Artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in our lives. The emergence of advanced AI models, such as Bard, ChatGPT, Midjourney, and others has transformed the way we interact with technology. These technological advancements have paved the way for the development of other sophisticated AI tools that cater to various career paths and daily tasks. As AI continues to evolve, the education sector needs to think critically about how these tools are used. Whether this be utilizing the technology or finding ways to keep it out of the classroom, it is going to be essential for educators to critically evaluate AI tools now and in the future. In this article, you will learn about the positive and negative impact AI can have on STEM education. This article also provides key AI resources educators can leverage to better understand AI and continue to advance their classrooms to meet the most up-to-date tech standards.
The Rise of AI in Education
AI is making significant inroads into the field of education, transforming the way students learn and teachers instruct. Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, hosted a TED Talk about how AI could save education rather than ruin it. During this, Khan discusses how AI presents a unique opportunity for educators to better tailor their lessons to individual students. And, AI teaching aids can provide 1-on-1 learning opportunities for students who are struggling. All of these things can be done at lower costs – requiring less of the yearly classroom budget.
As additional AI tools come out with increasingly advanced technology, there will be an opportunity for educators to leverage these platforms to further increase student comprehension and retention of complex subjects, such as STEM. As school administrators, educators, and facilitators, it is essential to increase our technology literacy – putting us in a better position to leverage the new technology and pass these skills on to students.
How AI Can Help with STEM Education
There are a variety of areas in education that will be positively impacted by the use of AI technology. Below is a list of ways AI can enhance the classroom environment and increase student success.
- Enhanced personalized learning: AI-powered adaptive learning platforms can tailor educational content and activities to individual student needs, allowing for personalized learning experiences. Students can receive targeted instruction, practice, and feedback based on their specific strengths and weaknesses.
- Improved engagement: AI tools can make learning more interactive and engaging for students. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications, for example, can provide immersive experiences that help students visualize complex STEM concepts and make learning more enjoyable.
- Advanced data analysis: AI algorithms can analyze large sets of data to identify patterns and trends in student performance. This data-driven approach allows educators to gain valuable insights into student learning patterns, identify areas where students may be struggling, and make data-informed instructional decisions.
- Real-time feedback and support: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide immediate feedback and support to students, even outside of regular classroom hours. These tools can answer questions, explain concepts, and guide students through problem-solving processes, promoting independent learning.
- Hands-on experimentation: AI can enable virtual simulations and laboratories, providing students with opportunities for hands-on experimentation in STEM subjects. Virtual labs can offer a safe and cost-effective environment for students to conduct experiments, make observations, and analyze data.
- Access to resources: AI can help bridge resource gaps by providing students with access to a wide range of educational materials, including digital textbooks, online courses, and interactive tutorials. This expands educational opportunities and allows students to explore STEM subjects beyond the limitations of traditional classroom resources.
- Collaboration and peer learning: AI tools can facilitate collaborative learning experiences among students. Intelligent platforms can connect students with similar interests and facilitate peer-to-peer interactions, allowing for knowledge sharing, collaborative problem-solving, and group projects in STEM education.
The Risks of AI in STEM Education
On the positive side, AI can enhance how students learn and teachers deliver instruction. Intelligent tutoring systems powered by AI can personalize learning experiences, helping students to improve their STEM literacy and get personalized help based on their unique skill set.
However, the increased integration of AI in education is raising concerns among educators and school administrators. One major challenge is the potential bias embedded in AI algorithms, which can perpetuate existing inequalities and reinforce stereotypes. It is crucial to ensure AI systems used in education are designed with fairness, transparency, and inclusivity in mind. Additionally, there are ethical considerations regarding student data privacy and security. Safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring responsible data usage should be paramount when implementing AI technologies in educational settings.
AI is also causing issues with the authenticity of student work and output. Many educators are juggling how to ensure students are completing their assignments individually without the use of banned AI tools. This issue is something still being addressed and consistently discussed at all grade levels. high school and college levels. Educators and administrators are having to put safeguards in place to ensure student academic integrity on standardized tests and other important exams.
These issues are still being addressed and flagged as society continues to use and interact with AI. Educators will likely have to add additional safeguards to their classroom and curriculum plans to ensure AI is being used to enhance the learning process rather than hinder it. But, like the technology of the past, this is a rapidly and constantly changing landscape that will have to be taken in stride.
AI Tools and Resources for STEM Teachers
If you are an educator or school administrator looking to leverage AI technology with your students, below is a list of five tools that can be used in the classroom.
- Gradescope: An AI tool that helps teachers to streamline their grading process. This advanced grading software helps save teachers time and gives students a clear understanding of how they are doing in each course.
- Carnegie Learning’s Platforms: Carnegie Learning’s Platform uses AI technology to provide students with custom one-on-one learning experiences. Whether it is math or literacy, the platform helps K-12 students improve comprehension and performance on exams.
- SlidesAI: Rather than spending hours creating a presentation, SlidesAI can take the content and create a visually appealing presentation in minutes. This tool allows educators to free up time to focus on other key classroom activities and tasks.
- Research Rabbit: Research Rabbit can help gather information using keywords and topics. When properly promoted, this tool can gather a list of relevant articles that can be used for research papers, classroom materials, and more.
- Teacher-Tools.AI: Teacher Tools AI provides educators with a variety of features to help improve student performance. One tool that can be leveraged by educators is the lesson plan generator. This tool creates custom lesson plans based on the desired subject, topic, and grade level. Although this may not deliver the final product, it can be used as a solid foundation for educators creating new lesson plans.
AI technology’s impact on STEM education is significant and will continue to change over time. While it offers enhanced personalized learning, improved engagement, and advanced data analysis, challenges such as bias and data privacy need to be addressed. By carefully considering the positive and negative aspects of AI in education, educators can leverage AI tools and resources effectively to create impactful and inclusive learning experiences. There are still many unknowns in this area – educators must continue to have open conversations about these tools and how to best leverage them. By working together as a community, the education field can find a way to use AI to improve education rather than hinder it.