How will AI be taught in classrooms? These Bay Area teachers are integrating it into lessons

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
How will students learn about AI? Bay Area teachers are testing it out
A free classroom-ready resource aims to provide basic AI awareness for high school students in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- A free classroom-ready resource aims to provide basic AI awareness for high school students in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

Victor Lee, an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, wants to bring the conversation about AI into classrooms.

Lee and a team helped develop what's called CRAFT, a free, public curriculum resource for high school teachers regardless of subject.

The goal is to offer access and answer questions about AI, all from a reputable source.

"We're trying to democratize access to artificial intelligence as a body of knowledge so that way people are equally prepared having meaningful conversations about what AI is, how it works what sort of issues we should be thinking about to use it responsibly and safe," Lee said.

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Lee said they made a point to recruit 10 teachers to participate from a range of schools from the Bay Area and around the country. AI is a hot topic for high school students.

"They have a lot of questions and right now in a period where people are uncertain about what AI means for the world, what AI means for their future jobs, having that time and space and actual activities to go through to help them think through it," Lee said.

Jesse Bustos is one of the ten teachers integrating the AI resource into his lesson plans. Bustos teaches social studies and digital art at Sequoia High School in Redwood City.

"When you program a hiring AI system how is that going to affect who is employed? And we look at what are the bigger consequences on the economy. Who are the people left out of these decisions? And I think it's been a very eye-opening experience for me and my students and enjoyable," Bustos said.

The conversation has been productive in his digital art class.

"We are having conversations not just about the technical skills but also the ethics of using AI and the students get a chance to voice their opinions and be a part of that discussion," Bustos said.

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It's about empowering teachers and the next generation in the era of AI.

"It's really important to have an organization like Stanford with leading educators and leading AI experts to be able to work together and put this out and sort of not have a specific commercial interest tied with it- we just want to get the information out there," Lee said.

Teachers can take a part of a lesson or in their entirety.

"We had ten teachers working with us last year and a number of teachers have reached out this year who want to work on co-design cause we're going to continue to add more and more resources and units- some of them are already available freely on the internet but we hope to package it so it's more friendly for an educational setting," Lee said.

ABC7 asked Lee what some of the feedback on the curriculum they've received.

"You know I think students are really appreciative of the chance to talk about something that is all around them right now," Lee said.

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