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This week...

✍️ Article: Cheating is a skill
📺 Video: Cheating is a skill
📰 News: British international schools call for change
📰 News: Thinglink integrates Skybox AI for educators
⚙️ Resource: A research informed starter policy for leaders

This week I'm excited to be working with Moor Park Prep in Shropshire and guest appearing on The Educator's Corner podcast and Minerva's Virtual Academy podcast.

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

If you are in the following places and would like to enquire about AI in education PD for your organisation or event, get in touch now before I'm booked up:

🇺🇸 New York (and surrounding states) - December 2023
🇺🇸 Florida - January 2024
🇳🇴 Norway - February 2024
🇭🇰 Hong Kong (and surrounding countries) - end of May 2024

Cheating is a skill

In today's rapidly evolving world, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in education raises eyebrows and questions. 

With tools like ChatGPT becoming more prevalent, there's a mounting debate: is using AI in educational settings considered cheating?

The Core of the Problem

Before diving in, let's deconstruct why this issue has cropped up. It's the rapid evolution and widespread adoption of AI that has educational institutions questioning their age-old practices. 

Do educators worry about the authenticity of a student's work, or is it about ensuring genuine understanding?

When students work with AI, some people question if it's truly their own work - is it authentic. But if a student really gets it and can use that knowledge, isn't that what matters most? 

Defining Cheating in the Age of AI

Is using AI akin to plagiarism? Not quite. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's work as one's own. But AI writing isn’t directly copying another's work—it's machine-generated. Let’s broaden our perspective:

- Is taking a train cheating because we aren't walking?

- Is using a calculator cheating in maths?

- What about using a phone, a thesaurus, or even Grammarly?

From ghostwriters to personal assistants, from authors employing editors to students Googling answers, where do we draw the line? And, importantly, why is this line crucial?

AI Detection Software: A Step Backwards?

There's been a surge in the development of AI detectors to sniff out machine-generated content. However:

- AI detectors have proven to be unreliable and can be unjust. In fact, OpenAI has discontinued their own detector.

- Evidence suggests that such detectors can disproportionately target students for whom English is not their first language.

- By relying on these detectors, we're clinging to an outdated educational paradigm. Instead, we ought to be envisioning and embracing a forward-thinking model.

Why This Matters: The Technological Blur

The boundaries between human capability and AI-assisted capability are becoming nebulous. As we plunge deeper into a tech-savvy era, understanding this blend becomes vital:

- Future Readiness: Students need proficiency in AI collaboration. Lack of this skill could disadvantage them in the global job market.

- Authentic Learning: Over reliance on AI might dilute genuine comprehension. But, used right, AI can amplify understanding.

- Equity: How different really are Google, Grammarly, and ChatGPT? Drawing hard lines might limit access and opportunities for students.

Reimagining Education with AI

The essence of education isn't just about the end result; it's about the journey. It’s about the process of learning, understanding, and growth. While we need students to demonstrate knowledge without AI, we also cannot stifle their growth in an AI-dominant future. How then can we strike a balance?

- Integration of AI in Curriculum

  • Develop AI literacy courses that teach students promptcraft.
  • Set clear AI usage guidelines.
  • Offer educator workshops about AI's role in education.

- Redefining Assessments:

  • Design tests that prioritise understanding over recall.
  • Encourage open-book and project-based evaluations.
  • Build a culture that values the true essence of assessments.

- Ensuring Equal Technological Access:

  • Level the field by providing necessary tech resources.
  • Teach students on responsible AI usage.
  • Collaborate with tech giants for affordable educational AI access.

Going Beyond: Tips for the Future

For those ready to embrace this new frontier:

- Continuous Learning: Stay abreast with AI advancements. Today’s "cheating" might be tomorrow's norm.

- Collaboration: Engage students in this debate. Their perspective is invaluable.

- Holistic Approach: Remember, AI is but one tool in the vast educational toolbox. Marrying human creativity with AI's capabilities will pave the way for a brighter educational future.

While the integration of AI in education presents challenges, it also offers opportunities. By continuously reassessing our definitions, values, and approaches, we can ensure that both students and educators thrive in this new era.

Want to learn promptcraft?

More voices are calling for change for the AI Era

British International schools have warned that key aspects of the British education system are outdated and not fit for the 21st century. 

The Council of British International Schools (COBIS) sent a letter to Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, expressing concern over the reliance on high-stakes examinations and an overloaded curriculum. They believe this hinders the holistic development of students, leaving them ill-prepared for the modern workplace. The letter recommends four main areas of reform: inclusive assessment, portfolio-type evaluations, considering the broader capabilities of students, and positive development for young individuals. 

COBIS also calls for a major curriculum review, urging a move away from the traditional academic/vocational divide, and emphasizing skills like critical thinking, digital literacy, and global citizenship. 

The letter proposes involving educators, employers, students, and parents in reshaping the curriculum for students aged 3-18. 

Thinglink integrates Skybox AI for educators

I'm so excited to announce that Skybox from Blockade Labs is now available inside ThingLink!

Anyone who has witnessed my demo of the To Kill a Mockingbird AI generated immersive experience, will know that the workflow involves creating the scene on Skybox then transferring it to Thinglink.

This is no longer necessary.

The amazing people at Thinglink have partnered with Blockade Labs to make Skybox available natively in their platform.

Thanks to Thinglink and Blockade Labs, the ability for AI to save teachers' time just got better.

What will you create?

A research informed starter policy for leaders

A frequent request I get from school leaders is for an AI policy.

We’re in a fast paced situation with the development of AI and the implications for education. This makes a static policy difficult to write. Won’t it quickly become out of date and even risk restricting innovation?

The reality is that teachers and students do need some guidance on what’s currently acceptable with AI. Our education systems still usually require students to pass exams without any tech or resources to assist them.

In our current system and with the dangers present with some of these AI tools, then I do believe a policy is needed. This should be a ‘starter’ policy. A policy that safeguards teachers and students but also encourages innovation. A policy that’s revisited regularly.

Here is my starter AI policy, based on current research and guidance. This has been influenced by the Shrewsbury School policy, who I recently worked with. The following documents were also used and are referenced in the policy:

👉 Teacher Development Trust, Understanding AI For School: Tips For School Leaders, September 2023

👉 Russell Group, Principles On The Use Of Generative AI Tools In Education, July 2023

👉 Office of Educational Technology, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning, May 2023

👉 UNESCO, AI And Education - Guidance For Policymakers, 2021