March 21, 2022 | By Rebecca Banks
Through an educator-industry partnership between Digital Promise and Merlyn Mind, seven practitioners have the opportunity to share feedback on cutting edge technology and engage in critical conversations on the broader use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom.
As educators continue to adopt and broaden their use of classroom technology tools, a new dilemma has surfaced: how to coordinate and manage these different tools. Orchestrating the technology created to make classroom instruction clearer and more efficient can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting. Merlyn Mind, a partner of Digital Promise, has created a new digital assistant device specifically for classrooms, designed to save educators time, alleviate techno-stressors, and enable teachers to focus on what matters most: their students.
The team at Merlyn Mind centered educators’ voices in the research and development of their product from the start, partnering with Digital Promise and the University of California, Irvine, to research and learn from educators’ experience using the product. This year, they formed their first Practitioner Advisory Board that includes seven educators, all of whom are passionate about AI’s effective implementation in the classroom.
Beyond testing and determining the practical use of the digital assistant device, the seven-member practitioner board will also consider issues endemic to the adoption of AI. Student privacy, feasibility of implementation, and equitable use are top of mind for educators as they consider AI as a classroom management solution.
Grace Magley, practitioner advisory board member and the director of digital learning for Natick Public Schoolsin Massachusetts, expresses concern “about the online systems we use in our district and wonder about the barriers they may be causing our students.” She also acknowledged that historically, AI has often reflected its human creator’s biases or discriminatory ideas: “I feel that AI is not being monitored or regulated to be free of implicit bias and I worry about how it is being developed and used. This is motivating me to ask questions and want to be part of making the tools and assessments more meaningful to me.”
Introducing the AI Practitioner Board
Want to know more about AI in the classroom? Find more resources here:
By Lisa Jobson