Teachers have been using online tools like Wolfram Alpha to help with algebra homework for a long time. Now, they have a new tool called generative artificial intelligence (AI) to assist with teaching math. Some math professors believe that AI can actually strengthen math instruction. AI can act as a tutor, providing immediate feedback to students who are struggling with a problem. It can also help teachers plan math lessons and create different levels of math problems. AI can even help new computer programmers learn how to code. Math scores in the US have been declining, and educators are looking for new approaches to teaching math.
Jake Price, a math and computer science professor, sees AI as a valuable tool that can automate tedious tasks and allow students to focus on interpreting the results and making decisions based on them. However, there are limitations to AI. It can show the steps to solve a math problem correctly but may give the wrong answer. It’s important for students to understand these limitations and learn how to solve problems manually.
AI tools like ChatGPT can be used as personal tutors for students, providing explanations and examples. They can also assist teachers in planning lessons, giving feedback, and communicating with parents. AI can recommend different levels of math problems based on students’ mastery of a concept, which is helpful for teachers with diverse classrooms.
Overall, AI is seen as a supportive tool that amplifies teachers’ abilities and creativity. It allows them to focus on higher-level skills and teach big-picture concepts. However, it should not replace teachers’ agency and professionalism. AI can enhance math education by providing personalized assistance and freeing up teachers’ time for more meaningful instruction.
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