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How we’re bringing AI to the classroom safely

We’re excited to be bringing the magic of AI to the classroom to empower the next generation with the skills to succeed, with safety, practicality, and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

We’re in a time of rapid technological advancement, and classrooms around the world are learning to adapt and embrace all kinds of new changes. Visual communication combined with AI technology holds enormous potential to transform the classroom and revolutionize teaching and learning – and we couldn’t be more excited about it. By responsibly integrating these tools into our platform and guaranteeing free access to Canva for Education(opens in a new tab or window), we can create a future where education is tailored to every student's needs, empowering them to reach their full potential.

Last week at the edtech conference ISTELive23(opens in a new tab or window) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we had the honor of delivering a keynote address about our approach to integrating AI into Canva for Education. With more than 45 million monthly users in over 600,000 schools across the globe, Canva is often the first experience many students and educators have with AI – a responsibility we take extremely seriously.

Bringing the magic of AI to the classroom

In March, we introduced a suite of new “Magic” tools(opens in a new tab or window) to Canva. We knew these features had the potential to immediately supercharge learning by freeing up valuable time for teachers, but we also knew this required careful consideration and intentionality. With a focus on safety and responsibility, we brought these features into the classroom guided by three principles that acted as a compass. Today, we wanted to share more about these principles as we continue creating a safe, helpful, and responsible learning environment for our growing education community.

1. Safety first, always.

We started with a critical question: how do we make sure our content is safe for students? Our dedicated Trust and Safety team is committed to building a safe environment for all members of our community, but we know a level of additional consideration is particularly important in the classroom. We include multiple layers of safety and security across all of our artificial intelligence tools to ensure we’re making the latest technology and classroom innovation available while keeping our community safe.

As part of this, we made an intentional decision to over-index on trust and safety in all aspects of our platform, including our AI text generator Magic Write(opens in a new tab or window) which is great for helping teachers brainstorm lesson plans, question prompts and writing samples. With the launch of Magic Write, we designed and implemented a variety of safety measures to ensure the technology was as useful as possible while helping everyone write confidently and ethically. These measures include:

  • Reviewing the input – We automatically moderate certain input prompts to identify and prevent topics that might generate inappropriate content.
  • Reviewing the output – We automatically moderate generated content when we determine the result might be unwanted or inappropriate to ensure we catch and remove this before the result is made visible.
  • Reducing bias – AI systems and datasets can promote or reduce unfair biases, and concepts of fairness can vary across different cultures. We take steps to minimize unfair bias and misrepresentation through custom mitigations.

With our education community in mind, we also make use of a number of specifically created models to catch and prevent content that might be unsafe or unwanted – this includes anything related to medical or political topics, as well as anything generally unsafe, such as harmful or explicit content.

2. Respect user agency

Our community continues to be one of our most powerful learning tools and provides us with incredibly important feedback to shape the future direction of our products. We proactively reached out to districts(opens in a new tab or window) using Canva for Education ahead of launching this new technology to better understand their readiness and understanding of these new tools.

As part of this, we’ve provided school districts with the choice to either integrate these new tools into the classroom or opt-out if it’s not quite the right time for their school community at this stage. We’re committed to ensuring that the introduction of these tools aligns with the needs and preferences of the districts and their educators above all else.

3. Show teachers how

We don’t believe AI will ever replace the immense value, care, and expertise provided by teachers, but we do know there will be more opportunities to enhance the important work they’re already doing while giving back time to focus on meaningful classroom engagement. We know one of the best things we can do to support our education community is to provide the knowledge and resources to help them make the most out of this emerging technology

To help with this, we’ve created a number of how-to guides(opens in a new tab or window) showcasing how educators can refine their learning materials with Magic Write, and cheat sheets to support the design creation process. We're committed to making the integration of AI into teaching seamless, empowering teachers to embrace the benefits of this transformative technology in ways that are most helpful and beneficial to them and their teaching style.

Connecting with our community at ISTE

We had a great time connecting with our education community at this year’s ISTELive(opens in a new tab or window) 2023 conference where we were blown away by the stories of how teachers are embracing this new technology. It's been incredible to see how passionate teachers are about incorporating new technologies into their teaching, and we're thrilled to be part of such an innovative, supportive community.

some members of our Canva team at our ISTE booth

Some members of our Canva team at our ISTE booth

We gave a range of presentations on everything from how to bring Canva to your district within minutes with single sign-on, to customizing lesson plans for different learning styles with Magic Write. You can catch up on all of this (and more) on Canva for Education’s ISTELive 2023 website(opens in a new tab or window).

Empowering the next generation

With Canva for Education, we're proud to be empowering students, teachers, and districts to create, collaborate, and communicate both in and outside the classroom. Together with our community, we’re excited to continue navigating this exciting era as we empower the next generation with the skills to succeed, with safety at the heart of everything we do.

Learn more about Canva for Education here(opens in a new tab or window).

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