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Dr. John Spencer – Educator and AI Specialist – speaks with La Salle Staff

On Wednesday, August 23, La Salle’s faculty participated in a day-long workshop with Dr. John Spencer, author and professor in education from George Fox University. Focused on a student-centered approach to learning, Dr. Spencer explores the overlap between education and the incorporation of technology.
The workshop, entitled “How will we respond to the AI (Artificial Intelligence) Revolution?”, invited teachers to consider the opportunities, as well as limitations, of artificial intelligence as La Salle continues to explore the best way to offer a ‘human and Christian education’, central to Lasallian education. As Spencer highlighted, of particular importance is the development of human skills that can’t be demonstrated by artificial intelligence, skills such as voice, curiosity, and especially empathy. 

“Start with a place of empathy,” says Dr. Spencer. “There’ll be good and bad uses, but rejecting [artificial intelligence] does not teach our students how to use it wisely and ethically. Rejecting it doesn’t allow us as educators to improve the lessons we design.” By offering a space for conversation based in empathy, Dr. Spencer urged faculty to consider the opportunities as well as limitations of artificial intelligence as they continue to explore the best way to offer a “human and Christian education”, central to Lasallian education. 

La Salle staff appreciated Spencer’s urging to keep education “human centered and tech informed”, allowing them to keep the needs of the student at the center of what they do. “As we move through this school year, we will continue to balance the need for students to create work that reflects their own creative and critical thinking with the reality that tools, such as ChatGPT and others, can be utilized in ways that are supportive and even innovative”, shared La Salle Principal Alanna O’Brien.