In the Star Trek series that began in 1966, it was the team’s mission to seek out new life and new civilizations. Along the way, they found exactly what they were looking for, which included strange and new ways of doing things. I was always fascinated by the new creatures and their interesting way of life as well as the starship crew’s reaction to them. In each episode, you watch their struggle against each other and how they resolve to understand and learn from each encounter.
Technology’s Cautions and Catapults
It is much like what we face today. As our technology expands, it brings with it a mixture of human emotions and rightly so. The key is our determination to examine it carefully, looking for where we should exercise caution, especially when it comes to students and AI, and the ways it can catapult us to greater achievements.
At the beginning of Google, it was a new and powerful way to find information fast. I don’t think anyone would argue that this has made life easier. ChatGPT is even faster and more organized. The new artificial intelligence (AI) tools, like anything else, can be used inappropriately. One concern is the heightened temptation to cheat on essays. As a result, there are already tools to detect “AI” use, however what I have found is there is no replacement for the human touch when writing a story. After reading several samples created by AI, it was clear to me that something was missing.
Artificial intelligence is not going away. Locking it and blocking it won’t solve the potential problems. It is best to embrace it with wisdom and caution.
Help students understand that their thoughts matter and that developing critical thinking skills gives them a voice and we want to hear from them!
Create and communicate a school usage policy that provides clear expectations; what is and is not allowed as well as the consequences for misuse.
Remember, these are tools, and you are the master.
It is up to us to provide personal guidance to our students on how to maximize the use of these new instruments. There are, after all, machines with no moral compass upon which to draw when gathering information. What students need most is a trusted guide in you.
Navigating Human Connection and Artificial Intelligence
Here is where we land the starship every time. The human factor can’t be replicated. There is no replacement for human connection and the human touch.
The number one factor impacting youth suicide and depression rates is relationships with trusted adults. Our number one job as educators is to forge these important developmental relationships with our students. It is only through this connection that we may impart the knowledge and wisdom that our children so desperately need.
Practical Ways to Build Relationships with Students
Building these relationships takes time. This school year don’t rush into content until you have taken time to get to know your students personally. Follow this development framework by Search Institute.
Express Care Beyond Curriculum
Start each day with a designated sharing activity. Ease into the day by demonstrating that they matter more than anything else. End the day with a “take away” by asking each student to ponder and recount the best thing that happened or the most valuable thing they learned.
Challenge Student Growth in All Areas — Not Just AI Responsibility
Children want to rise to the expectations of adults they know and trust. Set the bar high.
Provide Support as They Navigate the Changing World
Help children by showing them HOW to attain their goals and new expectations.
Share Power by Introducing Opportunities with Technology
Demonstrate that you believe in them by giving them the opportunity to discuss classroom and/or family standards regarding the use of technology and make decisions together.
Share and connect students with opportunities and ideas that broaden their mindset.
Childhood is so important. The late Frederick Douglas said it best, "It is easier to build strong children than to fix a broken man.”
Let the spaceship fly deep into the expanse of the human ability to create new technologies and tools; but stay grounded in the knowledge that we are the irreplaceable masterpiece of the universe. We are made in the very image of the great creator God who made it all.
Their future – your influence – our tools! Want to know more?
Prep4Success Curriculum is specifically designed to provide you with the tools to connect to your students as you explore timely important developmental topics together. You can inspire, you just need the right tools. Join us!