By Deborah Taylor
Rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI, have caught U.S. schools off guard. Concerns about student cheating have led many school districts to impose restrictions on the use of AI in classrooms. However, other developed countries have taken a different approach, harnessing AI to personalize education, enhance language instruction, and assist teachers with tasks like grading.
Countries like Singapore, South Korea, India, Finland, and China are investing in AI to transform education. Singapore’s “Smart Nation” strategy aims to leverage AI to customize and improve education for every student. South Korea has introduced AI-based systems to tailor homework and assignments based on students’ educational levels. In India, ed tech company Embibe uses AI to explain complex math and science concepts. In Finland, AI is integrated into the education system through free online coursework and immediate feedback platforms like ViLLE. Meanwhile, in China, the government supports adaptive tutoring platforms that focus on improving standardized test performance.
Countries are also investing in AI teacher preparation programs and curriculum development. Singapore is working on building AI literacy among students and teachers, providing training on AI in education. South Korea aims to include AI coursework in its national curriculum, starting with high school. Finland’s AI in Learning project focuses on promoting equity and quality in education through the ethical use of AI. China, however, prioritizes performance over ethical considerations and equitable access.
These countries understand the importance of evidence-driven practices and have invested in research centers to support the effective use of AI in education. They have also developed guidelines and regulations for AI implementation in schools. Unfortunately, the U.S. is lagging behind in this aspect.
To catch up, the U.S. government should consider incorporating AI considerations into its National Educational Technology Plan. This would involve addressing how states and districts can minimize risks and maximize opportunities related to AI. Providing guidance on preparing teachers and students for the AI-driven future would contribute to a broader strategy of preparing U.S. students for success in the AI economy.