Making the Claim
Artificial Intelligence-powered classroom technology is on the rise. And when it comes to teaching students effective argumentative writing skills, these technologies can prove an invaluable tool. They can also easily perpetuate decades of existing educational inequities.
In 2021, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided a grant to Greater Good Studio to conduct research exploring how AI-powered digital writing platforms might support users through the process and assessment of argumentative writing.
I served as team lead for a talented group of researchers and designers on this project.
Equitable process for equitable outcomes
We built a community around our work, to ensure that it was informed by the past and present experience of experts and that it would be championed by decision-makers in the future:
We recruited students and teachers from all over the US to help us learn about what it's like to be in classrooms today, and to help us co-design ideal technologies.
We studied existing research on education, technology, writing, and AI ethics.
We connected with advisors in artificial intelligence, ethics, disability, and writing.
We established strategic partnerships with organizations who are already working on education technology: CommonLit, Digital Promise, and National Writing Project.
Working together we created a body of knowledge that led us to research insights and design guidance for our partners, and for the field at large.
Finding our north star
We developed a list of five "guiding principles" for education technology companies creating new tools for young people studying argumentative writing in the English/Language Arts classroom.
Make it easier for students to write their own way.
Set clear expectations and encourage student exploration.
Create opportunities for students to practice authentic argumentation.
Build safe, creative learning spaces where young people can exercise their agency and practice new skills.
Develop tools that can respond to feedback and adapt to change.
Our partner organizations have taken on our strategic recommendations for the next phases of their work (we even got to help one of them build out their pitch deck for funding a prototype)! Our team also published our findings at makingtheclaim.com, where you can learn more about our work and the people who made it possible.