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NC Educators Join California, Oregon, as Early Adopters of AI in Schools

Source: WRAL-TV

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction just joined the Federal Department of Education, The Harvard Graduate School of  Education, and the nation’s largest school district in advocating for Artificial Intelligence in the classroom. North Carolina joins California, Oregon and West Virginia as the fourth state education department to issue official guidance on integrating tools like ChatGPT into schools.

“Generative artificial intelligence is playing a growing and significant role in our society. At NCDPI, we’re committed to preparing our students both to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing technology and become innovators in the field of computer science,” said State Superintendent Catherine Truitt in a press release. “We also believe that, when implemented thoughtfully and responsibly, generative AI has the power to revolutionize student learning and better prepare North Carolina’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.”

In their decision the NCDPI cited data from the World Economic Forum that forecasts AI and machine learning as the fastest growing careers over the next five years. The “Future of Jobs Report 2023” also found that 75% of companies planned to implement generative AI by 2027. In a poll of 500 educators by Forbes Magazine, 60% of educators are already using AI in the classroom and 55% of respondents said artificial intelligence had “improved educational outcomes.” However, 64% of the educators  also reported students cheating on written assignments with AI-powered essay generators.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s recommendations hope to answer these opposing elements with initiatives such as education on ethical AI applications, adopting new APA and MLA citations for AI in academic work, and specific AI use disclosure rules. The NDCPI guidelines also feature rubrics outlining different degrees of AI utilization in student work, ranging from AI assisted brainstorming to challenging students to use AI as a “copilot” to support work in “any way you deem necessary.”

Interestingly, a 2023 study by the Pew Research Center found that some of these values are already apparent to students. Among the polled teenagers who were aware of tools like ChatGPT, 57% responded that using AI tools to write essays is unacceptable while making the distinction that utilizing the tools for academic research is academically sound (69%).

Although artificial intelligence’s risks to artistic expression and national security are still hotly debated, hopefully we can be optimistic about the future of AI in our classrooms.


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