Integrating new AI into classrooms

Teachers at Diamond Bar High School are embracing the potential of artificial intelligence in the classroom, utilizing tools such as Class Companion and DeAP Learning Lab to enhance the learning experience of the students.

The subject of artificial intelligence has been rising in popularity, especially after the release of ChatGPT last year. In its early days, ChatGPT was seen as a threat to many teachers and parents, a tool to help students cheat and write unique, full-length essays at the click of a button. Many teachers now seek a fix for this issue.

I am concerned that [AI] will become a problem,” history teacher Emily Clark said via email. “One of my summer goals is to learn how to make my assignments AI-proof. Part of that will be reinforcing the importance of integrity and personal responsibility.”

Lately, however, it has become clear that artificial intelligence could also be utilized to greatly benefit schools. For instance, DBHS history teachers have started using Class Companion, an AI tool that assesses written assignments on the AP grading scale.

I have found Class Companion very helpful in helping my students prepare for the AP exam this spring,” history teacher Lindsay Arnold said via email.

Class Companion can save up to ten hours for teachers per week, according to its official website. It also can offer students much more practice and feedback.

“I can usually only give feedback to students twice a month on practice essays, but with Class Companion, I was able to post about 20 optional practice essays the month leading up to the exam,” Arnold said. “I am hoping to use Class Companion in my classes next year in offering my students more practice writing opportunities when they are learning the various AP History writing skills.”

Some teachers have also recommended another AI platform for students to utilize, DeAP Learning Lab, which gives students detailed help on specific AP history courses, like APUSH, AP Euro, and AP World, along with feedback on essays.

Although teachers have considered AI tools to be very favorable thus far, the students have shared mixed opinions.

“Class Companion has certainly been useful for me and my classmates,” junior Abby Lee said. “However, [we] feel as though the AI doesn’t give enough harsh feedback. I prefer old-fashioned teaching over AI teaching for now, until AI gets better.”

Nevertheless, AI is becoming increasingly common in not only DBHS, but plenty of other high schools and colleges as well. According to a study done by the International Data Corporation, 92% of U.S. institutions are either experimenting with AI or are using it as a core part of their teaching strategies. This undoubtedly shows that artificial intelligence will likely be a crucial component in the future of education.

My hope is that it becomes simply another pedagogical tool that complements a teacher’s other resources,” said Clark. “I am really excited about expanding the use of Class Companion next year and seeing how that helps students improve.”