AI Spotlight: Lynwood Unified School District

Wed Apr 24 08:58:00 PDT 2024

Gittisriboongul is advocating for organizations to adopt an AI strategy, recognizing its potential to reshape business models, tools, and skill sets.

Dr. Patrick Gittisriboongul remembers the moment when the urgency surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) hit home for him. It was in the wake of OpenAI's launch of ChatGPT, a text chatbot, in November 2022. The subsequent banning of ChatGPT in several school districts nationwide sparked Gittisriboongul’s curiosity, leading him to delve into the technology. His experimentation left him convinced that AI was poised to revolutionize the landscape.

Since January 2023, Gittisriboongul has been an advocate for organizations to adopt an AI strategy, recognizing its potential to reshape business models, tools, and skill sets. He emphasizes the urgency for state and local entities to develop tailored strategies to harness the power of AI effectively.

As the Assistant Superintendent of Technology and Innovation at the Lynwood Unified School District, overseeing nearly 14,000 students, Gittisriboongul witnessed AI's impact across various sectors. This prompted his district to establish an AI Task Force in November 2023, comprising teachers, administrators, staff, and the superintendent. Their primary objectives were to ensure responsible AI usage, safeguard student data, and foster inclusivity.

The Task Force wasted no time in taking action. They began by passing a board resolution and conducting a comprehensive survey to gauge AI awareness and requirements within the district. Through a series of meetings, they drafted a responsible use policy, addressing prohibited and permitted uses, student and staff responsibilities, consequences, and the role of human oversight. They grappled with ethical dilemmas and outlined protocols for addressing AI-related incidents.

One challenge they encountered is vendor transparency, with vendors reluctant to disclose system requirements and fine-tuning processes. Despite this hurdle, the Task Force emphasized the need for transparency and the development of an AI incident response plan before adopting any AI tools.

Looking ahead, the Lynwood Unified School District aims to integrate AI into its core operations, fostering a culture that embraces technological advancements. They aspire to lead by example, providing guidance to other districts and leveraging AI to enhance learning outcomes and prepare students for the evolving workforce.

For Gittisriboongul, the urgency of AI adoption is underscored by his own children's educational journey and the changing employment landscape. Seeing the workforce transformations fuels his passion to prepare students with the skills they'll need to thrive in the future.

For other districts that might be considering integrating AI into their schools, Gittisriboongul advises them to start by gathering insight from staff, students, and the community through surveys and needs assessments. His school district is actively creating resources like fact sheets, FAQs, and talking points to facilitate community understanding. Building on their success, the district plans to establish a student task force this fall to further broaden their perspective.

To learn more about the Lynwood Unified School District’s AI Task Force, visit the district’s website.


Dr. Christopher Hoang, LACOE's Assistant Director of Technology Innovation and Outreach (left), Kristine Ono, Assistant Director of Innovation, Expanded Learning, and Data at Lynwood Unified School District (center), and Dr. Patrick Gittisriboongul, Assistant Superintendent of Technology and Innovation at Lynwood Unified School District (right).