Contributing to Policy Conversations about AI in Education

This is an expertise exchange in the CIRCLS’23 Expertise Exchange session

Session Leaders: Jeremy Roschelle, Digital Promise; Kevin Johnstun; Wendy Nilsen; Valerie Crawford-Meyer; Son Pham; Drew Olsson; NNeka McGee

Since generative AI tools burst onto the scene, policymakers at all levels have become highly involved in developing guidelines and guardrails for the use of AI by students, teachers, and others in educational communities. Input from research communities like CIRCLS is not only valued, but also increasingly necessary in shaping policies at the school level (e.g. acceptable use policies), at the community level (e.g. ethical guidelines) and nationally (e.g. the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights). Yet, members of the CIRCLS community may be less familiar with policy discussions and their opportunities to contribute Broader Impacts by informing policy discussions.

Throughout this informative and interactive session, we’ll seek to shed light on Why, What and How of connecting your expertise and projects to policy discussions. An introductory presentation will provide an overview of national policy activity regarding AI, e.g. White House Executive Orders, the NIST risk management framework, the aforementioned Blueprint, the US Department of Education’s report, while also describing some of the ways researchers have been involved. A panel conversation will elaborate on some of top current policy issues and ways in which research-based knowledge and insights would be helpful. An interactive exercise will give attendees a chance to practice sharing their own AI use case and connecting insights they have to policy-relevant conversations.

  • We will aim for accomplishing the following objectives by the end of the session
  • Participants will be better informed about policy activity relevant to their work, and they will know how to stay informed.
  • Participants will know a range of ways they can contribute, including relatively easy steps like attending listening sessions, responding to requests for comments, visiting their own congressional staff, and supporting their local schools.
  • Participants will be oriented to how they can best communicate with policy makers, and how they can learn more.