Volusia County Schools considering new AI guidelines for classrooms

The Volusia County school board has voted to consider adding a new set of rules to govern the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom.

The proposed changes would allow students and teachers to use AI to improve the learning environment while also clearly defining boundaries to prevent academic dishonesty. The changes are under the district’s Student Code of Conduct and Discipline.

Elizabeth Albert, the president of the Volusia United Educators, said the proposal has gotten a mixed response from her members. 

"There are a lot of folks who are really excited about where we can go with this," she said. "... but there are also folks who are a little cautious and want to know where the guardrails are." 

Overall, the board wants students to use AI in a supportive role.

"There is no way to replace authentic, genuine instruction. I think that we could look to enhance some of what we're doing," Albert said.

One of the bullets included in the agenda item reads as follows: 

"AI can be used as a tool for assistance in brainstorming ideas, understanding complex texts, or improving grammar and syntax. However, the bulk of the thinking, analysis, and composition should be the student’s own."

Submitting an AI-produced product as your work would be against the rules. 

FOX 35 News heard from parents who believe the change is overdue. Cassie Gonyer has three children in the school district. Her oldest is headed to fifth grade. 

"I'm glad that they're having this conversation… the students, they're already far ahead," she said.

The board must advertise the proposed rule change for 28 days before taking an official vote.

"We can't slow it down," she said. "It's already in schools, whether we were prepared for it or not."