Student Voice Brings Actionable Insights to Top-of Mind Issues.

From implementing new tech to working out district-wide issues, student voice provides essential insights. Tap into your students’ collective intelligence for solutions that work.
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August 8, 2023

Sarah Mathias

Student Voice in Action: Learners Bring Insights to AI in Schools

8 minutes

Your students’ insights are essential to fostering an optimal learning experience and a thriving school district. Promoting student voice in the classroom increases engagement, equity, and ultimately student success among the many other benefits.

In addition to education leaders listening to and including students’ ideas in the decision-making process, student voice means understanding that young people have unique and valuable perspectives that complement adult wisdom.

While we’ve seen how student voice can enhance education quality and contribute to effective mental health programs in schools; it can be equally effective when navigating new technology in the classroom. Lately, we’ve been exploring the impact of AI in education; what it means for education, and how to implement it safely. And who better to check in with than students?

As a leading engagement and survey platform, we used our software to tap into students’ collective intelligence. Knowing collaboration is key to successful initiatives, we conducted a public student Exchange to hear their thoughts on AI in Education.

Read on to discover the value of using student voice to improve your initiative and help your students succeed—and find out how ThoughtExchange can help you get you actionable insights.

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In this Article

Accessing student voice with technology

Tapping into your students’ unique perspectives can be challenging, but the right technology can help. Traditional feedback methods—like in-person meetings or standard surveys—can discourage people from sharing their honest thoughts. But an all-in-one community engagement platform like ThoughtExchange can accurately capture students’ perspectives from an entire district in an inclusive, anti-biased environment—efficiently and effectively.

Students need a safe space to share their thoughts. An Exchange is a perfect way to explore solutions to critical issues with students, and get meaningful feedback and relevant results.

Whether you’re working on improving your mental health strategy or safely and effectively implementing new technology in the classroom, a student voice platform facilitates candid, collaborative student conversations that help districts understand and meet their students’ needs and realize their goals more quickly.

Student voice brings ChatGPT insights

While digging into topics like AI in schools, hearing from education leaders is important. But, students' perspectives are equally important—but rarely asked for. That’s why we used ThoughtExchange to ask students their thoughts about ChatGPT in schools.

Insights from ThoughtExchange student voice engagement platform

Launching an Exchange and making the most of your students' collective intelligence is fast and easy. Choose an open-ended question that aligns with your goals, then share the link and hear from your group. Students can participate from any device.

In our student voice Exchange about the impact of AI on education, we got the following results:

488Students
350Thoughts
7365Ratings

What we asked

We put out the following Exchange question to the group:
What are some important perspectives and ideas you want school superintendents to consider about AI tools such as OpenAI's ChatGPT for teaching and learning?
The top-rated thoughts in the Exchange provided the following insights from students who had used ChatGPT:
“Schools should teach students how to work with technology such as ChatGPT, Photomath and Grammarly. This will prepare us for real life.”
“Teachers could have essays for the students to use as reference. Teachers won't have as much work, and the students have good, solid writing.”
“It helps students know how to start an essay. It's important to students that are struggling to start.”
“We can use ChatGPT to learn about a topic we missed in school due to absence or didn’t understand.”
Explore all the features and benefits of ThoughtExchange, in depth, at your own convenience.
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Useful features

Anonymity, anti-bias, and moderation features create a scaled conversation

ThoughtExchange allows anonymous sharing and randomized peer-to-peer rating, helping participants avoid bias and encouraging honesty—even with sensitive topics. Exchange leaders can use the Moderation feature to remove hurtful comments, identifiers, off-topic answers, and duplicate thoughts.

Our version of ChatGPT: TE Advisor

TE Advisor helps you find answers to your most important questions about your results. It works with both survey and Exchange results to quickly analyze your data, no matter what type of engagement you choose or how big your data set is. Ask TE Advisor your own custom prompts, or use some of our suggested prompts in-product to get instant insights into your data.

TE Advisor transforms your engagement data analysis by:

  • Summarizing the data and identifying themes
  • Providing next steps and targeted messaging
  • Answering custom prompts using Ask the Advisor

Want to learn more about TE Advisor?

Watch the Live Demo Replay

AI Summary

Summaries are automatically generated snapshots of what participants said in the Exchange. They update daily in Exchanges with active participation.

Here’s what our AI summary for the ChatGPT student voice Exchange looked like:

I haven't used this yet but I know it could come with benefits but also cause some problems. I think students could use AI tools to their advantage by giving them an example of a good essay. OpenAI ChatGPT is a unique tool that will help students understand topics more than they are being taught. It's important because it has so much information and will be life changing when it gets access to the web. ChatGPT is an amazing tool and is quite powerful. It increases creativity and the ability to advance the future. It absolutely cannot be banned as the future of the world is to hamper our ability to be successful.

Common Ground & Differences List

The Differences analysis shows areas where students disagree (Differences) and agree (Common Ground). Based on the participants’ rating patterns, this feature allows leaders to act on Common Ground thoughts to align the group.
In this Exchange, we saw these areas of common ground, where students rated these thoughts highly:
I think that it's important to stay connected in the classroom. I don't think its always healthy to learn through google. That isn't helpful socially.
School should teach people how to use tools such as ChatGPT, Photomath and Grammerly. In real life you will not put these restrictions on your self. Why does the school system refuse to teach people how to integrate with technology. All it serves to do is limit us from how the world actually works.
The group disagreed on this thought:
I think AI has a lot of potential for helping people do things, but it also can allow cheating and lead to a lack of thinking and learning. AI can help someone get started with ideas and then refine them.

Our Differences analysis

Based on these areas of agreement and disagreement, it appears that education leaders should approach integrating AI tools into their schools from an instructional perspective while ensuring students and teachers prioritize time to connect without technology.

Developing a robust set of guidelines around the use of AI tools in the classroom and ensuring that teachers have accurate ways to assess students’ work for the use of AI will help address some of the concerns around cheating.

Collaborating for successful outcomes

While students can see the potential benefits of using ChatGPT in the classroom, it’s up to education leaders to ensure implementation is done right.

To ensure the picture was complete, we checked in with education leaders about how they were using ChatGPT and what their concerns and solutions were. This collaborative approach got us tons of useful insights on the impact of AI in education.

Read the full story here

Improving student success with ThoughtExchange

Students' unique experiences and perspectives are essential for creating a supportive and effective learning environment. They want to participate in their educational experience, so how do you make the most of their insights? Ask for their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives, and then collaborate to include them in the decision-making process. You’ll increase engagement, education quality, and ultimately, student success. Your students will thank you—and your district will thrive.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Sarah Mathias
Sarah discovered her love of words when she penned her first journal in grade 4—she hasn’t stopped writing since. With a BA in Sociology and an MPC in International/Intercultural Communication, Sarah honed her corporate writing skills in the travel insurance and fashion industries before working with ThoughtExchange. She brings her collaborative spirit and commitment to antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with her penchant for grammar jokes.

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