Banning Unified Tests Artificial Intelligence System in Classrooms, Streamlines Instruction for Teachers

Cabazon Elementary School has been selected as the pilot for Merlyn Mind, an artificial intelligence (AI) system designed to help streamline classroom interaction with technology and make lessons more engaging for students.

First-grade teacher Krista Bautista and second-grade teacher Anita Thao began using the Merlyn Mind equipment in their classrooms in early October. The equipment is designed to empower teachers to leave their desks and navigate through apps, tabs and tools on their computers seamlessly through voice commands or with an intelligent remote.

“The students seem to be more interested in the lesson when Merlyn is involved because it pushes students to use their imagination and drives innovation,” Bautista said. “These tools allow me to move about the classroom, which drives engagement and allows me to monitor behavior during lessons. I look forward to teaching other instructors about the tool and its many benefits.”

Bautista and Thao have been using Merlyn Mind primarily for classroom management and student inquiries during social science and science lessons. They said they have found several of the program’s shortcuts to be helpful when it comes to setting timers and controlling her computer from across the room.

“I'm looking forward to seeing our teachers using the Merlyn system in their classrooms in the coming months,” Cabazon Principal Dr. Ricky Anderson said. “When I watched the team come out to demonstrate the functions to the two classrooms, I was amazed at the system’s capabilities. I look forward to the endless possibilities this system will bring our students and staff.”

Before introducing the tool to their students, Bautista and Thao were coached by Merlyn Mind's Manager of Teacher Training and Learning Programs, Wendy Pearson. 

"The Merlyn Mind is cool when you play hide and seek with it,” first-grader Kayden Navario said. “Someone will hide the remote and we can talk to it and the remote will give us clues to help us find it. It’s really fun and It also helps my teacher."

Both educators will serve as mentors as Merlyn Mind expands to more teachers at Cabazon Elementary this fall.

“Thank you to the Merlyn Mind team for working so closely with the Cabazon team and our outstanding information technology department for continuing to find our District innovative learning opportunities to share with our students and staff,” Superintendent Terrence Davis said. “The time is now to integrate creative and interactive technologies in our schools to foster student engagement and find new ways to make lessons meaningful.”