Engaging Parents in AI Integration: A Roundtable Discussion Recap

Engaging Parents in AI Integration: A Roundtable Discussion Recap

As part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and future-proofing our educational approach, Pan-American School recently hosted a roundtable discussion with parents who have experience working with AI in their professional lives. This initiative aimed to leverage their expertise and perspectives to collaboratively explore how we can integrate AI principles effectively into our school environment. Present, in alphabetical order, were:

  • Eduardo Sori González, First Grade and Third Grade
  • Giedre Eglinskaite, Second Grade and PreKinder 
  • José Alexis González Jiménez, Prekinder 
  • Luis Carlos Rivas García, Ninth Grade and Eleventh Grade
  • Paola Rodriguez Martínez, PlayKids and Preparatory 

Insights & Perspectives

The roundtable discussion was a lively and engaging forum, where parents generously shared their insights on various aspects of AI. Throughout the discussion, parents emphasized the importance of using AI responsibly and ethically. This entails ensuring transparency in AI applications, addressing potential biases, and safeguarding student privacy. We also acknowledged the crucial role of human educators in guiding students through their AI interactions and fostering a positive learning environment that prioritizes human connection and social-emotional well-being.  

We explored the potential for marginalization that AI could inadvertently create, and how we can be proactive in mitigating this risk. 

Parents also highlighted the importance of the intentional and purposeful use of AI tools. As one parent aptly put it, "There is much that we can do - the essential question is what we want to do, and why. Education is key in this area as we look to the future."

Participants emphasized the need for educators to guide students in using AI to deepen understanding through intentional questioning and critical thinking. The goal is not to superficially repeat information that AI can provide, but to develop a deeper comprehension of concepts and ideas.

Parents shared how AI has become a requirement in their field in recent years, and shared many examples from their professional lives.  In the world of consulting, for example, it was noted how consultants must now offer insights and deliverables that go beyond what AI tools like ChatGPT can produce. This "plus" factor requires a deeper level of expertise and analysis.

We also discussed the issue of academic integrity and how to use AI tools responsibly in the context of learning and assessment.

Practical Areas for Exploration

In a very practical way, there are a number of core areas for development and exploration at Pan-American School, including ways to: 

  • Personalize learning experiences: AI tools can tailor educational content and delivery to individual student needs and learning styles, fostering a more dynamic and effective learning environment.
  • Enhance classroom instruction: AI can provide real-time feedback and suggestions to teachers, enabling them to refine their instructional strategies and better support student progress.
  • Promote collaborative learning: AI-powered tools can facilitate communication and teamwork among students, creating opportunities for interactive discussions and group projects.
  • Develop critical thinking skills: AI assessments can go beyond rote memorization and delve into students' critical thinking abilities, providing a more holistic understanding of their strengths and areas for growth.

Additional Reading

Over the course of the conversation, I shared a number of recent works that feel appropriate for the wider conversation.  These include:

We have ordered copies of these for our Learning Hub; they should be available in August for members of the community who are interested in learning more.

Moving Forward

The insights gained from this roundtable discussion will be instrumental in shaping our AI integration roadmap. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with parents and the wider school community to harness the power of AI for the benefit of our students and their future success.

We look forward to keeping you updated on our progress and future initiatives in this exciting and evolving field. Thank you to all the parents who participated in the roundtable discussion for their valuable contributions!