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My Takeaways From a Week’s Worth of Sessions on AI

The diversity and depth of session topics at this year's conference have been impressive. Among the topics conference goers were most abuzz about was AI. It seems to be on everyone's mind. I spoke to hundreds of people this week in my role as superintendent/conference blogger. I didn't sense that AI is feared. In fact, I sensed the complete opposite. AI is becoming embraced as a tool that can be leveraged to improve productivity, operational efficiency, and student achievement. Much of what I heard from the presenters and their audiences was that we are on the verge of a revolution in education and AI will be the catalyst that will ultimately lead education to the technological promise land. Here's a list of my takeaways:

  1. Don't put the cart before the horse. Before drafting policies and creating curriculum, begin a conversation with everyone who has a vested interest in AI's success.
  2. AI takes things off a teacher's plate, not the opposite. See 7 education tools here.
  3. Establish collaborative, interdisciplinary partnerships that encourage responsible AI development, deployment, and usage.
  4. Join networks such as the EdSAFE AI Alliance that are dedicated to integrating AI in education.
  5. AI has a high level of consumer consciousness. Educators must in turn be consumer centric and institutionally agile enough to respond to consumer needs.
  6. Consider working with experts such as InnovateEDU to partner with to accelerate innovation towards radically different trajectories for all learners.
  7. Adopt standards for leaders, coaches, and teachers such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to guide the creation of high-impact, sustainable, scalable and equitable learning experiences for students and staff.
  8. Look towards Education Reimagined and other guidebooks to provide an on-ramp for using the ISTE Standards to guide systemic change.
  9. Experiment with Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Claude and Midjourney, and a host of other tools to rethink technology and redesign how students and educators learn.
  10. Lead boldly towards developing a culture of change by providing the conditions for innovations such as AI to take root in schools.
  11. Do not do nothing. Don't wait for AI to force your hand. Lead everyone in your purview towards it.

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