productive-struggle in math

Using AI to Encourage Productive Struggle in Math

This week on Edutopia I wrote about using AI in effective math instruction.

This week on Edutopia, I blogged about “Using AI to Encourage Productive Struggle in Math” and about how students don't need the answers to math problems; they need help with the process and how they can use Wolfram Alpha with ChatGPT to do that (as well as some other thoughts. Shout out to my principal, Jonathan Dyal, and math teacher, Matthew Sheets, who work with me for their advice and thoughts as I crafted this post. I'd like to add this as another day of learning about AI and HI in education as I spend the majority of my time digging into and teaching on this topic.

Some of my most important thoughts from this article, I think are:

“The problem with Photomath or AI, in general, isn’t that they help us find the correct answer; it’s that they do little to help students learn the right process to find the answer themselves. In my view, this is where AI can truly be useful in math education, and fortunately, new tools are being developed to guide students through the productive struggle that helps them learn.”

“Effective AI does not make humans obsolete; it unleashes human potential. Using AI as a partner to accurately coach our students through the productive struggle is the sweet spot we’re all looking for. That, my fellow teachers, is the answer to improving math with AI. Now let’s improve our process when it comes to using AI.”

Edutopia math productive struggle

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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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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
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