Unleashing the Power of AI in Education: Skill Struck's AI Beta Program

At Skill Struck, we believe that modern-day technology has the power to positively enhance K-12 education. 

In November 2023, we embarked on an exciting journey with over 150 educators to test and refine our newest AI-powered platforms, Chat for Schools and Learning Studio

The goal was to see if educators could harness the power of AI to positively impact the K-12 learning experience. In this blog we’ll show you the insights we learned from the beta and our exciting developments on the horizon.

Engaging Educators in the AI Beta Program

We had some initial hesitations about launching an AI beta program in K-12 education. Educators are so busy and have privacy concerns about using AI in the classroom. 

Despite these fears, our beta users welcomed the opportunity to explore AI tools and blew us away. We are extremely encouraged by the positive response from our beta participants.

The Structure of the AI Beta Program

The AI beta program with our AI product testers was built on a foundation of collaboration and feedback. The beta program was not just a testing ground but a dynamic exchange of ideas and insights. 

During the two-month beta period, AI beta testers explored Chat for Schools and Learning Studio’s potential in the classroom, testing features like the quiz, lesson, and tutor generators. 

They received weekly surveys that asked for their feedback and insights. We collected how they felt about AI each week, seeing how it progressed throughout their experience. We also asked what features helped save or create more time for them in the classroom. 

This feedback our AI product testers provided played a pivotal role in refining Chat for Schools and Learning Studio’s user interface, enhancing features, and ensuring our AI tools align seamlessly with their needs.

Impact on Educators

The feedback we received was more than suggested product improvements and ideas; it was a testament to the real impact our AI tools had on educators' lives. 

Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators reported saving valuable hours each week. Here's some of what we heard:

“The tutor creator [saved me time] in that it could give students attention in my absence. The lesson plan/activity generator also helped save me time thinking of new ideas. It assisted me in the simple fact that I had a guide on the side. Teachers value time and Chat for Schools helped with that,” said Michael Drezek, District Technology Integrator at Lake Shore CSD. 
“[The quiz and lesson plan generators] both saved me time by assisting me in creating a template for a lesson plan or quiz that I could then tweak to make match with what I needed them to cover.” Devan Miller Educator Okaloosa County Public Schools
“The quiz generator helped save time by creating quizzes. The lesson plans came up with new ways to do things in my classroom.” Gretchen Boughter Biology Teacher Clark County School District
“The quiz generator and lesson plan generator were time savers because they helped with producing material and questions aligned to our learning standards which saved me time thinking things up.  All I had to do was tweak to add my own personal touch.” Nicole Kiesewetter 3rd grade teacher Klein Independent School District
“My EMT teacher has expressed appreciation in having this tool to create activities - saving her multiple hours a night!” Jennifer Reiff CTE Director Whitley County Consolidated Schools

The AI-powered features, such as the quiz and lesson generators, provided teachers with ready-made templates that can be personalized, significantly reducing lesson planning time.

From Skepticism to Enthusiasm

Before the beta, skepticism and uncertainty about AI in education were strong. As educators got into the AI-powered platforms, they witnessed firsthand the positive impact on student engagement, personalized learning, and administrative tasks. 

We asked Chat GPT to read all our feedback we received from the AI beta program. Then, we asked how educators felt about AI before v after using our AI-powered platforms. Here are the results: 

Classroom Visits to see Student Usage

Throughout the beta we worked with district administrators and teachers to roster some students on to Chat for Schools. We then visited each of these classrooms with these district administrators and observed student and teacher usage in real-time. 

During these visits, we asked students about their experience with Chat GPT v Chat for Schools. Students expressed they were the same. For educators, this brought peace of mind knowing that students could have the same experience as Chat GPT while keeping their student data safe and secure (meeting their district privacy standards). 

Another big highlight for teachers and administrators during these visits was the use of custom tutors. They expressed that students were able to engage in any subject thanks to these tutors, and it gave teachers time to work with more students 1:1.  

Looking Ahead: Exciting AI Developments

The success of the AI beta program fueled our commitment to advancing these AI tools further. The feedback we received has helped our development team, leading to exciting updates planned for the upcoming months. Better sentiment data, more custom tutor capabilities, enhanced data analytics for administrators, and integrations with popular platforms like Canvas are just a glimpse of what's on the horizon.

We will be updating our Skill Struck blog as these exciting enhancements to Chat for Schools and Learning Studio tools are released. 

Learn more about Skill Struck’s AI-powered tools at chatforschools.com.

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