AI has big potential but we need more help, leaders say

More than half of the district leaders surveyed want help from ed-tech companies "to reduce risks and concerns associated with generative AI."

Most superintendents and other administrators share two views of generative AI: the technology will improve instruction and educators need more guidance in adopting it, a new survey has found.

What’s also becoming clear is that the era of banning ChaptGPT and other AI tools has ended. Only 5% of leaders plan to ban the technology while a growing majority, now nearing two-thirds, say generative AI  “will positively impact education,” according to Imagine Learning’s “2024 Administrator AI Report: Perceptions, Practices, and Potential in Education.”

Cheating concerns may also be diminishing—at least among learners. “The majority of students using generative AI use it ethically to improve knowledge, with research (70%), writing refinement (65%), and creating study aids (55%) as top uses,” the report says.

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Superintendents and their leadership teams also recognize generative AI’s potential to make teachers’ jobs easier. Half of the administrators surveyed believe AI will help teachers find ideas and develop lesson plans, particularly for personalized learning.

Generative AI guidance

Only two states have issued guidance for the use of AI in education. Several organizations, including the Consortium of School Networking, ISTE, and the Council of the Great City Schools, have shared best practices for AI in K12, the report says.

More than half of the leaders surveyed want help from ed-tech companies “to reduce risks and concerns associated with generative AI.” A third of the administrators also want companies to publish and abide by a code of ethics for the technology.

Many leaders aren’t waiting for guidance from either government or industry: Some 47% said they are planning to implement their own comprehensive AI policies.

“Districts are willing to integrate AI into their classrooms, but currently lack the proper resources, governance, and training needed to do so successfully,” said Sari Factor, Chief Strategy Officer at Imagine Learning. “It’s a collective call to action, urging us to work alongside policymakers and education organizations to craft guidelines that ensure AI’s integration is as responsible as it is transformative.”

Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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