USC Rossier Magazine: Fall/Winter 2023

Education in the Age of AI

Exploring artificial intelligence's impact on teaching and learning

Whenever a transformative technology emerges, it brings with it a mix of emotions: fear, hope, skepticism and excitement, to name a few. When ChatGPT was released in late 2022, the world was abuzz about its potential impact on every facet of the way we live, work, learn and educate. Just as many worried that the introduction of the pocket calculator would make math class irrelevant, many now fear that these new AI tools will render English class obsolete. But are these fears warranted? After all, math is still taught, even if students are now trained to use advanced calculators to solve difficult equations. And beyond these anxieties, what opportunities does AI present? How will teaching and learning evolve as the world inevitably embraces AI?

AI has the potential to be a force for good and efficiency—from helping teachers develop lesson plans to assisting school districts in rezoning projects. Yet, many of us don’t know how to use these new tools, and nearly 90% of educators reported to Education Week that they haven’t received any professional development on AI. On top of that, AI could exacerbate longstanding inequities in education—from who has access to it to how it will be used in college admissions.

Our faculty, alumni and students are already considering these big issues. This issue of USC Rossier Magazine explores our community’s research and engagement with a rapidly changing technology that just might reshape our world.

Yaw Osei Adutwum PhD ’09, Ghana’s Minister of Education greets students outside of Afia Kobi Ampen Senior High School.
Dean's Byline

Considering the implications of AI for education

As generative artificial intelligence reshapes industries, the USC Rossier community is exploring the opportunities of AI in education while ensuring its ethical and equitable use.

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Features

Illustration of a teacher in front of a classroom working on a math equation on the whiteboard.

A new equation for teacher + student success

Professor Yasemin Copur-Gencturk is empowering math educators with a scalable, AI-powered professional development program.

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Photograph of professor Stephen Aguilar on the campus of USC. He is wearing a blue blazer over a black shirt with brown pants

USC Center for Generative AI and Society to chart the impact of AI on culture, education, media and society

Professor Stephen Aguilar is leading the center’s education research, exploring how students and teachers are already using AI tools—and how they can best use them in the future.

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A yellow and green illustration of a mortar board with a computer chip on top.

Balancing the potentials and pitfalls of AI in college admissions

Artificial intelligence promises efficiency gains for admissions offices and offers students innovative application tools, but will the new technology advance or hinder equity?

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Line illustration of three professors, Corinne Hyde, Yasemin Copur-Gencturk and Anthony Maddox.
In Conversation

Considering the opportunities, dangers and applications of AI

Professors Yasemin Copur-Gencturk, Anthony Maddox and Corinne Hyde sound off on how AI will reshape education.

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A pride banner hangs at the USC campus during Pride Month.
Tips for Educators

How can educators support gender-diverse students?

From validating feelings to creating a toolbox for emotional regulation, these practical tips can help students thrive.

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Illustration of a robot holding a pencil.
News

School districts prepare for AI

Superintendents across Southern California are seeking ways to embrace and integrate the new technology. 

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Alumni Stories

Ghana's minster of education meets with students at an all-girls high school in Ghana.

Yaw Osei Adutwum PhD ’09 returned to Ghana to transform the nation’s educational system

After working as a teacher and founding a charter school network in L.A., Adutwum was appointed Ghana’s minister for education and led the country’s effort to expand free secondary education for all.

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Photograph of Valenia Belle against a dramatic black background.

Leveling the test-prep field

Valencia Belle EdD ’23 is championing educational access in Alabama and beyond.

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An AI generated photo of Brent Warner using USC colors, cardinal and gold.

Empowering ESOL students with AI

MAT-TESOL alum and Irvine Valley College professor Brent Warner is embracing artificial intelligence for its ability to help students take control of their own learning.

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Melanie Lundquist at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival, where she spoke at a session titled “How Philanthropy Can Drive Change in Public Education.”
Rossier Supporters

Transforming the education system from within

Melanie Lundquist ’71, MA ’73 is advancing educational equity in underserved schools throughout Los Angeles.

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Keily Molina at the campus of East Los Angeles College. She is dressed in a black top and black and white paints.
Student Story

The give-and-take of counseling

After flourishing under the guidance of a community college counselor, EC student Keily Molina pays it forward.

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Illustration of two people facing one another. Above one is a large quote bubble with a finger print inside of it. The figures are black and the background is red.
Opinion

Confronting linguistic racism

As our world grows more globalized, our acceptance of others—and their accents—is paramount.

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