The education system hasn’t done this. The culture doesn’t exist, so very few of our leaders on the ground have done this effectively. If you have then you are one of the rare ones!
I don’t believe it’s too late.
But it’s going to take some extraordinary leadership.
Are we up to the task?
The virtues of an AI educational leader
As education enters the AI revolution, it is crucial for leaders to possess certain virtues to guide their teachers and students through this change:
Of course these are virtues that all leaders should possess anyway, but here’s some suggestions on how to apply them in the AI revolution.
Virtue 1: Collaborative
No one knows everything when it comes to new AI.
Leaders will need to:
Collaborate with schools, colleges, universities and other educational organisations to share data, insights, expertise, and resources.
Bring together diverse teams with different perspectives, skills, and experiences to develop AI solutions that are ethical, unbiased, and inclusive.
By being collaborative, educational leaders can build a strong foundation in their organisation for the AI revolution, ensuring that the AI used is effective, ethical, and meets the needs of their students and staff.
This will lead to increased innovation and progress.
Virtue 2: Inclusive
Inclusivity is multi-faceted.
From access to technology, development of skills and ensuring diversity in thought. Leaders will need to:
Prevent another digital divide and provide access to these revolutionary learning tools, where they can. Educational leaders can work to provide access to hardware and software resources that enable students to learn and experiment with AI. This could include access to AI development kits, cloud-based AI platforms, and other tools that allow students to utilise this powerful technology.
Encourage interdisciplinary learning: Inclusive educational leaders can encourage interdisciplinary learning and collaboration across different fields, such as computer science, engineering, and the social sciences. This can help to broaden the understanding of AI and its potential impact on education and society.
By implementing these strategies, leaders can help to ensure that the benefits of the AI revolution are accessible to all students, regardless of their background. This will help to prevent a digital divide and create a more diverse and innovative community of AI practitioners.
Virtue 3: Adaptable
We’re in for a fast ride.
The ability to be agile in leadership, forget previous learning and embrace new possibilities will be vital. Leaders can do this by:
Keeping up with new technologies and tools: AI is an ever-evolving field, and there are always new tools and technologies emerging that can help educators better understand student needs and tailor their teaching to meet those needs. An adaptable leader will stay up to date with these developments and be willing to try out new tools and technologies to see how they can benefit their students.
Adjusting their teaching strategies: As new tools and technologies come into play, they may require different teaching strategies to be effective. Adaptable leaders are able to adjust their teaching strategies to make the most of these tools, tailoring their approach to meet the unique needs of their students.
Widening their networks: Adaptability also means being open to collaboration with others, whether that's other educators, tech experts, or industry professionals. By working together, leaders can stay up to date with the latest developments in AI and use this knowledge to improve their own teaching and their students' outcomes.
Learning from mistakes: Finally, an adaptable leader will be willing to learn from their mistakes and make adjustments to their approach as needed. In the world of AI, where things are always changing, this is especially important, as it can help educators avoid getting stuck in a particular way of doing things and instead stay open to new possibilities.
Adaptability is difficult, but the strategies that we’ve relied on for so long will very quickly start to fail.
Virtue 4: Ethical
In the AI revolution, educational leaders have access to powerful technology that can transform the way education is delivered. However, this technology can also pose significant ethical challenges. Leaders will need to know that:
AI has the potential to impact many aspects of our lives, and if these systems are not designed and implemented ethically, they can cause harm to individuals and society as a whole. Education leaders have a responsibility to ensure that AI systems are designed and used ethically to avoid potential harm.
Being ethical in the use of AI can help build trust and credibility with stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, and the broader community. When AI systems are implemented with transparency and accountability, people are more likely to trust and embrace them.
Leaders who prioritise ethics in the use of AI can contribute to a world where AI is used for the greater good - to improve education and therefore the successes of their students and staff.
Virtue 5: Learners
The best leaders are continually learning.
Leaders in the educational AI revolution can keep learning by:
Keeping up with the latest trends: They need to stay on top of the latest trends and innovations in the field. This means reading academic journals, attending conferences, and staying up to date with the latest research. By doing so, they can ensure that their school is using the most cutting-edge AI technologies to enhance teaching and learning.
Knowing the right time to shift focus: AI is constantly evolving, which means that as an educational leader, they need to be adaptable and able to change their approach when necessary. Being a life-long learner means being open to new ideas and being willing to learn from mistakes.
Fostering a culture of learning: Having the power to influence the culture of learning is vital. By being a life-long learner themselves, they can model the importance of continuous learning and inspire others to do the same. This can lead to a more innovative and forward-thinking school culture, which will benefit both teachers and students.
Asking advice from their network: Being a life-long learner also means connecting with other educational leaders in the field. This can help them stay up to date with the latest trends, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects. By building a strong network they can create a community of support.
I hope you are a leader who can develop these virtues so that true innovation can take place.
I honestly believe we are at cross-roads right now. Ignoring AI now will exasperate the existing digital divide that many of our students suffer from.
I wish you well.
If there’s ever anything I can help you or your organisation with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
In the meantime, you might be interested in this 👇