Inclusive Intelligence: The Impact of AI on Education for All Learners

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Inclusive Intelligence: The Impact of AI on Education for All Learners explores the multifaceted applications of AI in education and special education, underscoring its transformative capabilities while addressing the unique challenges of students with disabilities and other diverse learning needs. We hope this document will initiate conversations around AI in education. Each chapter discusses a different AI topic affecting education, special education, related services, and educational leadership, including the development of future higher education faculty and researchers. The Center for Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) team will continue to update these documents with the help of our colleagues across the nation. We sincerely thank multiple individuals nationwide who contributed to this document. Read the Executive Summary.

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We hope Inclusive Intelligence will help educational stakeholders (e.g., educators, education leaders, related service personnel, students, parents, higher education faculty, and researchers) understand the current state of AI in special education. Within each chapter, the authors highlight key focus areas, considerations for successful implementation, and future possibilities for teaching and learning with AI. By sharing our combined understanding of the potential of AI, we aim to begin further conversations, improve educational practices, and foster more inclusive and equitable learning environments for all students in the emerging age of AI.

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Chapter 1: Considering Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could revolutionize higher education by enhancing efficiency, inclusivity, and responsiveness to 21st-century challenges across various institutions. Special focus is placed on how AI will impact programs in institutions preparing special educators and related service providers. The chapter emphasizes the importance of considering ethical implications, data privacy, and integrating AI into current systems for higher education stakeholders.

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Chapter 2: Teacher Practices and AI Assessment

The “Teacher Practices and AI Assessment” chapter extends the discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education from higher education to K-12 settings, focusing on its implications for teachers and educators. It addresses the evolving needs of the teacher workforce, where AI has the potential to alleviate pressures contributing to burnout by automating tasks such as grading and lesson planning.

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Chapter 3: Using AI in the Classroom: Considerations for Educators

In practice, AI can support various aspects of classroom management, such as automating administrative tasks and providing personalized instruction based on student performance and engagement patterns. AI-driven assistive technologies offer tailored support for students with disabilities, ranging from text-to-speech software for students with visual impairments to real-time transcription services for those with hearing impairments. By applying the principles of the SETT framework, educators can systematically evaluate AI tools' effectiveness in meeting student needs, aligning with learning objectives, and functioning in different instructional settings.

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Chapter 4: Envisioning AI's Impact on Special Education Research

The chapter explores the profound impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on special education research, highlighting its potential to transform learning experiences and outcomes for students with disabilities. Special education encompasses various domains, each presenting unique challenges that require personalized intervention approaches. AI's flexibility and adaptability offer promising avenues for developing new practices, tools, assessments, and outcomes tailored to the diverse needs of students with disabilities.

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Chapter 5: Enhancing the School-Home Connection: Empowering Parents with Artificial Intelligence

The chapter emphasizes the pivotal role of parents in integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their children's educational journey, particularly for students with disabilities. It underscores the importance of collaboration between schools and parents to ensure AI effectively enhances learning experiences in and out of the classroom. By actively engaging in conversations about AI and embracing technological advancements, parents can create a supportive learning environment at home, fostering personalized support and digital literacy among family members.

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Chapter 6: Policy and Guidance Considerations for Artificial Intelligence in Supporting Students with Disabilities

Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into special education promises to revolutionize educational practices and improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Various international and national efforts, such as those led by UNESCO and the U.S. Department of Education, aim to provide guidelines and recommendations for AI’s ethical and meaningful use in education. By navigating these complexities and fostering a collaborative, ethical, and inclusive approach to AI integration, stakeholders can harness AI's full potential to create more accessible, supportive, and inclusive learning environments for all students, advancing inclusive education practices and upholding the rights of individuals with disabilities.

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Chapter 7: Industry Collaboration for Educators and Artificial Intelligence

The collaboration between the education sector and the artificial intelligence (AI) industry is important in preparing students for future careers and ensuring they have the skills needed in an evolving job market dominated by AI technologies. With the rapid pace of technological development, schools often struggle to update their curricula to keep pace with industry advancements. Therefore, partnerships between educational institutions and AI companies can bridge this gap by providing students with the latest knowledge and skills required in the AI field.

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Chapter 8: Ethical Considerations for Educators Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into educational programs raises substantial ethical issues concerning fairness, confidentiality, and algorithmic prejudice. Ensuring equitable access to AI technologies is crucial to prevent exacerbating existing educational inequalities, as students in well-funded schools may have greater access to cutting-edge AI tools. Ultimately, navigating the ethical implications of AI integration in education requires a conscientious approach that prioritizes equitable access, ethical awareness, and the cultivation of technical and soft skills to prepare students for a technologically advanced future while upholding shared values of equity, inclusivity, and human dignity.

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CIDDL researchers and staff have made every effort to provide clear and accurate information. We recognize, however, that despite our careful efforts, some errors in accuracy and commission are unfortunately unavoidable.

Transparency and Responsibility: We believe in transparency and ethical responsibility in using AI. Therefore, readers must understand AI's role in developing this publication. While AI facilitated certain aspects of content creation, the final editorial decisions, including the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of information, were made by human experts. This approach ensured that the report benefits from AI's analytical capabilities and retains the nuanced understanding and ethical considerations that only humans can provide.

Disclaimer: The contents of this publication were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education #H327F20008. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Christina Diamond, Ph.D.

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Center for Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (2024). Inclusive Intelligence: The Impact of AI on Education for All Learners. Author.