A Parent’s Guide to AI

Parent's guide to AI

Parents, let’s talk about artificial intelligence (AI). There’s a lot in the news about it and, just to tackle the elephant in the room, the likelihood that students may be using it to cheat. But have you heard about, when used responsibly, how much it can help your children succeed in school? AI is a powerful tool and its presence in education will only grow, that’s why it’s important that you sit down with your kids, encourage the use of AI as a tool, and mentor them in using it ethically. In this article, we’ll be discussing how you can start the conversation on AI in your home and help your children leverage it to achieve greater outcomes. 

Understand What AI Is

Before teaching kids how to use AI responsibly, it is crucial to understand what AI is and how it works. Artificial intelligence is a computer system that can perform tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation. The majority of AI currently available requires a specific and detailed command to provide the necessary requested information. The more specific the command is, the better the result. 

Most experts believe that it won’t be long before AI replaces search engines because instead of searching for a page with the info you need, you can just ask the AI and receive the exact answer, with no browsing necessary. This is why many fear students will use it to cheat due to how easy it seems to get answers. But first, let’s weigh the challenges and benefits of using AI.

Pros & Cons

First, the challenges:

  • Most AI struggle with providing accurate, correct answers for most STEM courses.
    • The majority of AI available have a low accuracy rate when it comes to providing STEM answers. That’s why, unless it’s an AI that’s designed to provide detailed STEM explanations like ours, most students shouldn’t use it for these classes.
  • AI is a tool. While it’s incredibly powerful, a tool is only truly useful in the hands of those who understand how to use it. 
    • This is a greater danger than simple cheating. If you don’t teach your kids how to use it responsibly, or if you ban its use altogether, the results could be disastrous. Your kids will likely find a way to use it and, due to their lack of training with AI, will likely end up having it backfire on them. 

When used correctly your kids stand to make tremendous academic gains. They can use it to organize their assignments, break down projects into smaller tasks, gain a deeper understanding of core class concepts, and more. Even better, some AI (like our AI tutor, Ace!), when given the correct data and information, will be able to tailor its responses to suit your child’s strengths and even create customized learning plans to address any areas of concern!

The benefits of using AI far outweigh the potential consequences but it starts with you sitting down and starting the dialogue with your child on AI. Guide them on its ethical use and show them how it can be used to drive understanding instead of spitting out answers. Lastly, as we said, it’s a tool, not a crutch, and should be used as such to help your child achieve their academic goals and more. 

The Benefits of AI

A Judgement-Free Study Partner

One of the main reasons students aren’t likely to ask questions in class, regardless of comprehension, is simply because they don’t want to feel foolish. We can all go back and remember the awkward years of high school and how, at the time, your reputation felt like everything. 

Furthermore, many students will often resort to sending last-minute, late-night texts to classmates for homework help (almost a right of passage for many). An AI tutor shines here, eliminating much of the shame altogether by providing a safe, judgment-free learning space. They can ask as many questions as they want and even ask the AI tutor to explain concepts in simpler terms! It truly provides a learning experience tailored to your child’s needs, with no emergency texts necessary!

Develop an Understanding > Getting an Answer

As we said earlier, an AI tutor can go a long way in helping students form a true understanding of topics and concepts in class. This is something we have a lot of experience with considering we developed the world’s first AI tutor right here at Numerade.

Many similar online tutoring services are simply serving up homework answers and we sought to do something different. Instead of peddling answers, we wanted to improve student comprehension and understanding of core STEM concepts. We’ve known since day one that AI would play a significant role in improving student comprehension. The main reason? Well, no two students learn the same way and an AI can instantly adjust its explanations to adapt to students’ individual learning methods. An AI can learn about what your child struggles with and not only provide step-by-step explanations to address it but, also create a targeted plan of study to ensure your child will gain full comprehension. 

Interested in seeing how we’re improving comprehension through AI? Check out our AI tutor, Ace today!  

How to Encourage Ethical AI Usage

Promote Critical Thinking

Before your child even begins using AI you should encourage them to think critically about the information they find online. Teach them how to question their sources and how to verify the facts. Once you establish the baseline for responsible internet use, they’ll be able to make better use of AI. Remember before when we said most AI work better with specific prompts? This is where critical thinking comes into play because, by teaching your child to be more specific with their requests, they’ll be able to get higher-quality results from an AI. 

Lead by Example

Finally, lead by example. Show your kids how to use AI responsibly by doing it yourself. For example, if you are using a digital assistant, make sure your kids see you using prompts that drive comprehension over instant gratification. Additionally, allow them to see you setting limits on the number of requests made and show them how you make use of your new understanding provided by the AI (could be working on a project, writing emails and blog posts, or more!).

The Wrap-Up

In conclusion, AI is an essential part of our lives and its use will only grow as it becomes increasingly complex. However, regardless of how complex an AI is, it is essential to teach kids how to use it responsibly. By explaining what AI is, the risks associated with its misuse, and how to use it responsibly, you can help your kids leverage AI for greater academic results.

Author

  • Rob Shield

    Rob Shield is based out of Columbus, Ohio. As Numerade's copywriter, Rob uses their extensive background in education to inform and shape the topics and content posted to the blog for educators, parents, and students alike.