“A New Way to Know” by Al Jones, Jr., Ed.D

A New Way to Know: Using Artificial Intelligence to Augment Learning in Students with Cognitive Disabilities

Al Jones, Jr. Ed.D
Leverage in Learning Publishing (2020)
ISBN 9781735453408
Reviewed by Mark T. Sneed for Reader Views (04/2021)

“A New Way to Know” by Al Jones, Jr. EdD, is an interesting read. The author has an idea of Artificial Intelligence and the benefits of it for students with cognitive disabilities. Almost immediately Doctor Jones finds himself having to explain the idea of Artificial Intelligence. Be aware that the Artificial Intelligence discussed in the book is not the Artificial Intelligence written about in science fiction books and played out in science fiction movies. Doctor Jones offers the idea of the use of technology in class for students who struggle and are labeled with cognitive disabilities. The AI label is interesting but Jones points out the weak AI most are aware of, which is developed to work on one task, is not what students with cognitive disabilities need. They need technology that has the ability to process multiple problems. It gives an interesting insight into the idea of ways to help students succeed in class and out. Doctor Jones approaches this book and topic of a new way to help students with special needs.

The good points. I really liked the unusual way in which Doctor Jones considered the use of technology for students with cognitive disabilities. I also liked the idea of breaking away from teachers seeing technology as cheating. There is definitely a need to embrace the need for students with cognitive disabilities use of technology to learn and function.

The confusing points. I am still confused as to what Doctor Jones expects to happen. I mean, I know what he suggested, but I still think Jones’ belief in the philanthropic nature of technology developers, corporations, and school districts to implement overall Artificial Intelligence to all students labeled with Cognitive Disabilities is very fanciful. I do believe Doctor Jones’ heart is in the right place and I wish there were more Doctor Jones’ in the world, but unfortunately, I do not believe the developers, corporations and school districts have the children’s futures in mind.

The takeaway after reading “A New Way To Know” is that I am hopeful but pragmatic. I think there is a real need for Artificial Intelligence in schools. I think others, the school boards where students suffer and historically are unprepared for independent success need to read this book. It is insightful.

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