AI and Kids in School

Where do teachers and the board stand on AI. It appears to be a huge question that has different answers depending on where you live.

10/24/20232 min read

After doing a little research online regarding elementary schools in the US and hoping to find some definitive rules about where AI is in the school system, I was not so surprised to find out each district has a different way of handling the question. While everyone knows AI is here to stay, schools in the early years are struggling to understand what should and should not be done about the subject.

Some have thrown it to the administration and asked for direction. That has ensured everyone in the school is on the same page but there are some real questions about what to tell students and their parents. That is likely part of the problem since even parents are not clear about what to tell their kids about AI. That seems to be because many parents are not using it themselves at work and so only know it to be a novelty they are checking out for their own uses like art.

Additionally, there are the very real world problems that AI is biased, not always accurate and even subject to making things up. So until there is some sort of structure attached to the tech where it becomes reliable and is free for use by everyone, few can do anything with it but use it for creative reasons to see what it does. Then there is the government regulations which are not set in concrete yet and the obvious lack of privacy that has to be addressed.

With this kind of uncertainty geared towards parents, the school system feels paralyzed not knowing which way to turn. But there really is an opportunity here for learning about something that is already in our world and available as a learning tool in some capacities. At the very least, we do not want kids to be afraid of it. So maybe what we should be doing is teaching them how to use it and what to look out for so they are protected.

In turn, kids can bring this home to the parents and everyone will be a bit wiser about what to do with it and how to use the tech. It does seem logical too that we start the kids early in elementary school to use the digital world wisely, especially when it comes to AI. Maybe by doing this, by the time they get to high school, they will know to use it as an aid and not see it as a way to cheat. In any case, we have to start somewhere.