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Hello from Dubai 🇦🇪 

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Last week I was interviewed for an upcoming article in the New York Post. The questions the journalist asked are important. I don't think enough of us in education are asking these questions. So, I've dedicated this newsletter the conversation I had with them.

Before you jump in I've recorded a few podcasts recently that encapsulate my current thoughts on AI and the future of education (and shows you the direction of my next book 🤫):

🎙️ AI for the Average Joe 👉 Click here to watch/listen 

🎙️ Global Ed Leaders 👉 Click here to watch/listen (coming soon)

🎙️ The International Classroom 👉 Click here to watch/listen (coming soon)

After an amazing time working with the leadership at Dubai International Academy on Friday, I'm excited to be working with these schools this week:

  • Jebel Ali School
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS)
  • Kings, Dubai
  • GEMS Wellington International

Setting Them Up to Fail?

Exclusive peek at my interview with the

NY Post: Considering approximately two-thirds of all U.S. jobs have the potential to be impacted by AI automation in the near future, how should schools adapt?

Dan: Schools urgently need to upskill their teachers in AI, develop AI literacy curriculums for their students, and move away quickly from their educational silos. What I mean by this is that educational leaders all over the world should seek out collaboration opportunities with industry, government, and other educational sectors to learn about the impact of AI, so they can prepare their students for this new world and contribute to an ever-changing society.

NY Post: What curriculum changes are needed?

Dan: Firstly, every school needs to instil confidence in their teachers to integrate AI tools and skills into their existing curriculums. For example, teachers can create AI avatars to interact with students, and students can use AI chatbots for research and to help express what they are learning. An impressive new education AI platform is StudyHall.ai, how they’ve integrated AI into helping students learn literacy, English and Maths is very impressive - it’s world-leading. Schools and teachers I work with are already doing this and using these tools. If they are already doing this and most schools haven’t even considered AI, a huge gap in skills will form among our youth.

Secondly, many have not realised that to excel at using AI you need strong prompting skills - that is, knowing how to ask generative AI models for what you need. Good prompting requires very strong literacy skills, even better than current levels. With AI generation, the quality of input dictates the output. The notion that AI will make students lazy is misleading. To master AI, students need a new set of skills.

Thirdly, critical thinking, communication, empathy, collaboration, and problem-solving are essential wrap-around skills now needed to thrive in this new world. If we don't urgently teach students these skills, AI will become their master rather than them mastering AI. The best way to maintain autonomy is to let AI do the doing, so we can focus on thinking.

NY Post: This is a pressing issue, isn’t it?

Dan: There has never been a more urgent issue in education history. For the first time, the traditional system faces real competition from private online education companies gearing up with AI. Check out Synthesis School’s new AI tutor. It’s adapt fast or perish for education.

NY Post: AI is evolving at breakneck speeds, but curriculum changes notoriously take time.

Dan: How we design curriculum and operate schools needs a complete overhaul. Of course, education systems cannot keep pace with AI's exponential growth. A culture change is needed - innovation should be a state of mind rather than a specific action. Schools must adopt radically innovative cultures open to a changing world. My work involves helping schools worldwide achieve this innovative state - to develop strategies that open the door to non-linear innovation.

NY Post: Two to three decades from now, where do you see humanity?

Dan: In 1993, Microsoft released Encarta, a new way to access information. Look at the technological leaps in information access over the last three decades, from devices to the internet. It’s 1993 for AI. While we can’t predict the 2050s, learning will be drastically different - personalised, instant, and agile. We may favour 'just in time' over 'just in case' skills. Traditional schooling will likely be gone, replaced by diverse educational offerings where parents and students create customised experiences.

NY Post: Will our lives possess more or less meaning?

Dan: In my optimistic view, our lives will improve and have more meaning. Today's system turns children into robots, cogs in a machine. Much employment does the same. Although there will be short-term pain, AI can free us from robotic work, allowing us to connect and develop skills that make us fully human. AI will do the repetitive tasks, leaving us to focus on thinking and creativity.

NY Post: To young readers and parents, what advice would you give them?

Dan: As a father of two young children, given what I know about emerging options, I cannot just send them to our local school as I did growing up. AI-powered education platforms can connect them worldwide, honing curiosity, problem-solving and collaboration - what they truly need, not just memory tests. Assess your options and be bold in choosing how to educate your children.

NY Post: Are there any fields that should be actively pursued, as well as fields that should be actively avoided, in your opinion?

Dan: If you love something, develop that skill to stand out, there will always be ways to thrive despite AI's advances. For example, mass-produced IKEA furniture doesn't stop skilled local carpenters earning a living. Human creativity and art will always be valued over AI. Avoid rote jobs as AI will surpass human productivity. Focus on what makes you uniquely human.

Avoid jobs that turn you into a machine, the chances are an AI machine will be to do it better.

"...this comprehensive guide is a great way to learn and understand all about the future of AI in the classroom. Covering everything you need to know."

Mr. P, Lee Parkinson

I'm thrilled to announce that I've joined the advisory board at MATA.

Their desire to see Trusts flourish in the AI era is a vision I share. By integrating my insights & experiences, I aim to shape a future where education is thriving in the face of AI’s unprecedented impact.

I am here to play a part in shaping that future.