Newark Public Schools Pilot Test A.I. Tutoring Bots from Khan Academy in Classrooms

Newark Public Schools Pilot Test A.I. Tutoring Bots from Khan Academy in Classrooms

Newark Public Schools pilot test A.I. tutoring bots from Khan Academy in classrooms. Explore the potential benefits and risks of integrating A.I.-assisted tutoring bots in education.


Newark Public Schools in New Jersey has taken the initiative to pilot test a new automated teaching aid called Khanmigo, developed by Khan Academy, to evaluate the practicality of A.I.-assisted tutoring bots.

While many schools have expressed concerns about the reliability and risks associated with such technology, Newark aims to determine these bots’ true benefits and drawbacks, setting an example for other school districts in the United States.

Introducing Khanmigo: A.I.-Assisted Tutoring Bot

Cheryl Drakeford, a third-grade teacher at First Avenue Elementary School in Newark, implemented Khanmigo, an A.I.-powered tutoring bot, to assist her students with challenging math problems. 

The bot helps students understand unfamiliar concepts and provides customized responses based on their queries. 

By using Khanmigo, the Newark school district is testing the practicality and potential advantages of integrating A.I. into the classroom.

Different Approaches to A.I.-Assisted Tutoring Bots

As the use of A.I.-enhanced chatbots in classrooms gained attention, many schools sought to restrict their use due to concerns about misleading information.

However, Newark Public Schools has chosen a different path by embracing the technology and volunteering to pilot test Khanmigo. 

By doing so, Newark aims to distinguish between the benefits of A.I.-assisted tutoring bots and their exaggerated marketing claims.

Democratizing Education with Classroom Chatbots

Advocates argue that A.I.-based chatbots in classrooms can make tutoring more accessible and personalized, enabling students to learn at their own pace. 

On the other hand, critics warn about the potential risks associated with these bots, as they rely on large information databases and can inadvertently provide plausible-sounding misinformation. 

Newark’s findings from the pilot test of Khanmigo will have implications for other school districts across the country evaluating the use of A.I. tools for the upcoming school year.

Newark’s Pilot Test and the Influence on Education Systems

Newark Public Schools, the largest school district in New Jersey, has cautiously implemented Khanmigo in three schools as part of its pilot test. 

The district’s experience and evaluation will shape the decisions of other school districts considering A.I. tools for their classrooms. 

The goal is to understand better how A.I.-assisted technology works, its potential risks, and its student benefits.

Partnership with Khan Academy and Testing Process

Khan Academy, a nonprofit organization known for its online lessons, has collaborated with Newark Public Schools to develop Khanmigo, an A.I.-powered tutoring bot. 

The system uses language models similar to the one behind ChatGPT, another popular A.I. language model. 

Khan Academy’s access to these models allowed them to design Khanmigo specifically for classroom use, guiding students step by step through problem-solving processes.

Newark volunteered to pilot test Khanmigo, given that many local elementary schools already used Khan Academy’s online math lessons. 

The initial phase of the pilot test is free for participating schools, while the subsequent phase will involve additional fees per student.

Mixed Reviews and Fine-tuning Khanmigo

Since its implementation in Newark classrooms, the reviews of Khanmigo have varied. 

Some teachers, like Tito Rodriguez, find the bot useful as a “co-teacher” that allows them to provide individualized guidance to students. 

However, concerns have arisen about Khanmigo providing direct answers instead of guiding students to think critically and solve problems independently. 

Newark officials have wanted the bot to ask open-ended questions and analyze.


What are A.I. tutoring bots?

A.I. tutoring bots are automated teaching aids that use artificial intelligence to provide personalized responses and guidance to students. They aim to enhance learning by customizing lessons and allowing students to work independently.

How do A.I. tutoring bots work?

A.I. tutoring bots are trained on vast databases of texts and use language models to analyze and respond to student queries. They guide students through problem-solving steps and explain and assist in various subjects.

What are the potential benefits of A.I. tutoring bots?

Proponents argue that A.I. tutoring bots can democratize tutoring by providing personalized support to students, allowing them to receive guidance tailored to their needs. They can promote engagement, help students work independently, and offer additional resources for learning.

What are the risks associated with A.I. tutoring bots?

Critics expressed concerns that relying on vast databases, A.I. tutoring bots might inadvertently provide misinformation or incorrect answers. Students risk becoming too dependent on the bots, potentially hindering the development of critical thinking skills.

How are Newark Public Schools testing A.I. tutoring bots?

Newark Public Schools in New Jersey is piloting Khanmigo, an A.I.-assisted tutoring bot developed by Khan Academy, in select schools. They are evaluating its impact on student engagement and learning outcomes to determine the practical uses of such technology.

Can A.I. tutoring bots replace human teachers?

No, A.I. tutoring bots are not designed to replace human teachers. They are meant to complement traditional teaching methods and support students. Human teachers are crucial in creating meaningful classroom interactions and fostering critical thinking skills.

How much do A.I. tutoring bots cost?

The cost of A.I. tutoring bots can vary depending on the provider and the specific services offered. Some organizations, like Khan Academy, may offer discounts or financial assistance to schools. However, the long-term costs of implementing A.I. technology in education remain a concern for many districts.

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