It’s the final day of #24DaysOfAI and if you want to find out what’s behind door number 24, you’ll have to read the post that accompanies this entry…
Welcome to Day 24 of #24DaysOfAI, our Appvent calendar for 2023. It’s been a labour of love sharing alternate days writing the posts between Ronan McNicholl and myself (Mark Anderson).
Choosing each day has been tough. There are lots of tools we could have included, especially those with lots of financial backing behind them. We’ve tried to keep this year’s event focused on those tools that can help provide the most impact and support in those key areas where technology in education can play the biggest part; workload reduction, ease in making resources that support teaching or those which help with learning.
Some tools we could have included such as ChatGPT are of course, worthy of mention, but in a world where some tools such as ChatGPT or Bard are synonymous with AI in education, where’s the learning in that?
AI tool of the day:
In previous years, I have often ended the series by saying the best app in the classroom, is you and sure, of course, the element in any classroom that makes the biggest difference in learning, progress, engagement, support, and everything else a child needs, is their teacher. That shouldn’t change. Or will it?
Well, there are some who say, teachers who don’t use technology will be replaced by those who do, but that goes in some way to the problems we see with some of the taxonomies out there such as SAMR. Good use of technology as we know (and we explore this in some depth in the EdTech Playbook – now due out in early 2024). I’d far rather see teachers using technology when it serves some of those key purposes outlined above, not just using it for the sake of it.
If 2023 was the year that AI came into its own, I truly hope that 2024 sees the year where we start to dig a little deeper into our uses of and choices with AI.
Whilst the opportunities that AI provides for and can support are huge, I am looking forward to seeing some more interesting research start to appear that demonstrates more around the efficacy of all technology, not just AI. I’m also looking forward to learning more about what AI is, how it works, and some of the many acronyms associated with it. If you’re looking for some help with that, this glossary from the Alan Turing Institute is a good place to start.
I love ChatGPT and their ilk, they’ve all made me more efficient and effective in my work over the last year, but there is a fine balance to be had. The results we get from AI are still rarely perfect. Hallucinations still happen far too often and as I shared earlier in the year, never before has Digital Citizenship and Digital Literacy been so important.
As practitioners, it is important to be aware that there is a tipping point in using AI in education. If we expect a tool such as ChatGPT to do all of the work for us, it doesn’t. Iteration as discussed by me and many others, is an important aspect of getting good results out of these tools, but it is an important factor to recognise when to stop. Often when using these tools, in our search for perfection with our iterations, we have become lazy and keep iterating until we get the best results from our tool of choice.
The tipping point and fine balance however is knowing when to stop iterating, say enough is enough, and finish off the job ourselves. We are superb at what we do, we are experts at what we do, AI is not, and won’t be for some time to come. ChatGPT and its counterparts are still known as ‘Narrow AI’. Also known as Weak AI, Narrow AI refers to artificial intelligence systems designed to perform a specific task or set of tasks and they operate within a limited context and lack broader cognitive abilities. These are the types of AI we’ve been using so far and examples include chatbots, recommendation systems, and image recognition software.
The educational benefits of using these Narrow AI tools have been transformational for many and will continue to develop and we hope, that the sharing we have undertaken this month on some of the many different tools available will help with your knowledge and understanding of the breadth and depth of available tools, even if you wanted to explore the creation of your own music.
If you’re still reading, then congratulations, I recognise that I’m rambling on a bit on the topic, but hopefully, you’re still with me.
As I start to wrap up the final entry on the calendar, I want to take a moment to thank Ronan for his hard work and dedication in sharing his thoughts and ideas on the calendar this year. Global Edtech is coming on strength by strength and we cannot wait to launch the Global Edtech awards soon. If you’re interested in signing up to be a judge then you can absolutely express your interest here.
Considerations and Tips:
Performing a few quick calculations, I’ve worked with 42 different schools in the UK and beyond, 13 different Trusts, spoken at 23 different events, and shared with an estimated 4,000 different people (teachers, middle and senior leaders) in doing that work; not to mention my work with EdTech clients and other activities.
When working with schools and speaking with teachers and leaders, the biggest thing that has struck me has been people’s appetite to learn more about AI. The thirst to gain knowledge, learn more, and apply this to supporting the work of teachers in the classroom has been brilliant and this is so good to see.
The thing that has worried me most however has been concerns around those age-old worries, of Data Protection and Safeguarding.
If you read through every post this year on the calendar you will notice that on every post, we have gone to pains to share the importance of getting any tool you’re considering using, checked out for compliance with your Data Protection Officer. Be mindful too to not put sensitive data onto these systems either. For sure, you can just make sure to anonymise it first!
If you’re looking for some support around these things, then an AI policy is a good starting point, so please do take the time to have a look at this policy template I wrote earlier this year with Laura Knight.
So as I wrap up this final entry on the #24DaysOfAI, the Appvent calendar for 2023, and open the door that is there, it is of course the big reveal that our final share of the year is…
So if you have read this far, well done, tweet us at @ICTEvangelist or @global_edtech, and let us know what you’ve thought of the calendar this year. Importantly though, please take time to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate during the holiday season. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so they say, so fill your cup with friends, family, and films (and figgy pudding – if you’re looking for more alliteration!).
Thanks for a brilliant year and thanks for the support.
Mark and Ronan
Stay Ahead with AI in Education:
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