6 states have policies for AI in education: More need to follow their lead

By: Sarah Roberts

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In North Carolina, teachers can now place a colorful chart on their wall that lets students know how they can use generative AI for different types of assignments. The rating system runs from no AI to partnering with the tool to complete their work as efficiently as possible. Five other states, California, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia also took early steps to provide educators guidance on how to incorporate this new technology into their courses.

For the states that jumped to address generative AI’s role in their schools, ignoring the tool or banning it wasn’t an option. After all, some projections indicate that by next year, AI will cause 85 million job losses, and create another 95 million jobs. The winners will be those who learn to work with generative AI. For students entering the job market after this AI boom, there will be an assumption that they know how to use the technology. Neglecting to teach them how would be a huge disservice. At the same time, educators know that unleashing AI without guidance or oversight would be detrimental, too. As a result, these states are putting rules in place and offering ways to use tools like ChatGPT, or Verbit’s Gen.V in the classroom more effectively.

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North Carolina’s Helpful AI Assignment Chart

Educators in North Carolina knew that banning AI wasn’t an option and that students would find ways to use it even if their instructors told them not to. To improve the chances of students using it correctly, they set out to create clear guidelines about how students can use these tools, and the ways they need to disclose that use. Here is a summary of the five levels:

Students should not use any AI for the project at all. For these assignments, students need to rely on their own knowledge and may need to sign an academic honesty pledge.

Students can use AI for planning, brainstorming or coming up with ideas to improve their work, but no AI-generated content can appear in the finished product. Teachers may require that students disclose the ways they used AI and provide links to their chats.

AI can be used for editing and improving student’s work, but not for creating new content. Again, students will need to provide a disclosure statement and links to their chats.

Teachers can specify certain parts of the project that students can complete using AI. Students need to cite all AI-generated content properly in MLA format and submit links to their chats.

Teachers will permit any use of AI to complete the assignment, but students must oversee the output, cite properly in MLA format and provide links to their chats.

With the clear guidance of teachers and the chart, students can tap into generative AI without risking accusations of plagiarism or academic dishonesty. It seems likely that similar charts will soon appear in classrooms across the country.

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How Washington Leaned on ChatGPT to Create a Policy

Washington’s Peninsula School District was one of the first in the country to develop a policy surrounding the use of generative AI in education. The district’s executive director for digital learning, Kris Hagel, is transparent about the fact that he used ChatGPT when drafting the policy.

However, he didn’t just lean on ChatGPT to complete all the work. Hagel gathered up all the information he thought was important and relevant and put it into his chat. Then, he asked ChatGPT to create a draft. Next, he put in several pieces of his own writing and instructed the AI to create another draft using his voice. That became his first draft of the policy. Importantly, he and several people on the teaching and learning staff reviewed, edited and added to the policy to create the final product.

Once they were happy with the results they shared them. Hagel is now telling others to take advantage of that policy to create ones for their districts. He’s adamant schools need to act now because with technology developing so fast, they’re not going to want to play catch-up. Also, he pointed out that students who graduate before their school starts teaching them about AI will be at a disadvantage.

Ohio Turns to AI as a Tool for Economic Success

Last month, Ohio’s government published a new AI toolkit for educators, parents and students in the state. The Lt. Gov., Jon Husted, spoke at one of Ohio’s high schools about how AI and students with AI skills could help make the state the economic leader in the Midwest.

The toolkit will help educators by offering materials about what AI is, tools that teachers and students should investigate, ethical considerations, activities for classes and a project-based learning course.

While the government and many educators are enthusiastic about the possibilities AI is creating for students, education and the economy, they’re also realistic about its potential drawbacks. Some major concerns include misinformation, data security and student privacy. However, with the right safeguards in place, leaders in the state believe that AI will be a net positive for Ohio.

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Leveraging AI that’s Built for Education

Verbit relies on its in-house proprietary AI to support accessibility initiatives at schools and universities with high-quality captioning and transcription solutions. Now, those using Verbit’s platform also have access to generative AI tools that are tailored for educational purposes. Verbit’s Gen.V can turn lecture transcripts into helpful study resources like quizzes, summaries and even poems. Using these innovative solutions will help instructors teach more effectively and students learn in more engaging, entertaining ways.

Reach out to Verbit to learn more about how our accessibility and technology solutions can help your educational institution better support students and instructors.