AI in Pittsburgh-area schools: How are districts handling this powerful new tool?

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This story was originally published by Kidsburgh.org, a media partner of PublicSource. Kidsburgh is an online resource for families that highlights stories about the people, organizations and events making Pittsburgh a better place to raise all kids. Sign up for Kidsburgh’s free e-newsletter.

At Belle Vernon Area School District, students in Daneen Watson’s Spanish 1 class use the words and phrases they’re learning to correct paragraphs written in the language they’re trying to master. Working in groups, they comb through Spanish sentences and find errors, discussing what they find and how best to rewrite it.

Students have used this method to learn a foreign language for generations. But something decidedly 21st-century is happening in Watson’s classroom: These paragraphs were written not by a human, but by the artificial intelligence system ChatGPT.

At New Kensington-Arnold School District, administrators and teachers observed a second grade lesson in reading comprehension in which teachers helped the class input their own text and artwork using ChatGPT and starryai. The ideas they developed, channeled through the quickly evolving tools of AI, allowed the students to produce a book they titled, “Miss Fabulous Loves Her Coffee,” about the day in the life of their teacher.

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Image: freepik