Adam Riches explores an easy and effective way to ensure students are informed about artificial intelligence
It’s no secret that technology is playing an increasingly important role in education. This generation of young people is entering a fast-paced and technology-centred world. This is both in terms of the dissemination and the discovery of knowledge and information.
There’s very little we can do to stop this surge in the use of technology. In fact, we, as teachers, need to enable our students to understand these technologies. This is so we equip young people to use and manage them as they become more prevalent in their lives.
It was only 40-odd years ago that computer scientists invented the concept of the internet. Now it’s hard to imagine a world without the web (although let’s not get into that here!). The impact of such advances on young people is immeasurable.
Each time we see a technological leap forward, we see a new door open. But we also see serious potential issues if we don’t inform people about proper use and, more importantly, the way new technologies function.
Knowledge is wealth when it comes to making informed choices. It’s vital that young people understand the complexities of the technologies of tomorrow.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big leap that promises to have a significant impact on our lives. There’s no hiding from it.
It’s a phenomenal tool with the potential to change the world. However, there are also many myths surrounding it (Cyberdyne Systems, I’m looking at you) that we need to dispel and a lot of information to wade through so people can understand and utilise (or not) this emerging technology in an informed way.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big leap that promises to have a significant impact on our lives”
But the reality is that bringing something as big as AI to the classroom effectively is a daunting prospect, not to mention time-consuming.
Given the current pressures of the classroom, time for exploration of AI doesn’t exactly feature highly on teachers’ lists of priorities – but it should.
The workload-reducing potential and sheer power of this tool mean that it is only a matter of time before AI in education is as much a staple of our lives as the internet has become.
Even more importantly, to ensure future generations understand the concept of AI, its potential and pitfalls, we need to ringfence time in the curriculum to cover it.
Happily, with a helping hand, AI doesn’t need to be daunting at all.
Experience AI is a free programme that gives teachers everything they need to introduce the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning to their class. It explains how it works, so young people are informed and understand its power.
‘Experience AI is a partnership between Google DeepMind and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Since launching in April, thousands of teachers have downloaded the lessons to use in their classrooms.
“Experience AI is a partnership between Google DeepMind and the Raspberry Pi Foundation.”
AI and machine-learning applications are already changing many aspects of our lives, for example, through tools and technologies like:
- search engines
- social media content recommenders
- self-driving cars
- facial recognition software
- image generation
Learners who understand how AI works will be better equipped to engage with the world around them. They’ll be able to make informed decisions about using and creating AI applications and choose what role AI will play in their futures.
They will also gain better critical-thinking skills and awareness regarding how they might use AI to come up with new, creative solutions to problems they care about.
Introducing the resources
Experience AI’s resources feature:
- clear and concise teaching resources aimed at secondary students (KS3/4)
- free lesson plans
- slide decks
All the lessons are designed to be delivered by non-computing specialists. There is also a new AI-themed challenge that gives students the skills and confidence to make their own AI app.
Experience AI solves the problem teachers have of finding trustworthy teaching materials around AI and machine learning. It provides high-quality resources written by experts that are clear, concise and, best of all, free.
It’s exactly what we need to move young people beyond the AI misinformation in popular culture and help them to understand how the technology works and how they can use it in the modern world.