Talking With Instructional Coaches About AI
- April 12, 2023
- Thomas Thompson
Recently I sat down with three instructional coaches who host the “Coaching Collaborative Podcast.” While two of our founders, Thomas Hummel and I, are at the time of writing this post, public school teachers, we still value sitting down with educators, administrators, and policymakers at all levels to discuss and better understand the role of AI and Generative Educational Resources in the classroom.
In reflecting on the conversation, there are a number of takeaways that warrant a closer look. The first is regarding the uncomfortable nature of change in the face of the unknown. To this, I think a little bit of fear and hesitancy about the role of AI and the emerging technologies springing from it is a good thing. We want to ensure that the implementation of AI in education is open, democratic, and with granular control going to teachers who may best shape the many sophisticated AI tools they will have to contend with to suit their unique classroom needs. In other words, we shouldn’t be hasty, but measured. As the Latin writer Publilius Syrus put it, “a hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.” When the learning and development of individuals is the aim, the tools to aid those processes must be effective.
Some of the other topics discussed in the podcast are how to prompt large language models such that their outputs align with instructional methods in appropriate circumstances. Again, this is where we must understand AI as a tool, and not a static solution. A human is needed to fine-tune broadly effective materials to the diverse needs of learners.
You can access the conversation where these ideas and more are discussed wherever you get podcasts, or through the podcast player below.