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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

AI can be an equalizer

Educators can personalize teaching and equalize education opportunities, if they learn how to use artificial intelligence intelligently, writes Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, on The 74.

Khan Academy’s new tutoring program, Khanmigo, which is powered by GPT-4, is a game changer, she writes.

It gives sophisticated prompts to encourage students to think more deeply about what they’re reading or encountering, and to explain their thinking. It will soon be able to remember students’ individual histories and customize lessons and assessments to their needs and preferences. . . . (Sal) Khan described how one student reading The Great Gatsby conversed in real time with an AI version of Jay Gatsby himself to discuss the book’s imagery and symbolism.

AI will revolutionize teaching, Lake predicts. Right now, "a teacher can use AI to develop a lesson plan, create an assessment customized to each student’s background or interests, and facilitate breakout sessions."

Banning the use of AI in schools "is as shortsighted and fruitless as trying to stop an avalanche by building a snowbank," she writes. "This technology is unstoppable."

AI can making teaching "more effective and less burdensome" by creating examples, explanations, exercises and low-stakes tests, writes Ethan Mollick on One Useful Thing. It can give students lots of "distributed practice." It will not replace teaching and class interaction.

Lisa Bonos in the Washington Post looks at how the private Khan Lab School is field-testing Khanmigo with young students.

Khanmigo is programmed to discuss problems with students -- not just solve them, said Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. He plans to offer the free tool to schools around the country later this month.

However, what works for Lab School students, many of whom are the children of highly educated Silicon Valley technologists, may not work everywhere.

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May 05, 2023

With any luck Sal Khan can destroy the public school education system all by himself.

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