Nov 7, 2023 - Education

Oregon schools issue guidance on artificial intelligence

Illustration of a test sheet with bubbles filled with letters A and I inside

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Oregon is just one of two states to issue policy guidance for schools on artificial intelligence platforms such as ChatGPT, a new report finds.

Why it matters: Teachers and administrators are eager for guidelines on how to use AI — and how to quash misuse. But the field is moving so rapidly that governments have been loath to issue pronouncements.

Driving the news: The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), a nonpartisan research center at Arizona State University, asked each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to share their approach to AI guidance.

  • Only California and Oregon issued official guidance for the current school year.
  • 11 states are currently developing guidance: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington.
  • 21 said they didn't plan to offer guidance for the foreseeable future, and 17 didn't respond.

Zoom in: Oregon educators addressed the potential risks and innovation opportunities of using generative AI in classrooms in a report released in August.

  • The report, published by the Oregon Department of Education, encompasses everything from how AI could be used in school operations (scheduling, lesson planning, instructional support via virtual assistance) to how to identify plagiarism and copyright infringement.
  • Current guidance put forth by Oregon educators states, "Generative AI alone will not transform educational opportunities for students."
  • If used, however, it should be within a robust "educational technology ecosystem that centers relationships and mental health, pedagogy, and practice, and high-quality instructional materials."

The bottom line: AI is developing faster than school districts can establish training programs and guidelines — and while state guidelines may prove helpful, they're not likely to be the final word.

  • "We are hearing from our superintendents that it is a huge, ongoing, and constantly evolving conversation," Noelle Ellerson Ng, associate executive director, advocacy and government for AASA, the School Superintendents Association, told Axios.

Go deeper: How states are guiding schools to think about AI


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