AI transforming teaching in Long Island schools

Artificial intelligence or AI is being used in the Three Village School District to help with lessons, writing prompts, and special education students.

Gina Varacci and some other educators have already accepted the fact that AI will be part of students’ lives.

"It can generate questions for them if I have a reading passage that’s too difficult or easier for certain students, I can put it into ChatGPT and ask it to make it on a certain reading level," she said. 

Districts have professional development days dedicated to artificial intelligence and how it works. The platform helps with lengthy teacher tasks that they already know how to do and gives them more time with students.

"An outright ban of ChatGPT or AI, well you know, we’re well past it, it’s out of the box, so figure out a way to influence in a positive way the education in the classroom," said Bob Vecchio who is Exec. Director of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.


Meet Milo, Long Island's first educational robot

Milo is an "E-student" who helps his classmates with special-needs strive for A's by teaching social-emotional skills and cues.

Many districts already use the technology in some capacity to catch those who cheat.

"There’s a great temptation for every student to just type a question or type an essay prompt into ChatGPT and just copy and paste a response but for me, where I’ve seen the most value is in learning," said junior Max Scharf.

But the students we spoke with stand by the tool saying it enhances education.  

The Jericho district just established a designated AI committee. Teachers are slowly integrating the technology into their lessons.

"I think we’re at the cusp of an incredible time and taking a thoughtful, reasonable approach to these advances is what’s required," said Patrick Fogarty who is the Dir. of Technology in the Jericho School District.

While school boards across Long Island haven’t yet come up with concrete policies when it comes to AI, they’re beginning to come to grips with how much it could change education forever.