Instructure is Aligned with the White House’s Executive Order on AI
At Instructure, we’re committed to using technology to empower teachers to do what they do best: teach. Over the past year, we’ve worked alongside the White House and other industry leaders to advise and inform the implementation of guidelines on how tools leveraging the powerful technology of generative AI should be used in the classroom. So when the White House issued its Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence earlier this week, we were pleased to see that the work we have endeavored with them over the past year is showing up in this critical executive order.
Power to transform education
The White House statement reiterates the importance of the safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI. In particular, it mentioned shaping “AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.”
Over the past year, as we’ve collaborated with key edtech industry standards organizations such as 1EdTech, SIIA, EdSafe AI, and the Alliance for Learning Innovation (ALI), we’ve become increasingly optimistic about the potential for good this technology brings. This is one of the reasons we inform, support, and encourage policymakers to align with the important AI principles that the industry willingly incorporates. Check out SIIA’s recent Principles for the Future of AI in Education for more information.
Understandably, many educators have been concerned about the potential risks of AI, such as cheating, privacy and security issues, and its impact on equitable access. However, a few months ago we conducted a survey and found that teachers and administrators feel AI can positively impact learning in several key areas, the top four being multilingual content, cheating detection, question development, and neurodiverse content.
Used with proper guardrails, generative AI can help us amplify the power of teaching. Technology has transformed education many times (especially with the emergence of Learning Management Systems!), and generative AI is clearly here to stay.
We believe when it’s used in a human-driven way, AI can promote meaningful learning experiences for all. We’re already seeing several positive ways our customers are using this technology to inspire their students to learn. A few months ago we surveyed teachers and students and found that sentiment about AI was primarily positive with 54.5% of teachers, students and administrators feeling either very positive or positive. That’s why we developed a simple framework to ensure generative AI has a positive impact on learning:
We believe educators are best suited to know the right approach for each student in their class. Generative AI tools can be powerful, especially when educators are at the center of the experience. This means having visibility into how it’s being used. The Khan Academy partnership with the Instructure Learning Platform, which we announced at InstructureCon earlier this year, will provide increased transparency for educators as their students engage with the private tutor Khanmigo directly within Canvas.
We continue to design, develop, and deploy AI features and tools with positive intent and clear privacy and security boundaries to empower admins, educators and students, enabling them to build trust and use AI with confidence. As the technology evolves we’ll continue to work to protect student data privacy and educator and institution intellectual property.
One of the most important benefits of AI is the capability of providing equitable access to learning for anyone, regardless of their background or current circumstances. Educators know that the students who are less likely to ask for support are often the ones at risk of falling behind. Used properly, we see tools such as generative AI as potential equalizers. Neurodivergent and non-native language learners can benefit greatly from the private tutoring this technology enables. It’s important that we ensure access to these powerful tools in order to close, not deepen the digital divide.
To sum it up, generative AI complements learning in ways that are intentional, safe, and equitable. Whether you’re a customer, partner, or even a competitor to Instructure, we invite you to be a part of building a responsible, innovative, and balanced approach forward with generative AI. Please join us in this evolving, yet critical conversation.