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Let's up our AI game

After a glorious 12 days touring Florida (and 2 weeks touring England and Wales before that) I want to share with you some of the themes of hope that educators from all stages of education are talking about.

Then I want to help you up your AI game by introducing you to 5 AI tools you can find in Canva and the brand new conversation AI called Pi.

This week I am spending time with my family in a place where Scotland, England and the North Sea meet, Berwick-Upon-Tweed 👇

Swanning About Berwick-upon-Tweed by Rob Hain

Four hopes for AI from educators in the USA and UK

As the sun set over the endless Florida skies, I found myself reflecting on the whirlwind of conversations and ideas I'd encountered on my tour across the sunshine state.

At the start of my travels, I was struck by the bold ambitions of the STEM Leadership Alliance Summit. There, educators and industry leaders gathered to discuss the transformative potential of STEM in education. We envisioned a world where AI could help students gain the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital and automated world. And yet, there were also questions about the impact AI could have on core knowledge and the human touch in learning. As I continued my journey, I visited other communities and institutions that were grappling with the potential and pitfalls of AI in education.

On my travels, I met Lyndse, Senior Director for Innovation and Technology at Orlando Economic Partnership. She spoke passionately about the need to prepare workers for the future, and the role of AI in providing opportunities for upskilling and retraining. Lyndse's insights were inspiring, but they also brought to light the challenges of ensuring that everyone has equal access to these opportunities.

When I reached Florida Southwestern College in Fort Myers, I was welcomed by Anna and Heather to the inviting ambience of academia and innovation. Stepping to the podium to share my thoughts, I felt the thrill of being part of an institution that is not just talking about AI, but also actively working to incorporate it into their curriculum and systems. This isn’t just a tech-savvy school, but a visionary pioneer. I was introduced to a team of bold leaders, each with their own unique perspective on the integration of AI into education.

Finally, I was invited my L.Michelle in Tallahassee to record a PBS TV show to audience of educators who were keen to learn everything they could about how to use AI. 

At every turn, I was struck by the possibilities of AI, but also the complexities. These are the four main themes I encountered when I spoke to educators about their hopes for AI:

Theme 1: AI as a bridge between education and industry

As artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in the workplace, it will be crucial for education systems to form closer ties with industries in order to adequately prepare students. 

Schools need to understand how AI is changing and will change various fields so they can update their curriculum and teaching methods accordingly. Educators should collaborate with technology companies and other employers to identify the skills students will require to thrive in the future economy. This will involve placing greater emphasis on adaptability, creative thinking, and social-emotional intelligence. 

Schools should work with businesses to provide internships, apprenticeships, and other applied learning opportunities. These experiences will give students practical knowledge and familiarity with emerging technologies like AI. To send graduates into a workforce transformed by intelligent machines, education systems must tap into industries' expertise in these areas. 

Fostering strong partnerships will enable schools to evolve so students gain both the hard and soft skills necessary to have successful careers in the age of AI.

Theme 2: AI as a tool for upskilling the workforce

As the job market rapidly evolves due to technological advances, it is crucial that the workforce adapt and gain new skills. 

AI presents exciting upskilling opportunities that can empower employees and organisations. For example, intelligent tutoring systems can provide personalised, adaptive training to workers looking to expand their skillsets. These AI systems will assess the learner's strengths and weaknesses to deliver customised instruction. 

Rather than fearing AI as a job-stealing adversary, we must embrace it as an empowering partner that can provide the necessary training and skills to meet society's evolving needs.

Chatbots and virtual assistants can also serve as always-available coaches that guide employees through new processes and procedures on-demand. Additionally, AI-driven recruiting and talent management tools help identify skill gaps across the workforce and suggest targeted training. By leveraging data and algorithms, these solutions accurately map the skills employees need against current capabilities. 

AI has huge potential to democratise learning and enable agile, continuous skill development.

Theme 3: AI as a tool for engaging students

AI can analyse each student's interests, learning preferences and pace, AI tutors will design customised learning experiences that are uniquely engaging for each learner. No longer limited by a rigid, one-size-fits-all curriculum, students can pursue their passions and receive targeted support in struggling areas.

Generative AI will also boost learning that extends beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. For example, immersive simulated environments to transport students to any time and place imaginable - from experiencing Shakespearean England to exploring the surface of Mars. Virtual field trips make learning interactive and experiential. 

Additionally, generative AI can empower students to take agency over their own learning. AI tools can help students set personalised goals, reflect on progress, and gain meta-cognitive skills for self-directed lifelong learning. Education powered by generative AI can be truly learner-centred, meeting each student where they are and guiding them to growth. By making education more engaging, flexible, and personalised, generative AI has immense potential to unleash human curiosity and potential

Theme 4: AI as a catalyst for English and Maths educatiox

Even with advanced AI systems now available, foundational skills in English and Maths remain essential for students. 

While AI can generate text and perform calculations, it lacks true comprehension without human guidance. Proficiency in English is still needed to clearly communicate ideas, analyse texts, and understand nuance. Maths skills like arithmetic, algebra, and quantitative reasoning allow people to solve real-world problems, interpret data meaningfully, and make logical decisions. 

These skills empower individuals to use AI wisely and critically.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many students' learning of core English and Maths skills. AI-powered educational tools can help close these gaps. Intelligent tutoring systems provide step-by-step explanations to improve problem-solving abilities. 

By making learning more engaging and accessible, AI can amplify teachers' efforts in developing crucial English and math skills, especially for students who need extra support after the challenges of the pandemic. 

What are your hopes? If they are different I'd love to hear them. 

Tag me in them on social media.

🔓 5 Canva Tools To Unlock Your AI Journey

Canva has a suite of AI-powered tools that can help you create stunning designs quickly and easily.

To help you get to grips with 5 of them I have created this brief video tutorial (Click the video image below to watch it). This is what's included:

00:00 - Magic Write
02:24 - Convert to Presentation
03:46 - Text to Image
06:15 - Magic Design
09:36 - D-ID AI Presenters

💬 Pi - a different kind of AI?

Inflection has created Pi, a new kind of generative AI chatbot. 

Launched by Mustafa Suleyman, former DeepMind co-founder, Reid Hoffman and a co-founder of OpenAI and LInkedIn. Pi AI offers conversations and advice. It's designed to simulate natural discussions, provide valuable advice and recommendations, and present swift facts on an extensive range of topics. 

Suleyman described Pi as a digital companion that combines high IQ with substantial EQ (emotional intelligence). The AI is positioned to assist with learning, decision-making, or just engaging in interactive conversation.