Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools for Students

Glenbard students will be able to access Artificial Intelligence tools on their district devices in the 2024-25 school year. This includes Gemini and Perplexity AI, and is in alignment with Glenbard’s Acceptable Use of Technology Policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

AI is a powerful tool that provides writing assistance, helps students conduct quality research, clarifies concepts, serves as a study aid, fosters curiosity, and assists in developing a wide variety of other career-focused skills.

We are excited to present your student with the opportunity to engage with Gemini and Perplexity AI. These AI tools offer a wide range of applications, including potential benefits in improved learning and preparing for future employment opportunities. However, as with any emerging technology, there are important considerations regarding both benefits and potential risks some of which we have summarized below.   

It is important for all families to consider the broader implications of using AI. As we embrace this new technology, we need to continue to safeguard student data and privacy. We ask our families to please assist our staff in reminding students that personal, identifiable information should NEVER be shared via any technology tool. Additionally, while Gemini and Perplexity, do have their own built-in content filtering system, parents/guardians should know that our Glenbard technology department does not have the ability to content filter these tools to the same extent possible in other programs.

Parents may restrict their student’s access to AI tools. We ask that before choosing to deny permission for your student to use AI tools you review the information below.

What is Gemini AI?
Gemini is a multimodal generative AI model that understands text, images, audio, and code.  Unlike traditional search engines that return lists of links, Gemini utilizes AI to comprehend and directly respond to user queries in a natural language format. This allows users to engage in a conversation-like exchange, receiving answers, summaries of complex topics, and even brainstorming assistance. Gemini supports over 40 languages.

What is Perplexity AI?
Perplexity is an AI-driven search engine, and is a combination of conversational AI and web searching. Perplexity has an academic focus and can be used for research, answering questions, understanding topics, generating citations and outlines. Perplexity uses web sources to generate answers to questions and cites relevant links in its responses. Perplexity is available in several languages and also allows users to upload PDFs for analysis. 

Benefits of Using AI Tools:

  • Research Assistance: AI tools can help students find relevant information quickly, aiding them in their research and projects across various subjects.
  • Concept Clarity: Interacting with AI tools can provide explanations and insights that enhance students’ understanding of complex topics.
  • Writing Improvement: Students can receive writing suggestions and feedback from AI tools, leading to improved composition skills.
  • Language Learning: AI tools can assist language learners by offering practice in sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar.
  • Creative Expression: Engaging with AI tools encourages creative thinking and storytelling, fostering imaginative expression.
  • Study Aid: AI tools  can serve as a supplementary study resource, offering explanations for academic concepts
  • Foster Curiosity: Using AI tools triggers natural curiosity to investigate alternate perspectives, processes, and answers to questions.

Future employment and career-focused skills that AI Tools can assist in developing:

  • Skill Development: AI tools can help students develop essential communication and writing skills, which are highly valued in the modern workforce.
  • Resume Building: Interacting with AI tools can assist students in crafting effective resumes and cover letters, showcasing their experiences and abilities.
  • Interview Preparation:  AI tools can be used to simulate interview scenarios, providing a platform to practice and improve interview skills.
  • Research and Learning: AI tools can aid students in researching various career paths and industries, fostering informed decisions about their future.
  • Guidance: We encourage parents and guardians to provide guidance on using AI tools as a complementary tool, emphasizing the importance of personal growth and learning.
  • Real-World Experience: Using AI tools will give students real-world experience with generating AI prompts and learning how to most effectively use these AI, an emerging, critical skill in a variety of professions.

Risks and Considerations:

  • Inaccurate Information: AI tools generate responses based on patterns in data it has been trained on, which might result in providing inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • Privacy Concerns: Interactions with AI tools could involve sharing personal information or sensitive details accidentally. It is important to be cautious when entering any information that could lead to unintended privacy breaches. These applications record and store interactions from its users.
  • Inappropriate Content: Our District does not have the capability to filter content delivered by AI tools.  While the creators of these AI tools have made efforts to filter out inappropriate content, they might still occasionally produce content that is not suitable for all audiences.
  • Dependency: There is a risk of students becoming overly reliant on AI tools for answers, which could hinder critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Time Management: Excessive usage of AI tools might divert attention from other important activities and responsibilities.
  • Limited Human Interaction: Overreliance on AI tools might diminish students’ ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with real individuals.

Safety Measures:

  • Teacher Supervision: Teaching staff will provide supervision within the classroom with students to model the appropriate usage of AI tools.
  • Parent/Guardian Supervision:  We encourage parents and guardians to supervise their student’s interactions with AI tools and talk with them about the appropriate use of technology, including responsible and ethical interactions with AI tools.