A new survey finds that the majority of educators (78 percent) are optimistic about the impact artificial intelligence (AI) technology will have on their classrooms, but lack support on how to begin incorporating the tech into their learning environments.

The survey from Canva finds that teachers recognize AI’s transformative potential but still need support and professional development to effectively incorporate it into their teaching practices.

“These findings underscore teachers’ genuine excitement about the promise of artificial intelligence and the huge potential this technology has in the classroom. Teachers are looking to supercharge their lessons, foster creativity, and cut down on manual administrative tasks. It’s no surprise artificial intelligence is top of mind for educators across the globe,” said Jason Wilmot, Canva’s head of education products.

Almost all teachers (93 percent) told researchers that they know “a little” or “nothing” about AI in the classroom. But despite a lack of detailed knowledge, the majority of teachers do recognize the benefits of AI.

The survey found that 60 percent of teachers agree AI has given them ideas to boost student productivity, 59 percent of teachers agree it has cultivated more ways for their students to be creative, and 56 percent of teachers agree AI has made their lives easier.

Canva noted that teachers are particularly optimistic about the positive impact of artificial intelligence on students with different learning needs, with 72 percent of respondents agreeing the technology could help with language learning, and 67 percent agreeing it could support universal accessibility.

“This technology has the potential to have a profound impact on the way teachers are able to personalize content to meet the needs of individual students, no matter where they are in their learning journey,” Wilmot said.

In terms of how educators are using generative AI, the survey found that creating materials, collaboration, translating text, and idea generation are the most common uses.

“AI is something I’m learning alongside of my students. I know my students need to learn it and we need to tie the tools to pedagogy for it to be useful in the classroom,” said George Lee, a high school teacher in San Francisco. “It serves as the spark to ignite my students’ curiosity and creativity to further ideate. This is especially true for students who lack resources and experiences. I see AI as a tool that levels the playing field for all my students.”

Looking to the future, teachers are most interested in using AI to help simplify language, summarize information, generate art, and improve data visualization, image and video manipulation.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs