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What if our current strengths are actually the reasons we might fail in the AI era?

In this edition of the AI Educator Newsletter we'll explore why the core principle of academic integrity at the heart of how we school our young people, will probably be a weakness for us, if we aren't willing to adapt. 

Also in this edition is 20 new AI tools and some fun with Midjourney.

I'm looking forward to visiting these schools this week for some AI professional development:

  • Latymer Upper School, London, England
  • Haileybury School, Hertford, England
  • Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury, England

If this is your first TAIE newsletter then check out the back catalogue for free at newsletter.theaieducator.io

Weak strengths

Schools should not only react but lead the transformation in the AI Era.

The challenge lies in recognising that our current strengths may be our future weaknesses.

The schooling system has engineered extreme efficiency in preparing students for exams. Let’s be honest, we might like to say that we prepare them for life rather than an exam, but we still need to spend most of our time on the exam.

At the heart of this system is the principle of academic integrity. This is an example of a trait that could hold us back in an AI-dominated landscape.

The principle of academic integrity is also the main reason the exam system has failed to integrate collaboration. Even though industry has been crying out for this skill for decades and the World Economic Forum has been reporting the importance of collaboration for years.

It’s difficult to standardise and collaborate, we seem to have just ignored it as a measured skill.

Yet, the ability to collaborate on a project is a much more valued skill than simply doing it on your own.

In the AI Era the ability to collaborate with AI will be valued above all.

If we can’t take human collaboration seriously enough to assess it, then how will we cope with AI collaboration?

Progress lies not in pedantic bean-counting. Impact arises not from isolated brilliance, but from collective contribution. It's about boldly creating together. Innovation isn't born of obsessive originality, but of connecting old and new. Our success metric isn't ownership percentages, but problems solved, lives uplifted, and ripples made.

Individual academic integrity once defined success but will risk the obsolescence of schools.

We are operating in a liminal space now.

The key? A paradoxical state of both forgetting and maintaining dominant logic.

We still operate in Box 1 (the current system), but or the sake of our students, teachers and the future of our schools we need to embrace Box 3 (creating the future).

Imagine building a school from scratch, with a team unburdened by past conventions. Adopting a hybrid organisational model blends the time-tested with the non-linear innovations of Box 3 - willing to experiment, iterate and scale.

The change must start at the top. The headteacher or CEO isn't just a symbol of this evolution but its most ardent practitioner. Embracing the unknown and taking steps even when answers elude requires a brand of courage that must permeate every level of the organisation.

One might wonder about the implications and costs of such a transformation. Consider companies like Kodak or Blockbuster, leaders of their time, but they missed the digital revolution wave. We must learn from such historical oversights and be proactive. Just as businesses fear that new products might hurt their existing ones, schools might fear that new learning methods could disrupt their established systems.

But innovation, even if it seems to come at a cost, is vital; the alternative is becoming irrelevant.

In this journey, leaders should identify mavericks – those boundary pushers at the organisation's outskirts. These visionaries, seeing potential where others see chaos, must be brought into the fold, ensuring fresh perspectives and audacity to navigate this new frontier.

To navigate this new era, educators must be daring, collaborative, and ever-evolving. It's not just about integrating technology, but about fostering a mindset of continuous growth and exploration. Ask yourself, where does your institution stand in this transformation? Are you merely adapting, or are you pioneering the change?

As we stand at the crossroads of an AI-dominated future, the call for schools to innovate has never been more pressing. It's not about change for the sake of change but for the future of education itself. The question isn't whether we can afford to change, but rather, can we afford not to?

"The session from Dan was a game-changer for me. The session made me realise the immense potential it holds for student engagement and learning outcomes. I am really excited to explore AI further in my classroom.."

Teacher at GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai, August 2023

20 New AI tools for teachers

Our teacher repository has just been updated with 20 AI tools.

We have 150 tools to search from!

Tools that were getting lots of love on my dubAI tour are:

- Study Hall AI

- 5 Minute Lesson Plan

- Magic School AI

- Audio Pen

A week in the life of Boris Johnson

During some of my keynote talks in schools this past week I have demonstrated the power of Midjourney, the image AI generation tool. 

I normally start of the prompt off with "Boris Johnson..." then get the audience to complete the sentence. 

These are the delightful images they generated 🤣

If you would like to learn how to do this yourself (you don't have to choose Boris 🤣) then you can access my video guide for teachers...