Most educators say that teaching students on how to use tech tools powered by artificial intelligence—and understanding the potential pitfalls of the technology—should be a priority.
But only 1 in 10 say that they know enough basics about artificial intelligence to teach it or use it to some degree in their work. That’s according to a nationally representative sample of teachers, principals, and district leaders surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center in May and June of this year.
The survey results paint a picture of a profession that is keenly aware of how artificial intelligence is swiftly changing what students need to learn and how educators will do their jobs, but one that may not be fully prepared to meet these new demands.
Most telling is how few educators say they have received any professional development on how to incorporate AI into their work in K-12 education: Eighty-seven percent said they had received no such PD at the time of the survey.
It’s not hard to see why. Advances in artificial intelligence are happening rapidly. While AI is already used in schools—in adaptive assessments, translation services, and programs that plan bus routes, to name a few examples—the release of the free and easy-to-use AI tools ChatGPT 3 and DALL-EE late last year changed the state of play almost overnight. ChatGPT can write essays in seconds and even pass the standardized bar exam.
While ChatGPT led to early fears of students using the technology to cheat, generative AI—which can create text, audio, images, videos, and computer code with simple prompts—is fueling a surge of new uses and tools for educators. Teachers can ask ChatGPT to create a grading rubric for an assignment or use new AI-powered tools that can create an entire slide deck for a presentation on a given topic and grade in seconds. However, generative AI also poses a number of sticky ethical challenges around data privacy, disinformation, and bias.
Experts say that AI advances are poised to alter many industries—including K-12 education—and the jobs that today’s students will be asked to do in the future.
Following are three charts that illustrate in detail how teachers, principals, and district leaders view the importance of teaching AI, how they rate their own knowledge of the technology, and what, if any, training they have received on it.