to a private tutor, helping students truly understand “new math” methods rather than just memorize steps.

AI also opens up new formats of collaborative learning and overcomes poor teaching. Book clubs powered by chatbots let students ask questions and discuss themes. Students can use writing tutors to provide feedback, catching errors in early drafts. Good teachers will be able to use this to have students do a deeper dive to better understand and even enjoy the reading.

Importantly, while AI can suggest and assist, students must generate their own original work. Allowing AI usage should not replace creative production; rather, proper integration of AI technology can enhance and assist learning. With thoughtful AI guidance, education can become more engaging, efficient, and actually empowering. And it equips students not just with content, but with the lifelong skills to seek understanding. Ignore AI at your own peril.

Here is a 5-question quiz on western expansion in the USA for 6th graders:

  1. What was the name of the period of westward expansion in the 1800s?

a) Manifest Destiny
b) The Wild West
c) The Oregon Trail
d) Westward Ho

  1. What law offered free land to Americans who moved west?

a) The Frontier Act
b) The Homestead Act
c) The Western Act
d) The Pioneer Act

  1. What was the name of the railroad that connected the Eastern USA to the Western USA?

a) The Western Railroad
b) The Transcontinental Railroad
c) The Cross-Country Railroad
d) The Coast-to-Coast Railroad

  1. What technology allowed more settlers to travel west over land?

a) Steamboats
b) Covered wagons
c) Railroads
d) Automobiles  

  1. What battle marked the end of the Indian Wars and signaled the closing of the western frontier?
    a) Battle of Little Bighorn
    b) Battle of Wounded Knee
    c) Battle of the Alamo
    d) Battle of Gettysburg

I asked Chat GPT to create a quiz for season 2 of Top Chef for fun

  • Question 1: Contestant Knowledge
    Who was the winner of Top Chef Season 2?
    a) Ilan Hall
    b) Marcel Vigneron
    c) Sam Talbot
    d) Elia Aboumrad
  • Question 2: Culinary Challenges
    • In Season 2, which episode featured the contestants preparing a meal for a group of firefighters?
      a) Episode 1: First Impressions
      b) Episode 5: Social Service
      c) Episode 8: Sense and Sensibility
      d) Episode 10: Restaurant Wars
  • Question 3: Elimination
    • What dish led to Cliff Crooks’ controversial elimination from the competition?
      a) Beef Carpaccio
      b) Scallops with Truffle Butter
      c) Gnocchi with Brown Butter
      d) Tiramisu
  • Question 4: Guest Judges
    • Which celebrity chef served as a guest judge in Season 2 and also appeared in later seasons as a recurring judge?
      a) Emeril Lagasse
      b) Tom Colicchio
      c) Anthony Bourdain
      d) Padma Lakshmi
  • Question 5: Finale Location
    • Where was the Season 2 finale of Top Chef held?
      a) Napa Valley, California
      b) Aspen, Colorado
      c) Miami, Florida
      d) New York City, New York


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