Education and Skills

How we can prepare for the future with foundational policy ideas for AI in education

A classroom with attentive girls in middle school: Integrating AI in education effectively should be done with responsible and AI use in mind.

Integrating AI in education effectively should be done with responsible and AI use in mind. Image: Unsplash/Yogendra Singh

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  • How artificial intelligence (AI) is integrated is critical as it should enhance human interaction and decision-making rather than replace them through responsible and equitable application in education.
  • Students and educators must learn about AI to prepare them for a future increasingly intertwined with AI technologies, including understanding AI’s principles, applications and ethical implications.
  • Policy recommendations for integrating AI in education effectively include creating AI-focused task forces, promoting AI literacy, establishing responsible AI guidelines, professional development support and AI research and development.

Education leaders and policymakers face the challenge of leading their communities when artificial intelligence (AI), including education, is becoming increasingly prominent in society. Understanding AI is critical for crafting effective policies that promote responsibility and equity in how AI tools can be accessed, how AI-enabled learning experiences are designed and how students use AI in the classroom. Integrating AI into society should augment, not replace, human interaction and decision-making.

“Leveraging AI’s transformative power, we can drive human progress by revolutionizing education globally, democratizing access and preparing future generations for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly evolving world,” says Narmeen Makhani from the Education Testing Service.

Innovative teaching with and about AI provides an opportunity to improve equity and help students remain competitive in a changing labour market. For example, the International Monetary Fund estimates that 40% of global jobs will be complemented or in extreme cases, replaced by AI.

“Today’s students can anticipate a future where they will be working with or alongside AI,” according to Joseph South, a chief learning officer at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and International Society for Technology in Education. “It is essential that educators and students understand its present power and potential impact. Our schools must prepare the next generation of AI designers.”

Building AI literacy is essential for understanding AI’s principles, concepts, applications, limitations and ethical implications. It prepares individuals to engage responsibly with AI in various aspects of life, including education and the workforce.

AI literacy: How AI works and how to use it.
AI literacy: How AI works and how to use it. Image: TeachAI

In education, AI offers benefits such as personalized learning, effective feedback and operational efficiency. However, it also poses risks, such as misinformation and loss of critical thinking skills.

Key policy approaches

The Khan Academy’s chief learning officer, Kristen DiCerbo, believes AI holds the promise to tackle many of the persistent problems we see in education, including unfinished learning and teacher burnout.

“By providing access to 1:1 learning support and true teacher assistance, including using data to drive recommendations, we can improve learning outcomes for all,” she says.

Policymakers and education leaders can prepare the future workforce by implementing five foundational policies to help realize the potential benefits of AI in education while mitigating the risks.

  • Foster leadership: Create an AI in education task force with experts, educators, students, community members and policymakers to guide policy and oversee implementation. These task forces can drive innovation and ensure AI aligns with educational goals.
  • Promote AI literacy: Integrate AI concepts into curricula and teach students to evaluate AI and its outputs critically. Students can become informed consumers and creators of AI-powered technologies by understanding AI’s potential and limitations.
  • Provide guidance: Establish clear guidelines for the safe and responsible use of AI in education. We must ensure that AI tools are used ethically, focusing on student privacy and responsible usage. By providing guidance, we can ensure that AI enhances learning experiences without compromising safety or privacy.
  • Build capacity: Support educators and staff in integrating AI into teaching, learning, and school management and operations. Professional development programmes can help staff understand AI, its limitations and ethical considerations. By building capacity, we can ensure that leaders develop the expertise to serve their communities and that all staff are equipped to use AI responsibly and effectively throughout the education system.
  • Support innovation: Fund research and development to advance AI in education pedagogy, curriculum and tools. By supporting innovation, we can drive the development of new AI technologies that enhance learning experiences and improve student outcomes.
5 key policy ideas for AI in education integration.
5 key policy ideas for AI in education integration. Image: TeachAI

“Transforming education requires the engagement of all those serving school systems. The TeachAI initiative is honoured to bring education leaders, policymakers, technology creators, researchers, and civil society together to create resources such as these foundational policy ideas,” says Pat Yongpradit, chief academic officer of Code.org.

Working together to foster leadership, promote AI literacy, provide guidance, build capacity and support innovation, we can ensure that AI enhances education for all students.

As the World Economic Forum’s Saadia Zahidi says: “As we navigate the uncertainties of AI in education, TeachAI’s guidance in this swiftly evolving environment becomes indispensable. Embracing a multistakeholder approach to developing and implementing these foundational policies will be paramount for optimizing AI’s benefits while mitigating associated risks.”

Let’s seize the opportunity to harness the power of AI and create a brighter future for education.

Have you read?

To learn more about TeachAI’s latest resource, Foundational Policy Ideas for AI in Education, visit teachai.org/policy.

TeachAI is an initiative uniting education and technology leaders to assist governments and education authorities in teaching with and about AI. It is led by Code.org, the Educational Testing Service, the International Society for Technology in Education, Khan Academy and the World Economic Forum. It is advised by a diverse group of more than 100 organizations, governments and individuals. TeachAI’s goals include providing policy guidance, increasing awareness, and building community and capacity.

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