811 Pat Yongpradit BLOG Post

Harnessing The Future of AI without Losing Our Way

Pat Yongpradit from Code.org and TeachAI dives into the challenges, opportunities, and ethical considerations of harnessing future AI technologies. Join us as we navigate the intricate path towards innovation without losing sight of what makes us human with a candid conversations of our concerns and the importance of coming together to create policies that will shape our classrooms.

Artificial Intelligence in schools should present educators, parents, and policymakers with many concerns but there are also opportunities. Pat Yongpradit, in his role with Code.org is also working with the TeachAI initiative. He shares a candid conversation about how teachers can share what they are observing with AI, the benefits, and also some very real concerns he has about artificial intelligence and its impact on humankind. 

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10 Minute Teacher Podcast - Episode 811

Harnessing the future of AI without losing our way: a candid conversation with Pat Yongpradit

Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer for Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to promoting computer science education

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Pat Youngpradit - Bio as Submitted

Pat YongpraditPat Yongpradit is the Chief Academic Officer for Code.org, a non-profit dedicated to promoting computer science education. As an international thought leader in computer science education, Pat has influenced each stage of the education system, from policy to practice, in the legislature, and in the classroom. During his career as a secondary school computer science teacher, he inspired students to create games and apps for social causes and implemented initiatives to broaden participation in computer science among underrepresented groups. He led the development of the influential K-12 Computer Science Framework and is currently leading TeachAI. He has been featured in the book, “American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom,” recognized as a Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Educator, and certified in biology, physics, math, health, and technology education. Although Pat currently spends more time focused on computer science from a global perspective, he still finds ways to sneak into the classroom :)

Blog: www.patyongpradit.com

X.com (formerly Twitter): @MrYongpradit

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/patyongpradit/


Episode 811 - Transcript

Teaching with AI: Harnessing the Future without Losing Our Way – An In-Depth Conversation with Pat Yongpradit


00:00:00:02 – 00:00:03:11

John Davis

This is the Ten Minute Teacher podcast with your host, Vicki Davis.


00:00:03:12 – 00:00:30:08

Vicki Davis

Looking to revolutionize your classroom with exciting, interactive, and free digital lessons. Stay tuned to learn how EVERFI can empower you to bring real-world skills to your students, even if you're short on time. Take a step into the future of education with EVERFI right after today's show. 


Meet Pat Yongpradit from Code.org and Teach.AI

I'm so excited. Today we have my friend Pat Yongpradit from Code.org, who also works with the Teach.AI initiative.


00:00:30:09 – 00:00:47:19

Vicki Davis

Now, we've all been talking about AI, I have had my 80 days of AI and HI going on the blog. And Pat, you're right in the middle of this. What what's happening to education? Like, is this just hype, or is there something really happening right now?


00:00:48:23 – 00:01:21:08

Pat Yongpradit

It's happening from the classroom where a lot of your audience is from. 


Thank you all for teaching, by the way. I used to be a teacher for 13 years. I don't know what you went through through the pandemic, unfortunately, but I do know what teaching was like before then. And so just thank you for doing that. 


Supporting AI’s Move into Education Systems

I wanted to tell your audience that there's this cloud of people around schools that are just clamoring for any guidance they can get around how to support the incorporation of AI into education systems.


00:01:22:01 – 00:01:48:18

Pat Yongpradit

And, you know, before I got involved in policy at code.org, at the state, national and international level, I didn't even know how deep the ecosystem went around schools. Folks, there are not just your district administrators and district superintendents and directors of I.T. who are trying to figure out what to do with AI. But there are the state legislators in education committees.


00:01:49:05 – 00:02:09:05

Pat Yongpradit

There are multiple Congress folks and senators currently engaging in AI legislation, some of it which touches on education, actually. Federal Department of Education in the U.S. and even ministries of education internationally that are just trying to figure this out. Unfortunately, most of them haven't even been using it. That's what's really scary.


AI and the Seismic Shift It is Bringing to Education and the World

00:02:09:23 – 00:02:36:14

Vicki Davis

So as you have this organization that you're working with, where do we start that you can talk about? I mean, what are you grappling with to help all of us move forward in a world that fundamentally has changed in terms of education and the tools we use? I mean, bigger than when search came out and was effective, bigger than the calculator.


00:02:37:00 – 00:02:45:23

Vicki Davis

Large language models. AI. All the different AI tools which is being built into everything we use is really a seismic shift.


00:02:47:02 – 00:03:08:21

Pat Yongpradit

It is a seismic shift. And I think a lot of people in edtech or in computer science or just in information technology kind of understand inherently how different this technology is compared to other waves of education technology. And what I'm wrestling with, Vicki, is how to make the most of this opportunity so that it actually has lasting positive change for education.


After COVID Many Schools Went Back to Normal

00:03:08:21 – 00:03:28:12

Pat Yongpradit

As you know, Vicki, education is very resistant to change. Super duper resistant to change. I mean, COVID almost broke us, but, you know, we've come back and minus at the last six months or eight months of, you know, ChatGPT being released, we were kind of just back to normal. Kids took a big hit; teachers took a big hit.


How Can We Use the Change AI Brings for Good Over the Long Term?

00:03:28:12 – 00:03:56:09

Pat Yongpradit

But school basically kind of just looked the same; I think, without proactive intentionality, schools will still survive the disruption of generative AI, like the economy as a whole might not. Industry won't survive disruption by generative AI, but schools probably will without proactive intentionality from education leaders. And so what I'm wrestling with is trying to figure out how to turn this towards the good over the long term.


00:03:56:13 – 00:04:15:16

Pat Yongpradit

And my key thing is figuring out how to use this window of opportunity to amplify some of the already great ideas out there in education, like competency-based education, project-based learning, etc. etc. I think these things will now finally have their time to shine because of AI.


What can classrooms do to bring their classroom experience with AI to the forefront?

00:04:15:18 – 00:04:36:17

Vicki Davis

Also, looking at the big picture, the conversations that are happening. And what can I as a classroom teacher do to you know, you said you’re wanting feedback and you are looking for what's next. What can average everyday classroom teachers do to share their experience, ask questions or bring issues to the forefront? Because it's just changing so rapidly.


00:04:36:23 – 00:04:58:03

Pat Yongpradit

And this is a very practical thing. Go to the TeachAI website. There are two buttons. One says Join TeachAI, and the other one is updates. If you go to the join TeachAI form, you can input your advice, like what you want to see from TeachAI. And I'd love to get your audience's perspectives and their desires.


What Do You Say to Those Who Want to Block AI in Schools?


00:04:58:04 – 00:05:14:14

Vicki Davis

So what do you say to those that say, “We just have to block it all because it's going to ruin education,” and “Everybody's going to be dishonest, and it just needs to be completely out of schools?” And so “somebody needs to create a way to make generative AI illegal in schools.”


00:05:14:16 – 00:05:38:20

Pat Yongpradit

We were talking earlier, and you told me that it's impossible to ban it anyway because it's already in other things. It's not just out there on its own. It's not just the OpenAI website on its own. It's obviously a lot of apps now are using the GPT plug ins and calling on the GPT libraries to run generative AI features in their own apps, so it's kind of technically impossible to ban it fully anyway.


00:05:38:20 – 00:05:58:12

Pat Yongpradit

And so the only other option is to figure out, well, how do you change education to reflect this new reality? 


And even if people found a way, a technical way to ban it from all devices in a school building, it doesn't matter because as soon as you step out of the school building, it's everywhere. Yeah, I'm super curious.


00:05:58:12 – 00:06:20:09

Pat Yongpradit

I saw a survey result, so this was probably been like early spring, and I saw that over half of the schools in the US had banned, you know, Chat GPT or generative AI tools. And, and I'm just curious what that will be moving forward and understand the problem around cheating how that makes it makes life very difficult for teachers.


00:06:20:11 – 00:06:24:22

Pat Yongpradit

It's almost like it doesn't… banning it just doesn't solve the cheating problem anyway.


We will all supervise AI in the future.

00:06:24:23 – 00:06:45:00

Vicki Davis

Well they they shared a number at ISTE and I'm sure my numbers aren't exactly correct, but it was in the 80 million range of jobs that were going to be eliminated by AI. But it was in the 90 million range of jobs that were going to be created with humans who were using AI. The future is everybody will be a supervisor.


Editor’s note: I’ve verified these statistics since recording this podcast. “A.I. is estimated to replace 85 million jobs by 2025, but 97 million new jobs will be created due to A.I.” Job Loss by McKinsey and Company.  I recommend reading the statistics compiled by MarketSplash on AI as they are concerning, although full of opportunity, and should shape our conversations.


00:06:45:00 – 00:06:51:18

Vicki Davis

All of us have to supervise A.I. and use it effectively. And it's just part of life. And there are times to use it and times not.


Concerns about Laziness

00:06:51:18 – 00:07:09:06

Pat Yongpradit

Do you want to share something that actually does concern me because, you know, you and I are in the game of really trying to turn this for the good, and we do illuminate the positive uses. But there is something that I still can't get around, and it actually is very personal. So I use a variety of generative A.I. tools.


00:07:09:06 – 00:07:36:22

Pat Yongpradit

I kind of play around with them and try to because I'm curious about them anyway, and I use them for a variety of things. And I came upon a situation where I wanted to use a tool recently, but I couldn't access it. For some reason, the website was down or something like that. It was overwhelmed. Instead of me mentally doing the work myself, which was actually not that hard, I decided to just keep on like refreshing the page to see if the tool would be back up.


00:07:37:15 – 00:07:54:12

Pat Yongpradit

And basically, what I'm concerned about is just people getting mentally lazy, and honestly, I don't think there's any way around it, Vicki; I think this is a very serious thing, and it will be something we'll have to figure out. Just like, you know, obesity has become a much bigger issue over time because, you know, life has just gotten a lot easier physically.


00:07:54:12 – 00:07:55:20

Pat Yongpradit

We're going to get mentally lazy.


Using ChatGPT for Better Programming and Coding


00:07:55:21 – 00:08:14:09

Vicki Davis

Today I was writing in PowerShell something they call it Flow, now, Microsoft, a tool that scrapes our calendars and then it emails everybody the next five days. Right? And I was trying to add this new shared calendar, and I'm using Chat GPT to coach me on how to do this thing in a arrays that I hadn't done in years.


00:08:14:09 – 00:08:34:10

Vicki Davis

And so I actually got so much further, I would not have taken the time because you end up on those little message boards, you know, about how to solve this obscure problem. And it was actually telling me the stuff I needed. And so I was getting further along in coding that particular problem than I ever would have been.


00:08:34:10 – 00:08:52:05

Vicki Davis

So, for example, AII built into spreadsheets like we're going to, we're going to be like data mavens because it will help us do the formulas nobody has time to figure out. So, you know, there are some cases where it may actually push us further. You know, when the calculator came out everybody thought it was the end of math.


00:08:52:05 – 00:09:11:21

Vicki Davis

Well, with the calculators let us do is now we're teaching college level stuff, that we’re now teaching college in high school. You know. So in some ways I just have to wonder because humans are resilient if we're not going to now, you know, can it make us lazy? Of course it could. But, you know, if you can be replaced, you will be replaced.


Asking LLM’s Personal Questions

00:09:11:21 – 00:09:34:01

Vicki Davis

I worry about kids asking large language models for advice on emotional, personal issues like that really, really concerns me when I have kids say, you know, “I was up in the middle of the night, I was really upset about a death in the family. So I asked it, How do I deal with death?” That that's a bad idea.


00:09:34:01 – 00:09:52:20

Vicki Davis

Like it's not created to give you good advice on how you deal with something that sensitive. And I'm like, Well, why don't you have somebody to talk to? She said, “Oh, my generation doesn't listen. You know, AI will listen to me. And I don't have any friends who will listen.” And I'm like, you know, that is, to me, very dangerous.


Do Kids Perceive AI as “Safe” to Talk To?

00:09:53:16 – 00:10:15:07

Pat Yongpradit

I mean, yeah, like kids don't even want to try because they all have this very safe thing, you know, again, positive or negative, the fact that it's safe, that it's, you know, it won't tell on the kid or something like that, I mean, that's great. But I mean, what about just trying trying to talk to your parents or trying to talk to a a friend or whatever?


00:10:15:07 – 00:10:26:00

Pat Yongpradit

And I know that in some cases, some kids don't have access to folks like that, caring folks. And so the AI is actually a great alternative. But in other cases, kids will just get lazy.


00:10:35:09 – 00:10:54:18

Vicki Davis

So I do encourage everyone listening to today's show to go to TeachAI. I will include a link in the show notes. Sign up. I signed up the moment I saw it come out, Pat, I saw all the folks who were involved, you included, and was like, This is we really need the conversations to happen.


00:10:54:18 – 00:11:25:13

Vicki Davis

I do want to encourage classroom educators, as you have opinions about AI, get out there and share those opinions. Share what you're seeing in the classroom, because truly, we are at a pivotal moment in history and this generation has already been through so much. They're struggling emotionally, they're struggling psychologically, and we need to be communicating and rapidly innovating and rapidly moving forward so that we can really help this generation not just make it, but to thrive.


00:11:25:13 – 00:11:55:03

Vicki Davis

So thank you, Pat, for caring so much about kids. And it really makes me feel good that a classroom teacher who still knows what teaching is all about is working with these initiatives. So thanks for being on the show. 


Sponsor: Check Out the Free Lessons from EVERFI

Want to prepare your Students for Career and Life Success but short on time? Busy teachers use EVERFI’s standards-aligned research-based digital lessons recently awarded with the ISTE Seal for high quality curriculum to teach students to thrive in an ever changing world.


00:11:55:03 – 00:12:23:21

Vicki Davis

Interactive game-based lessons designed by experienced educators help you engage students at all grade levels and bring critical real world skills like financial education, early literacy, character education, health and wellness, and more to your classroom. Thanks to partners, these lessons are free for all K-12 schools and students. With back to school season gearing up, now is an exciting time to give your students a jumpstart on their future.


00:12:23:21 – 00:12:45:01

Vicki Davis

Go to everfi.com/coolcat that's everfi.com/coolcat to learn more and sign up to get a virtual swag bag full of free goodies to get the school year off right to a great start. So sign up for EVERFI today.


00:12:45:05 – 00:12:57:15

John Davis

You’ve been listening to the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast if you want more content from Vicki Davis connect on Facebook, X.com, TikTok, Threads, Instagram, BlueSky, and YouTube at @coolcatteacher. Thank you for listening.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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