Why effective implementation and readiness matter for AI in education - Education Matters Magazine

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Why effective implementation and readiness matter for AI in education

Technology has long played a role in education, from calculators to whiteboards. Just as these tools expanded and enriched learning opportunities, AI is the next step in this evolution, writes Hassan Baickdeli, Head of Emerging Technology and Solutions at Lenovo.

There is no denying that Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming various sectors, and education is no exception. From independent curated learning journeys to automated grading, AI offers a plethora of tools to enhance the educational experience. However, in order to reap the full benefits of AI there needs to be effective implementation and that starts by ensuring educators and students are prepared to leverage the powerful and seemingly endless capability of the technology.

The power of AI in education

Hassan Baickdeli. Image: Lenovo

AI can personalise learning by tailoring content and instruction to individual student needs. Imagine an AI system that identifies a student struggling with math concepts and suggests targeted practice exercises or alternative teaching methods. This approach also caters to diverse learning styles and fosters deeper understanding.

Furthermore, AI-powered assessments can provide immediate feedback, allowing students to identify knowledge gaps and adjust their learning strategies as necessary and this real-time feedback loop is crucial for effective learning. AI can also automate administrative tasks, freeing up valuable educator time to focus on student interaction and personalised guidance.

The key to success

Simply deploying AI tools in classrooms isn’t enough. Here’s what effective implementation entails:

  • Teacher Training and Support: Educators need training on using AI tools effectively and integrating them seamlessly into their teaching styles. They should be empowered to leverage AI as a valuable assistant, not a replacement.
  • Focus on Equity and Inclusion: AI algorithms must be unbiased to avoid perpetuating educational inequalities. Data used to train AI systems should be carefully curated to ensure fair and inclusive learning experiences for all students.
  • Ethical Considerations: Transparency and student privacy are paramount. Students and educators should understand how AI tools function and how their data is used.

When looking to enabling educators for AI, there are some key areas of consideration to bridge the gap between technology and effective teaching.

Focusing on empowerment and collaboration, not as a replacement for educators or any type of threatened from AI. Instead we focus on and emphasise how AI can free them from tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on more high-impact activities like personalised guidance, creative lesson planning, and fostering deeper student engagement and connection.

Another impactful reinforcing this is by building confidence and further development of skills with AI. This is done by providing ongoing training and support to equip educators with the necessary skills to leverage and enhance the impact of AI tools effectively. This fosters confidence and ensures they can integrate AI seamlessly into their existing teaching styles.

Students should understand how to personalise their learning experience with AI tools. Images: Lenovo

Building readiness: equipping educators and students

  • Teacher Confidence: Teachers need to feel comfortable and confident using AI tools. Workshops and professional development opportunities can equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge.
  • Student Digital Literacy: Students must develop the ability to critically evaluate information provided by AI systems. They should understand the limitations of AI and be able to discern fact from fiction.
  • Continuous Improvement: The field of AI is constantly evolving. Schools should establish mechanisms for ongoing evaluation and improvement of AI implementation, ensuring they adapt to the changing landscape.
  • Promoting Student Agency and Ownership: Students should understand how to personalise their learning experience with AI tools. This could involve choosing learning pathways suggested by AI or customising feedback options. Empowering students fosters a sense of ownership over their learning journey.
  • Addressing Potential Disengagement: Over-reliance on AI for learning can lead to disengagement. Ensure a healthy balance between technology-driven and teacher-led instruction. Activities that promote critical thinking, discussion, and hands-on learning are still crucial for well-rounded development.

Key elements from the student perspective starts off with further traction on digital literacy and critical thinking skills, students need to accelerate the ability to critically evaluate information presented by AI systems. This includes understanding how AI works, recognising potential biases in AI outputs, and discerning fact and relevant subject matter data from fiction.

This assists with building trust and responsible AI use and encouraging open discussions and dialogue about how AI is used in their education and the importance of data privacy can help students build trust in AI tools as well as be conscious of the dangers and challenges. By doing so, this encourages them to question AI outputs and seek clarification from educators when/if needed.

Beyond the learning environment developing human skills alongside AI, automation of tasks, providing information and context on various topics can’t be replaced by essential human skills like creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. Ensuring that learning experiences continue to nurture these crucial skills alongside AI proficiency is key in the journey that each student chooses as they follow their path into next stages of their lives and continued education journey.

AI-powered assessments can provide immediate feedback, allowing students to identify knowledge gaps. Images: Lenovo

The road ahead

By prioritising effective implementation and fostering readiness among educators and students, AI has the potential to revolutionise education. It can personalise learning experiences, improve student outcomes, and empower educators to focus on what they do best: fostering a love of learning in their students.

As we move forward, a collaborative approach that values responsible and equitable AI integration will be key to unlocking the transformative power of AI in education.

AI is a natural extension of the technological advancements that have already benefited education, and with careful implementation and preparation, it has the potential to create a truly transformative learning experience for all.

For more information, visit techtoday.lenovo.com/au/en/solutions/education

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