With its ability to personalise learning experiences, streamline administrative tasks, and provide insightful data analytics, AI is transforming the way we teach and learn.
To understand the impact of AI on education, we talked to educators, researchers, and edtech pioneers. From adaptive learning platforms to intelligent tutoring systems, AI is reshaping traditional classrooms.
Here’s what the experts had to say:
- Adam Speight, Teacher & Content Writer for Access Education GCSEPod
- Joe Baguley, VP and CTO at VMware EMEA
- Bill O’Shea, EMEA Vice President at Udemy
- Mr. Allen Koh, Educational Consultant and CEO at Cardinal Education
- Paul Heiden, Chief Product Officer at Bynder
- Ranbir Arora, CEO and Founder at Oneday
- Lil Bremermann-Richard, CEO at Oxford International Education Group
- Jason Tomlinson, Managing Director at RM Technology
Adam Speight, Teacher & Content Writer for Access Education GCSEPod
“AI is certainly making its mark on the education sector and that’s something that we, as educators, can’t shy away from. It’s impacting the work that we receive from learners and the fact that some are already using AI has created challenges around authenticity.
“That being said, we shouldn’t necessarily view this in a totally negative light. The use of AI in the creation of work has been happening for years, think of tools like Google translate, Google Scholar and spell check. Aside from ChatGPT being more intelligent and much quicker, is there a huge difference?
“Currently, I’d say that the biggest challenge is the vacuum of knowledge across the sector in terms of how to approach the use of AI. Do we encourage it? Do we nurture it? Or do we ban its use altogether? The answer to these questions needs to come from the government and at the moment, there is no real direction, some AI applications are available to learners in schools, some aren’t. In fact, education providers such as Microsoft and Google are already providing learners with additional AI tools before we as educators have even had time to explore or consider their impact.
“I’d argue that coursework-based subjects face the biggest and most serious risks as unless a teacher supervises the learner whilst completing their coursework, in exam conditions, it’s difficult to ascertain authenticity especially when AI is able to reproduce work in relation to an age category.
“It’s important to remember that it’s not just the pupils using AI, educators themselves are starting to explore how AI can be used to plan lessons, with AI also being utilised when undertaking action research projects. These tasks normally take vast amounts of time which educators don’t have, so – in this instance – AI is a welcome introduction.”
Joe Baguley, VP and CTO at VMware EMEA
“We’re already seeing reports of ChatGPT being used in exams. In a recent test, it passed law exams in four courses at the University of Minnesota and another exam at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Unsurprisingly, we’re also seeing tools being developed to detect and prevent its usage.
“This creates a developmental cat and mouse whereby students will want to use it both because they can’t, and because they shouldn’t. But this sends out a wrong message and arguably fuels the fire of scepticism around AI. Knowing that they’re here to stay, we should accept ChatGPT and other AI tools into education and encourage people on how to best engage with them. Essentially, to use every tool in the box to get the job done better and quicker because this is the world of work they will walk into. ”
Bill O’Shea, EMEA Vice President at Udemy
“Businesses and professional learners are turning to online training to upskill in such cutting-edge topics. It is the reason why courses published on ChatGPT saw massive growth of 4,419% on our platform among business employees globally during Q1 2023.
“We believe generative AI will redefine the way we work, and history has shown that technological advancements can lead to job creation and operational efficiency. To keep pace with generative AI, we need to gain a better understanding of the risks and benefits of using it and how it could impact professions, businesses, and industries.”
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Mr. Allen Koh, Educational Consultant and CEO at Cardinal Education
“Schools are still unsure of how to deal with the new technological wave brought about by ChatGPT and other AI tools, but Mr. Koh is already foreseeing the issues that will surface. Although there is an ongoing discussion about changing the way that people teach and learn, his position is unwavering: “ChatGPT presents unique difficulties for education and college admissions, and deep research skills will likely suffer.
“The ability of chatbots to write and generate essays and answer homework would prevent students from learning crucial skills for professional success. Simply because there is no point in utilizing an essay or written homework as grading elements when the authorship is unclear, there will be more in-class essays and fewer take-home essays. Public speaking will be crucial. More oral exams will be given, which will be much harder than oral presentations.
“In admissions, colleges will be more critical of the essays and personal statements submitted by applicants. Mr. Koh believes that “Although an essay produced by AI will have sentences that are technically and structurally sound, it won’t have the authenticity, sincerity, or human touch that would reveal more about the applicant to admissions committees.”
Ranbir Arora, CEO and Founder at Oneday
“The technological progress of AI is impacting education in a massive way. Our education system is currently built to help students remember well-understood knowledge and processes, and to be able to use those skills when they start their careers. However, as AI begins to remember this knowledge and disrupts the job market as we know it, the education system will need to drastically adapt.
“At Oneday, we see this as an exciting opportunity to reposition our society from one that teaches students to do things we already know how to do, to one that solves new problems for humanity through entrepreneurship. Our world is changing and it’s important that education systems reflect this.”
Lil Bremermann-Richard, CEO at Oxford International Education Group
“The higher education sector is grappling with the pros and cons of AI. With all industries adopting these technologies, caution must be applied. Different AI systems vary in levels of transparency and human involvement. The education sector will have to make sense of the use of AI while at the same time they’re adapting to popular applications of it being used among their students. Institutions will need to make sure they can detect and address plagiarism and prevent students from farming out tasks to large language models like ChatGPT. The industry is being pushed to adjust to the new landscape – for example there are now AI solutions that can identify AI-enabled essay submissions from students!
“Despite the initial challenges, there is huge potential for AI to enhance the student experience and improve accessibility. AI models can be deployed to analyse data on student characteristics, behaviour, and performance, and to enable universities to personalise curriculums, maximise student success and prevent dropouts by spotting the warning signs early on. AI models can also generate course and content recommendations for students based on their interests and skill gaps for a more tailored experience.”
Jason Tomlinson, Managing Director at RM Technology
“Rishi Sunak’s excitement at this year’s London Tech Week about the ability of AI to transform education is well placed. Whilst we are yet to see the widespread adoption of AI in the classroom, teachers and pupils alike are already beginning to realise the technology’s potential.
“Teachers are starting to discover how AI programs can use student data, such as preferred learning style, to create personalised lesson plans. By automatically adapting exercises, lessons, and supporting material to meet the pupils’ ever changing developmental needs, AI is finally unlocking the possibility of creating an educational environment where all pupils can thrive.
“Instead of replacing teachers, AI has so far been incorporated into the classroom in a way that complements rather than replaces traditional teaching methods. Its true value is in helping teachers save time on repetitive and administrative work, enabling them to spend more face-to-face time with students.
“As we have seen over the last six months, change in this sector takes days not months. Therefore, it can be hard to predict what the classroom will look like in a year’s time from now. But one thing is for certain, AI will be transformative.”
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