Humans at the Center: It’s more than words regarding AI and education.

Jody Britten
4 min readJul 7

Recently a push to ensure that humans stay at the center of artificial intelligence use and policy has gained significant attention in education. It seems everyone has clamored for ways to incorporate this push into their speeches, presentations, papers, and conferences. While some simply spread the word, others have been trying to create policies that model humans at the center and struggling every step of the way.

This “humans at the center” idea is not just about the design of AI tools and platforms. Some would argue that it’s somewhat easy for developers to ensure that humans are at the center of design, prioritization, and refinement of tools. Nor is this just about the growing need to address bias, privacy, and transparency in AI. We have enough emerging research to demonstrate we have work to do, and we have initial examples of large language model training to make a concerted effort and hopefully show progress.

For advocates in education, this “humans at the center” idea has called attention to the need to ensure skilled, trained humans remain as essential partners with all of our learners. Why? Because when it comes to AI being used to make decisions on behalf of learners, we have a lot of conflicting recommendations.

Here’s the thing. I have yet to meet a teacher who doesn’t fully support that humans should be at the center when using AI (especially for educational purposes). But when those same teachers become aware of how much AI is already used to inform the progress of their learners, they wonder if humans have been far removed from the center for a while now.

With new attention to AI, some long-held educational practices are being questioned. Specifically, as teachers rally behind the idea that humans should remain at the center, they are asking great questions. Why we have allowed AI-powered scoring to dictate a student’s learning trajectory? Why have we permitted AI-scored essays to determine opportunity and progressions? And, why do students have limited access to their own data from apps, software, and platforms that are using AI to build learner profiles and progressions?

In conversations with educators across the globe, there has been a constant question of why we haven’t ensured…

Jody Britten

fierce mom, constant learner, writer, speaker, researcher, thinker, designer, gadget queen, advocate for learning that matters & public ed, lead with my actions