Home News Wichita Teachers Learn About AI to Improve Classroom Teaching

Wichita Teachers Learn About AI to Improve Classroom Teaching

Wichita Teachers Learn About AI to Improve Classroom Teaching

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming various sectors, educators in Wichita are stepping up to incorporate AI into their teaching practices. As part of a broader initiative to enhance educational outcomes, Wichita teachers are returning to classrooms not as instructors, but as learners, to understand and leverage AI tools for improving student engagement and productivity.

AI Training Programs

Wichita State University has been at the forefront of this educational shift, offering a series of professional development courses specifically designed for PreK-12 educators. One of the key courses, “AI–Be Not Afraid,” led by Susie Klausmeyer, aims to demystify AI for teachers and equip them with practical tools to integrate AI into their daily teaching routines. Scheduled for June 13, 2024, this course covers a range of AI applications, from creating AI-driven lesson plans to using AI for classroom management and student assessment​.

National and Global Efforts

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This initiative is part of a larger movement within the education sector to embrace AI responsibly. Wichita State University recently joined the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium, a national body dedicated to developing and deploying trustworthy AI systems. This consortium includes over 200 members from various sectors, highlighting the collaborative effort required to ensure AI technologies are safe and beneficial​.

Additionally, global organizations like UNESCO are developing AI competency frameworks to help teachers and students navigate the evolving digital landscape. These frameworks aim to provide clear guidelines on the ethical and effective use of AI in educational settings, ensuring that both teachers and students can benefit from AI advancements while mitigating potential risks​.

Practical Applications in the Classroom

The AI tools being introduced to Wichita teachers are designed to simplify and enhance various aspects of teaching. For instance, Google’s LearnLM, a family of models fine-tuned for educational purposes, supports active learning by providing timely feedback and adapting to the individual needs of students. This model aims to make learning more engaging and personalized, thereby improving overall educational outcomes​.

Teachers are also being trained to use AI for more administrative tasks, such as grading and attendance tracking, which can significantly reduce their workload and allow them to focus more on interactive and creative aspects of teaching.

The integration of AI in education is not without its challenges. Educators need to be adequately trained to use these technologies effectively and ethically. There are also concerns about data privacy and the potential for AI to perpetuate biases. However, with comprehensive training programs and collaborative efforts at the national and international levels, these challenges can be addressed.

Wichita’s proactive approach to AI training for teachers sets a precedent for other educational institutions looking to harness the potential of AI. As educators become more comfortable with AI tools, the hope is that they will be able to create more dynamic, efficient, and personalized learning environments for their students.

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