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Exploring the Role of AI in Teacher Support

A group of students use an AI chatbot to help them on a class projectAI in education creates an excellent opportunity for teachers as well as a need to closely monitor its use by students. As the world quickly adapts to artificial intelligence technologies like chatbots, educators want to learn the best practices for AI in the classroom from experienced professionals in education and technology.

As part of its wide-ranging slate of professional development courses for educators, Fresno Pacific University offers a course that helps teachers quickly understand both the possibilities and potential challenges of using AI in education. ChatGPT Crash Course for Educators provides the latest information on safely using AI in the classroom.

It’s a timely course for teachers as digital innovations continue to transform how they approach various job tasks, from administrative work to creating lesson plans. When used correctly, AI-powered tools can augment teachers' abilities and empower them with innovative solutions.

Types of AI in Education

The term “AI’ covers a large variety of technological advances. According to a recent Federal Office of Educational Technology report, educational technology includes tools designed for educational use and general technologies that professionals find helpful in educational settings.

The AI system that falls into the latter category is chatbots. The chatbot receiving the most attention recently is ChatGPT, which can write in a natural, human-like voice and solve math and science problems.

Another popular example is intelligent tutoring systems that use AI algorithms to provide personalized instruction and feedback to students. These algorithms analyze a student's performance and adapt the content and pace of lessons accordingly. Also, AI-powered language learning apps use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to assess a student's pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary usage, providing real-time feedback.

Automated grading systems can assess assignments, quizzes and tests, recognize patterns and evaluate student responses. AI-driven virtual and augmented reality offers students immersive learning experiences.

The Office of Educational Technology report, while agreeing with the potential for AI, also advocates for creating policies that use AI to advance learning outcomes while protecting human decision-making and judgment. They also call for examining the underlying data quality in AI models to ensure fair and unbiased pattern recognition and decision-making, exploring how AI may increase or undermine equity for students and taking steps to safeguard and advance equity.

Benefits of AI in the Classroom

With such a vast array of technology becoming available recently, educators are still sorting out all the potential benefits. However, some areas have emerged in recent years.

One of the significant challenges faced by educators is catering to the diverse learning needs of their students. In a traditional classroom, creating lesson plans and activities for each student is sometimes daunting. This is where AI is a potential game-changer. Machine learning algorithms analyze vast amounts of data from student performance, learning styles and preferences, allowing teachers to tailor teaching strategies to suit each student's needs.

Contrary to concerns it might stifle creativity, AI can serve as a springboard for educators to explore new avenues of innovation. By managing repetitive tasks and offering data-driven insights, AI frees teachers to experiment with fresh strategies, project-based learning and interdisciplinary approaches.

That support for administrative tasks is one of the greatest potential benefits for educators, who often find themselves burdened with time-consuming administrative duties. Activities like grading assignments, tracking attendance and managing schedules can leave teachers with limited energy to focus on what they do best.

Fresno Pacific University’s ChatGPT Course for Education

The ChatGPT Crash Course for Educators introduces teachers to this groundbreaking AI tool, helping them gain a deeper understanding of its growing impact on education and the lives of students. The course covers topics crucial to educators, ranging from academic integrity and student success to adaptive learning and helping students bridge skill gaps.

Todd Vazquez, Ph.D., a seasoned coding expert with decades of experience, guides participants through this enlightening course. Vazquez, also an accomplished instructional designer, plays a pivotal role in shaping the online curriculum for Fresno Pacific University. His work includes contributing to the numerous professional development courses tailored for educators offered by Fresno Pacific University.

In addition to learning the best practices for using ChatGPT, teachers learn to craft integrity guidelines for chatbots in the classroom. They also delve into the spectrum of emotional states ChatGPT may cause in users. This insight further equips educators to adapt chatbots to the unique needs of students of various ages.

The course is a potent resource for educators who want to earn professional development credits while positioning themselves at the forefront of using AI chatbots in education.

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