Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Innovation in Ed Tech: School of Education to demystify AI at Summit

Dr. Nicol Howard at the MLK Peace Walk

Artificial intelligence can be exciting and frightening. While offering solutions, the technology has also sparked discussion around authenticity and best practices. Hoping to further that discussion, Dr. Nicol Howard, dean of the University of Redlands School of Education, will moderate a panel focused on AI in education and counseling.

“There is a learning curve for these tools,” Howard said. “The summit will provide a space for us to look at where we are and do some level setting around artificial intelligence.”

Panelists include Howard’s former doctoral candidates, Drs. Nyree Clark and Sonal Patel. Clark, an equity and access coordinator for the Colton unified school district, is currently working with administrators to implement AI into the classroom.

“Students, parents, and families face barriers in education,” Clark said. “There have been huge initiatives on using artificial intelligence with our English language learners. It can help these students with writing, speaking, or formulating thoughts into a template for an assignment.”

Similarly, Patel, program manager of digital learning for the San Bernardino County superintendent for schools, hopes to share policies that she and leadership teams have been working on.

“When it comes to AI, we don’t want to leave students behind,” Patel said. “At times we have to consider a learner’s holistic story.”

Patel has been focused on using technology to personalize student learning necessities. Serving a diverse population means being attentive and aware of all learners. Accessing AI tools may not look the same for students with disabilities. Though the technology may be tremendously beneficial, Patel wants to reassure everyone that it is not an end-all-be-all solution.

“Artificial intelligence will not have all the answers,” Patel said. “No technology can fully replicate the depth of human understanding, the richness of our emotional intelligence, and have the innate capacity for empathy and creativity that define the human experience.”

The panelists plan to demystify AI and hope that attendees will leave with more awareness and understanding, albeit a critical eye for the technology. University of Redlands will host the AI in Education & Counseling Summit at 4 p.m., February 23 in the Casa Loma Room at the main Redlands campus. The free event is the second in the School of Education’s Centennial Celebration. RSVP to the event here.