What teachers say about AI in the classroom – Forbes Advisor

Applications of AI

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In recent years, the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) has had an impact on society, both economically and culturally. This rapidly evolving technology has become as ubiquitous as email and is transforming many aspects of our daily lives, including the way we teach and learn.

In October 2023, Forbes Advisor surveyed 500 active educators across the U.S. about their experiences with using AI in the classroom. Respondents represented teachers at all stages of their careers, and the survey results provide a glimpse into how artificial intelligence is impacting education.

What is AI?

Before we dive into the capabilities of AI in education, let's define this technology in layman's terms. Artificial intelligence enables machines to perform tasks that traditionally required human cognition. AI-powered programs and devices can make decisions, solve problems, understand and mimic natural language, and learn from unstructured data.

AI first came to the attention of many with OpenAI's release of its natural language processing chatbot ChatGPT in fall 2022. But AI tools have been part of the tech industry for years. If you've ever played chess with a bot, consulted a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa, or scrolled through your social media feed, you've already interacted with artificial intelligence.

What is the function of AI in education?

We are still learning how AI technologies will be integrated into education as they develop, and we don't yet have a full picture of how AI will affect important issues like ethics, fairness, and data safety. However, some key uses of artificial intelligence in education have already been identified:

AI-powered educational games

Teachers have long recognized the value of play-based learning, and schools have used educational computer games since the early days of computer gaming, such as “Oregon Trail,” which was first released in 1974. Today's AI-powered games can provide targeted learning, thanks to user-responsive programming.

Adaptive Learning Platform

Educational technology leaders such as Carnegie Learning and Knewton offer adaptive platforms that customize learning activities and content in real time. Continuous assessment allows for instant feedback, helping the system adjust its approach. Adaptive learning methodologies range from simple rule-based systems to multifaceted machine learning algorithms.

Automatic marking and feedback system

By automating grading, planning and administrative tasks, artificial intelligence systems can free up teachers' time and effort and increase contact with students – a common argument in favor of using AI in the classroom.

Chatbots for student support

Many higher education institutions use university chatbots to support learners by answering enrollment inquiries, connecting students to course information and student services, delivering reminders, etc. Other chatbots help students brainstorm ideas, improve their writing skills, and optimize their study time.

Intelligent Teaching System

Intelligent tutoring systems, often focused on a single subject such as math or language, simulate the experience of learning one-on-one with a human tutor – examples include the Duolingo app and Khan Academy's Khanmigo tutoring system.

The impact of AI on education

More than half of teachers responding to a Forbes Advisor survey said they believe AI is having a positive impact on the teaching and learning process, while less than one in five said it is having a negative impact.

60% of educators use AI in their classrooms

AI tools that assist teachers and students are growing in popularity, and our research found that younger teachers are more likely to adopt these tools, with usage highest among respondents under the age of 26.

Common AI tools used in the classroom

Teachers use AI-powered educational games more frequently than other AI tools, but adaptive learning platforms and automated marking and feedback systems are also popular.

Concerns over AI in education

As AI adoption in classrooms soars, students, teachers, and schools must grapple with how to use these technologies responsibly. Chatbots like ChatGPT have sparked controversy among educators, who say they may encourage cheating or generate misinformation. Additionally, experts and observers have raised important questions about data privacy, algorithmic bias, and access disparities associated with AI.

Teachers worry about cheating and a lack of interpersonal relationships in the classroom

Academic misconduct tops educators' concerns about AI in education. Teachers are also concerned that increased use of AI will mean learners have less human contact.

The most common ways AI cheats

Most of the teachers we surveyed had observed students cheating using AI, particularly generative AI that can write essays and provide answers on request.

The Future of AI in Education

In response to the growing presence of AI in education, organizations such as the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and UNESCO are calling for a transparent, human-centered approach to the use of these technologies.

ED encourages prioritizing educator perspectives in developing AI solutions that enhance and support, rather than replace, the traditional role of teachers. Together with state agencies such as the California Department of Education, UNESCO is promoting AI in education policies with an equity focus, aimed at reducing technology gaps within communities and across the world.

Leading AI companies have taken note of the education sector’s specific needs and concerns regarding the responsible use of artificial intelligence and have begun adapting their products to address these factors.

For example, OpenAI introduced ChatGPT Edu, a version of ChatGPT designed for higher education institutions, in May 2024. This iteration of the popular platform has enhanced security and privacy, doesn't use conversations or data to train Open AI models, and offers education-related features such as document summarization and the ability for students and instructors to build and share customized GPT models.

Although artificial intelligence is raising new concerns in the education sector, most teachers we surveyed have a positive outlook for the future.

Teachers want more training on understanding and ethical use of AI

98% of survey respondents recognize the need for at least some education on the ethical use of AI, with over 60% recommending comprehensive education.

Educators don't expect AI to become central to education

Nearly all of the teachers we surveyed expect artificial intelligence to continue to impact the classroom, but most don't see it playing a central role.


Education professionals today are witnessing a technological revolution unfold in real time, with AI-enabled learning platforms, educational games, chatbots, virtual tutors, and organizational tools becoming more prevalent every day. More than half of teachers surveyed have come across at least some of these technologies.

As frontline observers, teachers are in a good position to identify their main concerns regarding the adoption of AI-powered tools in education. Our survey found that respondents were most worried about issues such as cheating, loss of human interaction, job security, fairness, and safety.

Despite these concerns, U.S. educators appear optimistic about AI's potential in the classroom. Recognizing that artificial intelligence is likely to play an expanding role in education, most teachers have already begun incorporating AI tools into their daily work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Artificial Intelligence in Education

How is artificial intelligence being used in education?

AI-powered education technologies include tools for teachers, students, and administrators. Educational games, adaptive learning platforms, chatbots, and intelligent tutoring systems provide individualized support to learners. Automated grading, feedback, and planning programs cater to the needs of education professionals.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of AI in education?

Artificial intelligence can provide students with personalized instruction and help reduce administrative work for teachers. AI-powered assistance can improve accessibility for students with disabilities and English language learners. However, students may use AI technology to cheat, and some AI tools may provide false information. AI can also lead to reduced human contact in the classroom, disparities in access, and threats to data privacy.

How will AI shape the future of education?

According to a Forbes Advisor survey, the majority of U.S. teachers expect AI to continue to expand its influence in education. Nearly all respondents believe schools should teach students how to use AI ethically. As AI becomes more prevalent in education technology, teachers, educational institutions, and government agencies will need to develop new strategies to ensure academic integrity, promote equitable access to AI tools, and address other concerns.

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