AI Is Officially Here, There, Everywhere, and Nowhere
May 2024

AI Is Officially Here, There, Everywhere, and Nowhere

Districts playing catch up can still adopt sound policies for AI

When it comes to digital technology, educators and school systems haven’t historically been fleet of foot. But artificial intelligence is partially bucking the trend. Many teachers are embracing it, even as school systems follow form and are moving slowly, or barely at all.

Among the myriad ways school systems can respond, there are two obvious poor choices. On one end of the spectrum, they could turn entirely away from AI—which districts like New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle initially moved to do. On the other, they could rush to use AI for its own sake rather than for a clear educational purpose. There’s plenty of pressure to put AI in the classroom—both from vendors hawking AI products and superintendents wanting to show bold leadership. It would be all too easy for districts to jump on the AI trend and repeat the mistakes of the past. Remember fads like open classrooms in the 1970s and whole language in the 80s?

AI isn’t like CD-ROMs—it’s a rapidly evolving, transformational technology. School systems should act quickly but strategically to find a sensible, educationally sound path. The best policies will integrate AI with intentionality and help students and schools make progress over the long haul.

What’s the best way forward? Don’t focus on AI. Focus on the problems that matter—and see where AI can help.

Image Credit: Education Next & Adobe Stock


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