Carter in the classroom

DeSoto ISD sees gains in early test of AI-driven math curriculum

The district tells AI what areas kids are struggling with

NBC Universal, Inc.

The past few weeks, At Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet School in DeSoto ISD  Jeff Jacobs, has taught summer learning.

He and other teachers are working to catch students up in math this year.

 The district came to him with a new program they bought to help and he thought, "Not again."

"There are programs that like to have a one-case-fits-all all cookie-cutter approach," said Jacobs.

Schools are often bombarded with new curriculums, software skills and thrills to be the magic bullet to help students succeed.   

"But this one, it actually has some merit," he told us.

This latest effort uses AI significantly. The district can tell AI what areas kids are struggling with, and it helps design lessons to fight that.  

It also interacts with the students much like a Siri or Alexa to help the teacher be in more places at once.

"In the educational setting, we're talking about having a teacher have an AI virtual assistant, having a teacher who can go a virtual teacher who can go and remind kids of a certain skill, a certain, a certain step in a process," said Jacobs.

Teachers at summer learning were so impressed by the new program, that DeSoto ISD superintendent Usama Rodgers and her team of administrators came to see for themselves what teachers were so excited about...  

"She was saying that on average her third-grade students have solved about 1000 problems. And we can't get kids to do this," said Rodgers.

Rodgers sat with students and did the problems together.

"The harder the problem, the more the points were. And so I was laughing with the student, I was like, you had quite a few red dots. He was like, 'Yeah, I was rushing through and I had to slow down and really pay attention.' And so that in and of itself is powerful. Because how many times can students just point and click and not be forced to think?"

The system is new, not something with a proven track record, but Dr. Rodgers says she has seen the benefit of the AI in the classroom and will roll it out district-wide in the fall to help grow math scores still lagging behind after the pandemic. 

Contact Us