How one Hawaiʻi Island teacher is setting an example for AI in classrooms – Hawaiipublicradio

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It takes Sam Anderson-Moxley about five minutes to grade each student’s paper. But with a whole class, sometimes it can take him up to 10 hours.

“As a teacher, there’s just not enough hours in the day,” he said.

To speed up the work, Anderson-Moxley, who is a teacher at West Hawaii Explorations Academy, launched an artificial intelligence tool called Roborubrics this year.

The AI application allows teachers to give feedback to their students quickly. It’s an add-on for Google Docs, where teachers can create rubrics or guidelines for evaluating an assignment.

Sam Anderson-Moxley is the lead engineer of Roborubrics.

“What would have taken me between 8 to 10 hours is now taking me less than one hour,” he said, adding that the AI application helps teachers grade 10 times faster while being user-friendly.

AI has been used in various educational settings, from K-12 to universities. Although some educators have raised concerns about its use, others have embraced the software as a learning tool.

Some hesitation came from the launch of ChatGPT, an AI-powered tool that seemingly answers any prompt, as students have been said to use it to cheat on their assignments.

“A little over a year ago, large language models didn’t really work, then ChatGPT launched and it really has changed society,” Anderson-Moxley said. “It’s been at the forefront of educators’ thoughts for a while.”

Amid the rapid growth and use of AI, Mid-Pacific Institute on Oʻahu formed a panel of administrators and industry experts to develop suggestions for AI’s place in K-12 education.

Last year, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education restricted students from using ChatGPT in the classroom, while administrators and faculty could still access it.

Winston Sakurai, the director of the DOE’s curriculum innovation branch, said the department has been training thousands of educators from various public schools on using AI as a teaching method.

According to Sakurai, the training will continue into the summer, and by fall, they will come up with recommendations to allow students access to more AI applications.

He said AI has endless possibilities in classrooms, as some educators use it as an advanced Google search to create lesson plans and a new curriculum on how to engage with students. In addition, students have used AI as a tutor or to receive information on how to outline their essays.

But he cautions students, educators, and administrators when using AI to double-check their work.

“Because it’s a new technology, it’s not quite accurate,” Sakurai said. “And having that human be a part of the process is super important.”

Jon Pennington, Mid-Pac’s educational technologist who sits on the advisory board, said one guideline the council came up with is to be transparent when AI is used, whether it’s faculty or students. Other guidelines ask students to check their work after seeing AI-generated information.

“When you’re working with AI specifically with text, to always undergo that critical process of looking at what the AI is generating,” he said. “And seeing if it’s right for your intended purpose, your intended audience and taking time not only to evaluate what it’s providing you, but also modifying it so it’s the best fit.”

Pennington said teachers have been using AI more, specifically Adobe Firefly, a text-to-image AI generator that produces social media posts, flyers and other graphics.

He said an art teacher at Mid-Pac had used the Adobe tool with her students as a reference to create art and come up with ideas.

Although some educators may still be hesitant to adopt AI in their teaching practices, Anderson-Moxley said students will use these tools more for learning in the future.

“It’s kind of our responsibility as educators to learn how they work and learn how to use them to benefit us so that we can educate our students,” he said. “Because they’re going to be growing up in a world where these tools are even more common.”

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