How AI Can Support Educators To Make Their Lives Easier

Generative AI can empower educators, give them more time back for teaching and make their lives easier.

Published on Mar 20, 2023

The worst thing we can do for education is to create isolated solutions that are disconnected from the millions of teachers dedicating their lives to educating our children. The system is broken, schools are outdated and our children need to learn new skills to be set up for success. But teachers are in the same position as the students. They are being forced to fit into a box that hasn’t fit them for a long time. They are working tirelessly and often thanklessly to do the best they can in an outcome-based system that has failed them

If we want to blame teachers for the outcomes students do or don’t get, or why it’s so easy for something like Chat GPT to disrupt the classroom structure of the last 100 years, then we have to give them power to actually make decisions about how they teach. But we don’t. Instead, we force educators into an endless power loop and then blame them when they can’t do their job.

We face many problems in education. One of those problems is that entrepreneurs and technologists are inventing solutions for those who can afford to take risks. They build tools for educators who already have the means and the time to not have to depend on an outcome-based system that determines how much funding a school gets based on students’ test scores. That isn’t sustainable or the reality for most teachers.

The only way that we can make lasting changes in education is by including educators. We need to first and foremost think about how to make their lives easier and work with them to create solutions that work for them and for students. They dedicated their lives to teaching others and that deserves respect and recognition, which starts with simply asking them how we (the entrepreneurs and technologists) can help. 

There are five key ways that one such solution, generative AI, can help teachers. 

  1. Generative AI can change the way we assess learning. It can advance its knowledge based on what you teach it. Imagine an experience where an AI tool is fed insights for a given student, then it provides a teacher with support so they can make informed, progressive decisions about that child. It can allow teachers to create personalized rubrics and assessments for each student based on what may or may not be working on a day-to-day, or eventually moment-to-moment, basis. Not only that, but the AI and the teacher can iterate based on those findings. 
  2. We have never had standardized children yet we depend on a standardized way to grade them. We have to create new ways to measure the learning and a huge part of that means personalizing the process of providing ongoing feedback to support our learners. But this is a daunting task that takes time that teachers are not given. Generative AI can help teachers provide ongoing feedback and then develop learning based on the student’s learning style and progress, versus a summative assessment that only measures their output.
  3. Teachers spend countless hours building out curriculums and lesson plans. I scoff when people say teachers get their whole summers off because many educators spend every minute outside of the classroom working on curriculum development. Generative AI can develop lesson plans in partnership with teachers so that teachers have more time to spend with their students
  4. Generative AI can help create personalized professional development for teachers. Teachers invest a lot of time further honing their skills and knowledge. But professional development resources tend to be generic and built in a one-size-fits-all manner (remind you of anything?) Generative AI can work with educators on a mission for continued learning to figure out what works best for them, then customize that development to their personal learning style and needs.
  5. Generative AI can be a grader, copywriter, research assistant, tutor and general assistant to support teachers. It can take many administrative and other types of tasks off teachers’ plates so they can do what they set out to do — teach. 
[Image made with Jasper Art]

In short, we should not ban generative AI in the classrooms because it deprives teachers of a valuable tool they can use to enhance their abilities and productivity, which hugely benefits their students as well. 

Rather than banning generative AI tools that will support the work of teachers, we need to equip educators with these tools and teach them how to utilize the technology to make their lives easier. Collectively, we are trying to solve the problem of how to assess our students: banning tools that make it more difficult to do that. Instead, we need to prioritize supporting teachers and giving them more time to work with students rather than forcing them in a box and only measuring teachers’, students’ and schools’ success based on standardized outcomes.

If we use generative AI to provide more ways for teachers to focus on spending quality time with their students — teaching them to extend their learning beyond the academics into their moral and emotional growth — it will lead to improved schools, educators, learners and humanity overall.

Meet The Author:

Amanda Slavin

Amanda Slavin

Education-minded author and entrepreneur

Amanda Slavin is a best-selling author and entrepreneur with a passion for changing the way we measure success around learning.

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