1. AI has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and students' learn.
2. AI can provide personalised learning pathways for individual students to increase engagement and motivation
3. AI could benefit us greatly with regards to administrative tasks, reducing teacher workload and increasing efficiency.
4. Implementing AI processes requires extensive knowledge, training and infrastructure.
5. AI could create a greater divide within education where they do not have equal access to technology
6. We are yet to understand the true implications and have to question the balance between Human loss and technological gain.
7.It is essential for educators, policymakers, and researchers to engage in constructive dialogue, remain open to experimentation, and leverage AI in ways that empower and enhance the learning experience
Want to find out more?
The Bourne Epsom Protocol https://www.ai-in-education.co.uk
Instigated by Bourne Education Trust (BET) and Epsom College.
Interested in the research?
Artificial Intelligence in Education: A Review. L.Chen et al., (2020). Read it here
The Educational Edowment Foundation: Digital Technology (2019) Read their report here
Prefer to watch?
Is education ready for Artificial Intelligence? Machine Learning and Ed Tech by Professor Rose Luckin. Watch it here
The Divisive Role of AI in Education: Debating its impact on the Future of Learning
By Emma Darcy: Director of Technology for Learning
As technology continues to reshape various aspects of our lives, the field of education stands at the forefront of a transformative revolution. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool that holds the potential to revolutionise the way we teach and learn. At Chiltern Learning Trust, the summer term has certainly seen AI dominating many conversations with senior leaders, school staff and students. However, amidst the excitement and optimism surrounding AI's integration into education, there are opposing views as to the impact it will have. While some educators envision a future where AI enhances personalised learning and instructional effectiveness, others perceive it as a mere passing fad. Nowhere was this more evident than at the recent Festival of Education at Wellington College, where numerous sessions debated and dissected the potential implications of AI for teaching, learning and assessment.
The Implications and Benefits
Proponents of AI in education argue that it has the potential to revolutionise the learning experience. By leveraging vast amounts of data and advanced algorithms, AI can provide personalised learning paths tailored to each student's needs, abilities, and learning style. This personalised approach can foster better engagement, motivation, and improved learning outcomes. AI can alleviate the burden on teachers by automating administrative tasks, such as assessment and organising student data, allowing educators to focus more on providing individualised support and meaningful interactions with students. This can lead to a more efficient use of teachers' time and resources. Of course, it is not just teachers who can see the potential benefits. Forward-thinking support staff and some Multi Academy Trust Central Teams have been quick to identify the possible impact on burdensome administration processes.
Despite the promising potential, sceptics argue that AI's impact on education is overstated and that it may be a passing distraction. One concern is the risk of overreliance on AI, potentially devaluing the role of human teachers. Detractors worry that substituting human interaction with AI-powered platforms could hinder the development of important social and emotional skills in students. Moreover, critics highlight the challenges associated with AI implementation, such as the digital divide and equity issues. The integration of AI in classrooms requires adequate infrastructure, training, and access to technology, which may exacerbate existing inequalities in education. According to a recent report by UNESCO, the lack of access to technology in low-income countries presents a significant barrier to the adoption of AI in education, potentially deepening the global educational divide.
What Research Says
Recent research provides valuable insights into the impact of AI in education, fueling both optimistic and sceptical viewpoints. A study conducted by Stanford University's Graduate School of Education found that AI-powered tutoring systems improved students' learning outcomes, leading to significant gains in standardised test scores. The research emphasised the potential for AI to deliver adaptive and personalised instruction, particularly in subjects like mathematics.
On the other hand, it can be argued that, while AI has the potential to enhance teaching and learning, its effectiveness heavily depends on the quality and design of the educational content and the level of human involvement. It is crucial to emphasise the need for careful consideration of ethical concerns, learner privacy, and the critical role of human teachers in leveraging AI technologies effectively.
The Impact of AI in Education
The debate surrounding the impact of AI in education reflects the complex and multifaceted nature of this transformative technology. While proponents highlight AI's potential to revolutionise personalised learning and streamline administrative tasks, sceptics raise concerns about the risks of overreliance, potential loss of human interaction, and the exacerbation of educational inequalities. With this in mind, it will be interesting to follow the work of the Bourne Epsom Protocol (https://www.ai-in-education.co.uk)/ instigated by Bourne Education Trust (BET) and Epsom College. The Bourne Epsom Protocol brings together senior and experienced figures who have worked in both the state and independent sectors and is motivated by a belief that, if schools are to optimise the benefits of AI, they will need to supplement guidance from the government and tech industry to provide real-time, specific and informed advice to the sector.
As the Education Endowment Foundation stated in its Digital Technology Guidance Report back in 2019, “Technology is much more likely to improve learning if it is introduced in response to an identified need. Particularly when schools are under pressure to improve outcomes, it can be tempting to introduce new programmes or products before thoroughly considering whether they are likely to provide solutions to existing priorities for improving teaching and learning.” Recent research provides evidence of both the benefits and limitations of AI in education, emphasising the need for careful integration and thoughtful design. Striking a balance between AI and human involvement, addressing equity concerns, and ensuring ethical implementation are critical for maximising the potential benefits of AI in education.
As the education landscape continues to evolve, it is essential for educators, policymakers, and researchers to engage in constructive dialogue, remain open to experimentation, and leverage AI in ways that empower and enhance the learning experience.
CTSH ' Together Towards Excellence'