Artificial Intelligence: Considerations for Schools 

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Throughout the development of technology, we’ve seen many things come and go that have greatly impacted the education sector. The internet for one, was a sea-change innovation that altered the way students and communities accessed information with tools such as search engines being on-hand to answer any question, any time of day. If we go even further back, devices such as calculators managed to change the way we approach math by removing the need to crunch sums mentally. Needless to say, these innovations have certainly ‘shaken up’ the way schools have approached education across the past few decades.

What’s interesting though is how schools have adapted to involve these solutions in their classroom as opposed to restricting them.  It’s been clear throughout history that any new innovation we encounter will be introduced to work alongside education rather than hinder it completely.

AI Making Waves in the World

We now find ourselves being able to experience something that is likely to be the next game-changer. The concept of Artificial Intelligence (or AI) has been around for many years, but it has only been in recent times that the general public have been able to interact and engage with AI tools in an easy and accessible way. We now have access to AI tools that can create weird and wonderful pictures, language models that can write 10,000 word essays and chatbots that want nothing more than to just talk to us and see how our day is going. To say that the possibilities are endless might be more applicable now than it has ever been before.

What’s even more fascinating is the uptake of these AI tools. As an example, ChatGPT, (the AI based language model) only launched in November last year and is currently seeing a user base of over 100 million.  Needless to say, the increase has set a record for fastest growing userbase numbers of all time. With data like this, it is clear that AI is making considerable waves in the world!

But what is the response? AI has already experienced its fair share of praise, awe, consideration and concern. When innovation is thrown into the world, there are always going to be questions around how it will impact the future and what this will mean for many systems and behaviours we have grown accustomed to for so long. As with all new technologies, there are concerns and considerations to take into account so we must approach this vast technology with an open mind, embrace their potential, learn as much as we can, and as always, work towards their responsible use with safety and security in mind.

How to Approach Using AI with Students

If your school is looking to address the AI phenomenon with students, there are a few considerations that are worth discussing. Remember, AI is constantly evolving and as online safety professionals in the field, we are keeping an eye on new developments as they come in. For now though, consider the below: (click on the icons)

AI in Education

As AI continues to develop, it is useful to acknowledge the impact and start bringing these discussions into the classroom. Regardless of how AI will alter the education sector, there’s no doubt that students will continue to engage with these tools as curiosity will always come into the equation when something big hits the mainstream. As with most of the technology that young people access, student safety must remain a priority, so let’s support them along the journey.

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