In this article we'll discuss AI and the benefits and changes it's bringing to education.
We'll also be sharing some useful links to tools and platforms using AI in education.
Some educators are understandably fearful of the recent advances in AI technology, particularly with the release of OpenAI's latest language model, ChatGPT. Students can easily ask the platform to complete homework assignments for them in just a few seconds.
And by showing it a sample of previous work, the AI can even write an essay in the student's own personal style - complete with grammatical and spelling errors, if desired - adding to the authenticity and to make cheating almost impossible to detect!
So, given all this, what should educators do? And is AI the end of education as we know it?
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fear of plagiarism, of students not engaging in tasks or of not learning at all, several universities around the globe are resorting to a blanket ban on the use of AI.
Top French University Sciences Po for example, now "strictly forbids the use of ChatGPT or any other tool using AI", citing sanctions "which can go as far as expulsion from the establishment or even from higher learning".
Speaking to the Guardian for Australia, Toby Walsh, Scientia professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales said:
"There are technical solutions – digital watermarking, but you can just run another program over it to destroy the watermark. It's an arms race that's never going to finish, and you're never going to win."
Whether we like it or not, in the long run, AI technology is going to become a staple part of our lives - so rather than fight it, it seems clear that we, as educators, need to move with it; use it to our advantage and adapt the way we teach accordingly.
Qualification body, The International Baccalaureate is taking this approach. Likening the AI language model to calculators or spell check tools - that when used correctly can add value - they have announced that students will be able to quote from work generated by ChatGPT.
It's almost inevitable that the nature of learning will change dramatically in the future - both in terms of the content and skills to be taught and also the way students learn.
Rather than focusing solely on written output, for example, students may be encouraged to spend more time working on devising pertinent questions, analysing the creative process, debating, group work, high level critical thinking, communication and presentation skills - all very human activities that the likes of ChatGPT cannot replicate.
In addition, more and more educators are starting to look to AI solutions combined with online or VR activities as part of their teaching methods - which can result in some of the most creative, motivating and highly effective immersive learning experiences.
Speaking of the adoption of VR technology, Graeme Lawrie, Director of Innovation and Outreach Sevenoaks School, UK, recently wrote that his school was "moving away from simply 'learning' a subject or topic to 'feeling' the content." He explained that approach:
"allows a student to explore, to experience or to be involved in something, as if they are actually present in that environment or place."
By immersing students in technology from a young age, we are likely to be giving them a head start in the future workplace - where use of such technology will inevitably become more and more commonplace. But that aside, let's consider some of the ways in which AI is already bringing enormous benefits to learners:
There are also many ways in which educators are already taking advantage of AI and these benefits are only set to grow:
Moving on to some interesting use cases, we've selected just a handful, but there are so many innovative companies developing AI enhanced solutions to support and enhance learning in students of all ages.
AI is developing at a rapid pace. It has already impacted the education system and will continue to disrupt.
Educators who stay put, relying only on old methods will find themselves increasingly at a disadvantage - whereas those who embrace the power that is AI and who adopt tools and platforms to reduce time consuming work will be freed up to focus on the more human and creative work of creating learning experiences that really count.
And from the students' perspective, they are increasingly coming to expect instant feedback, creative, interactive learning activities and gamification as standard.
It seems inevitable that not only the way we teach but also what we teach will change with the continued development of AI. The skill sets required for future generations in the workplace will be more focused on higher level skills of critical thinking, creativity and communication.
Working in education in this era of rapid technological change is exciting and whether in terms of innovating, testing, implementing or simply continued student guidance, every teacher and educator has a role to play in helping define what the learning of tomorrow will look like.