Jordan School District pilot program teaches students how to use AI
Sep 6, 2023, 7:33 PM
WEST JORDAN CITY, Utah — Artificial Intelligence in the classroom can be a very touchy subject and is not always welcome. However, the Jordan School District is embracing the new technology in a big way by participating in a new Artificial Intelligence pilot program with a company out of American Fork.
For 9th-grade science teacher Andrew Holmes at West Jordan Middle School, the AI program is like giving him a new assistant in the classroom.
“I’m stoked! It’s going to change how I teach,” Holmes said. “I think it’s going to allow me to be able to do my job better.”
With this new AI program, Andrew can ask any science question such as, “I am still confused about the white blood cells, can you teach me more”. Immediately an in-depth and lengthy answer appeared on the computer screen.
The program can also build elaborate lesson plans and activities on whatever topic he wants.
Holmes set all the parameters. He input the subject matter, the grade level, and even what state. That way it does not bring in other outside resources that are not needed or too difficult for students to understand. When it’s rolled out to students in the coming month it will also give them feedback on their assignments.
“The kids can take their work before they turn it in to me run it through the AI that I’ve set up and preloaded and it will give them feedback before I even have a chance to. I have 200 students, it’s not realistic for me to give timely feedback to every single kid by the end of class,” Holmes said.
It was back in May when the Jordan School district teamed up with a company out of American Fork called School AI to try out the pilot program. Right now, 500 teachers are using it with 100 of them giving feedback to the company.
School district superintendent Dr. Anthony Godfrey is sold on it.
“When we had calculators come out, we were worried students weren’t going to learn math anymore. When the internet came out, we were worried the internet was going to replace everything in schools. Now we have artificial intelligence. We want AI to be a tool students can use to get to deeper learning,” he said.
Jared Covili is the administrator who handles all the digital teaching and learning in the district.
“I think everybody is excited about this. We get to decide what websites the bot can pull information from, we get to decide how far can it go as a peer tutor,” he said. “We want students creating original work. We don’t want computers writing students assignments, but at the same time there are no set rules on whether you can use computers or technology to help you in that process.