Newsela's Philosophy on AI tools in education
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Our philosophy on AI tools for education

The Newsela Team
Feb 4, 2024

At Newsela, we believe the best education solutions power great teaching, they don't replace it. Regarding AI tools for education, there are opportunities for positive classroom impact, potential areas of caution, and steep new learning curves. No matter how clever or powerful these new solutions are, there will always be a need for the uniquely human ability of teachers to empathize, connect, inspire, and smile with students.

What is Newsela's philosophy on AI in education?

As you navigate this new frontier, we want to be transparent about our position on artificial intelligence in education and how Newsela uses it in our products:

  • We strongly believe that teachers know what’s best for their students and should always continue to be the architects, planners, and decision-makers in the classroom. 

  • The teacher-student interaction is where learning is at its best. AI should be used to save teachers’ time and make certain tasks easier, creating space and time for teachers to have more powerful one-on-one moments in the classroom. 

  • Privacy is always a priority. We ensure that all user data—whether from students, teachers, or other stakeholders—is meticulously blinded. This means that the teams and AI systems involved in leveraging the data won’t be able to associate it with an individual.

  • Our models thrive on aggregated data during the rigorous training process and each iteration is quality-checked by our team before release. This dual-layered approach ensures the highest standards in the development of our AI systems and never loses the human element of what teaching and learning are all about.

  • We also know that education products must be built with teacher input. We leverage robust research, teacher feedback, and in-classroom experiences to drive the most valuable solutions at every step in the development process.

  • We believe the more specific the application of AI, the better. We always apply it to solve for a clear classroom use case. We focus on ensuring that our machine learning models have the right context and behaviors to deliver valuable outputs, specifically in a classroom setting.

How does Newsela use AI in its products?

For Newsela ELA, Newsela Social Studies, and Newsela Science, we leverage AI in:

  • Article planning supports—including main idea, key terms, discussion questions, and before-reading activity ideas for each text

  • Article topic tags

  • Generating Tier 3 vocabulary definitions 

  • Generating writing prompts

For Formative, AI supports:

  • Generating questions, answer hints, and writing prompts

  • Flashcard and practice set generation

For EverWrite (beta), we use AI to power:

  • Real-time student writing feedback delivery, aligned to a chosen rubric

  • Assignment writing prompt generation

At Newsela, our goal is to open up teachers’ abilities to do what they do best: bring learning to life for their students in a deeply personal, human way.

Inspire the desire to learn.

Ready to engage, support, and grow every learner?

Contact us