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Can a Master’s in Education Prepare You for the Impact of AI in the Classroom?

January 4, 2024

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no longer the exclusive domain of technology professionals; they are transforming industries across the globe. According to a 2023 McKinsey survey, 55 percent of organizations already use some form of AI; one-third regularly employ generative AI tools. 

Supply chain organizations, for example, use AI for product development, procurement, and manufacturing. Meanwhile, AI has revolutionized the healthcare industry by enhancing drug development, health monitoring devices, and image-based diagnosis. 

The rise of generative AI also significantly impacts the education sector, owing to its capacity to support teachers and students in the classroom. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into schools, educators must navigate this uncharted territory carefully. Read on to explore the impact of AI in education and learn about the pivotal role of a Master of Education (MEd) degree in preparing educators to thrive in the classroom of the future. 

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Education

AI is changing education as we know it in both the classroom and learning design. Research from the Walton Family Foundation shows that 51 percent of teachers now use AI tools such as ChatGPT in their jobs. Among these educators, 30 percent report using this technology for such time-consuming tasks as lesson planning, creative idea generation, and knowledge building. 

Instructors and administrators are also turning to AI tools to combat improper Ai use by students. AI detection tools can help identify text patterns in instances where students are prohibited from using AI. Similar tools help teachers more easily identify instances of student plagiarism. 

According to the Office of Educational Technology, teachers also value AI voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. They often use these tools to set reminders, start and stop activities, and control speakers and displays. 

Speech recognition has also gained traction among teachers. Using speech recognition tools, teachers can better support students with disabilities, multilingual learners, and others who can benefit from adaptive learning opportunities. AI-powered tutoring systems like Q-Chat by Quizlet, for example, provide real-time feedback to students when teachers cannot provide one-on-one support. 

As the education sector evolves, these AI technologies can help teachers create more inclusive and productive classroom environments for themselves and their students. 

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The Evolving Role of Educators in the AI Revolution

As AI continues to permeate the classroom, educators and school leaders must weigh the pros and cons of AI in schools before fully adopting the technology. As Dr. Dale Allen notes in the Office of Educational Technology’s AI report, “AI in education can only grow at the speed of trust.” 

While AI can help teachers tailor lessons to their students, deliver better evaluations, and save time, it also involves risks. These include student privacy breaches, increased plagiarism, weakened critical thinking, and disinformation and bias. Ultimately, teachers are responsible for ensuring AI enhances student learning without perpetuating biases or compromising student safety. Accordingly, the next generation of teachers must possess fluency in AI’s capabilities and shortcomings.

How Educators Can Prepare for the Future of AI

Navigating the dynamic landscape of AI in education may seem daunting; pursuing a graduate degree can help. Through master’s degree programs, such as the online Master of Education (MEd) from Tulane University, educators gain the knowledge and skills to create more innovative, inclusive, and equitable teaching and learning practices in the age of AI. 

A master’s in education also prepares educators with the advanced teaching and instructional skills they need to understand and effectively implement emerging technologies — even those lacking a technical background in data science or AI. By understanding the broader implications of technology in education, educators can make more informed decisions about AI in the classroom. 

Looking Ahead: How the Tulane Online MEd Inspires Innovation

To foster more equitable and inclusive teaching practices in a technology-driven world, educators must think creatively and embrace innovation. The online MEd program from Tulane prepares students with the critical assessment skills needed to be exceptional leaders. 

Five core courses provide students with a comprehensive understanding of American education systems, while the four specialization options — Equity-Centered Education Leadership, Learning Experience Design, Teaching English Learners, and Special Education —enable students to build expertise in an area of interest. 

Pursuing an online MEd from Tulane also means educators do not have to leave their field to learn how to improve it. The flexible, online format allows them to continue working while they earn their degree. Students complete the 30-credit program in approximately two years and graduate ready to pursue roles in school districts, higher education, departments of education, and more. 

The sections below explore how the Tulane online MEd prepares educators for the future of technology through its modern curriculum, emphasis on equity, and applied learning experiences. 

A Modern Curriculum 

The Tulane online MEd curriculum prepares educators to thrive in a changing educational ecosystem. After completing their core courses, students can take technology electives such as Emerging Technologies and Learning Perspectives, in which they learn about the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

Other technology courses include Learning Technology Principles and Applications, Game-Based Learning Technology and Design, and Fundamentals of Instructional Technology for Students with Disabilities. 

An Emphasis on Equity 

The Tulane School of Professional Advancement values equity-centered education, starting within its own programs. To help build diverse peer cohorts, the online MEd admissions team seeks candidates from various educational and professional backgrounds, including teaching, policy development, and nonprofit work. 

In the classroom, faculty take an equity-based approach to teaching, preparing educators to create an inclusive learning environment that caters to diverse student needs. Educators also learn how to navigate the potential negative impacts of AI, such as algorithm bias, while also embracing benefits of artificial intelligence.

An Applied Learning Experience 

The Tulane online MEd program culminates with a capstone project in which students apply the concepts, strategies, and approaches they’ve learned in real-world contexts. These community-centered applied learning experiences allow educators to test and assess the implications of new classroom tools in real time, supported by peers and mentors. 

Students can complete their capstone through fieldwork, internships, or simulations. When they are finished, they showcase their mastery of program competencies through a written report or presentation.  

Explore the Future-Focused Master’s in Education 

As AI continues to transform the educational landscape, the role of educators becomes increasingly complex. The Tulane online MEd program not only equips educators with the skills to navigate the impact of AI but also empowers them with the agile tools to shape the future of education.

If you are considering a master’s in education, Tulane offers several options to help you decide whether the online MEd program is right for you. Attend one of our virtual events to learn more about the program, student experience, and potential career outcomes with an MEd directly from enrollment staff and current students. For questions about the application process or tuition and financial aid, connect with an enrollment advisor for one-on-one support. 

Ready to take the next step? Request more information or start your application today.

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