Brief Introduction to Educational Implications of Artificial Intelligence
Moursund, David G.
This book is designed to help preservice and inservice teachers learn about some of the educational implications of current uses of Artificial Intelligence as an aid to solving problems and accomplishing tasks. Humans and their predecessors have developed a wide range of tools to help solve the types of problems that they face. Such tools embody some of the knowledge and skills of those who discover, invent, design, and build the tools. Because of this, in some sense a tool user gains in knowledge and skill by learning to make use of tools. This document uses the term “tool” in a very broad sense. It includes the stone ax, the flint knife, reading and writing, arithmetic and other math, the hoe and plough, the telescope, microscope, and other scientific instruments, the steam engine and steam locomotive, the bicycle, the internal combustion engine and automobile, and so on. It also includes the computer hardware, software, and connectivity that we lump together under the title Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of the field of computer and information science. It focuses on developing hardware and software systems that solve problems and accomplish tasks that—if accomplished by humans—would be considered a display of intelligence. The field of AI includes studying and developing machines such as robots, automatic pilots for airplanes and space ships, and “smart” military weapons. Europeans tend to use the term machine intelligence (MI) instead of the term AI. The theory and practice of AI is leading to the development of a wide range of artificially intelligent tools. These tools, sometimes working under the guidance of a human and sometimes without external guidance, are able to solve or help solve a steadily increasing range of problems. Over the past 50 years, AI has produced a number of results that are important to students, teachers, our overall educational system, and to our society. This short book provides an overview of AI from K-12 education and teacher education points of view. It is designed specifically for preservice and inservice teachers and school administrators. However, educational aides, parents, school site council members, school board members, and others who are interested in education will find this booklet to be useful. This book is designed for self-study, for use in workshops, for use in a short course, and for use as a unit of study in a longer course on ICT in education. It contains a number of ideas for immediate application of the content, and it contains a number of activities for use in workshops and courses. An appendix contains suggestions for Project-Based Learning activities suitable for educators and students.