AI insights: 5 FETC sessions that may change your mind about chatbots

Attendees at this year's conference will find plenty of insight into the extent of ChatGPT's classroom potential.

AI innovations such as ChatGPT have educators split between excitement about using the technology as a teaching tool—to improve student writing, for instance—and fear of it as a powerful new weapon for cheaters who would rather have software write their essays.

ChatGPT will surely be disruptive, but in a way that should motivate educators to come up with more engaging writing assignments (and other lessons). Students are more likely to cheat when the work doesn’t seem purposeful or relevant, says Ben Berman, an education essayist and creative writing teacher at Brookline High School near Boston.

“I am hoping that it becomes an opportunity for everyone involved in education to think deeply about how to make school feel meaningful and relevant to students so that they won’t want to outsource their work to AI in the first place,” Berman told District Administration in a recent interview.

More from DA: How ChatGPT can actually be a force for good rather than a boon for cheaters 

This shift will force educators to abandon some types of assignments that they’ve relied on for years. “After we’ve dealt with the growing pains,” added Matt Miller, a former teacher and creator of Ditch That Textbook, “I think it’ll bring an end to certain types of mindless, irrelevant, inauthentic learning activities.”

Attendees at this year’s Future of Education Technology® Conference in New Orleans will find plenty of insight into ChatGPT’s classroom potential. Here’s a rundown of the key sessions:

  • Chat GPT and Artificial Intelligence in Education: Advances in AI will force teachers to seriously consider redefining writing and research assignments. The good news for teachers and educational leaders is that technology can be used to enhance learning. Presenters: Holly Clark, The Infused Classroom, and Ken Shelton, Elevate Education.
  • Artificial Intelligence in Education: What Do We Need to Know? Learn how AI is being used in education and its implications for the future. Hear how educators from different backgrounds are working with the technology and walk away with a better understanding of how to teach students about AI and the ethical considerations of the technology. Presenter: Rachelle Dene Poth, Spanish and STEAM teacher and consultant.
  • STEM+CS+AI = Equity for All: Educators from Florida’s Putnam County School District will detail their K-12 STEM initiative and highlight an artificial intelligence industry partnership. The initiative provides students with in- and out-of-school STEM opportunities and prioritizes professional development. Presenters: Michael Helms, STEM specialist, Putnam County School District; Rick Surrency, superintendent, Putnam County School District; Kathleen Schofield, executive director of STEM2Hub, Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub.
  • How Artificial Intelligence Can Bring Girls to STEM: Recent advances in online tools have made it possible for kids to build AIs for everything from medicine to art. AI has also brought up challenges such as bias, privacy concerns, and environmental impacts. This presentation will cover the aspects of AI that are particularly appealing to girls, such as project-based learning and the ability to directly help their communities. Presenter: Nisha Talagala, teacher, AIClub.
  • Does AI Have a Place in the Classroom? Millions of people are now experimenting with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which can create impressively human-sounding content, including writing entire essays or papers for students. Get an AI expert’s perspective on the challenges and opportunities AI is now offering K-12 education. ChatGPT described this session like this: “Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the role of artificial intelligence in education. As AI continues to advance, it is increasingly being integrated into various aspects of the classroom. But what are the potential benefits and drawbacks of using AI in education? How can we ensure that AI is used ethically and inclusively in the classroom? And what does the future of AI in education look like? Come to this session to hear experts weigh in on these questions and more, and to share your own insights on the topic.”

FETC 2023

The Future of Education Technology® Conference takes place live and in person Jan. 23-26, 2023, in New Orleans. Register now!

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.

Most Popular