“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.”
John Dewey- Philosopher, Educational Reformer.
The world has evolved a lot. Progress is evident everyday in technology and its impact is felt in every aspect of life including research, transport, telecommunication, and many more. People are much more knowledgeable today than perhaps they were 20 years back. Then, it is disappointing to know that our education system has remained the same. This isn’t with reference to any specific educational system or region. Everywhere, the subjects are almost the same and the syllabus also remains the same for multiple years. That’s weird, right?
People have progressed a lot, but their primary education; which is in schools, remains the same. Ironically, people learn more or even gain necessary knowledge after they cross the schooling age. Among many others, one such concept that is missing from the primary educational system is that of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
What is AI and how can it be integrated at Schools?
This post discussed why AI must be integrated into the education system; especially in India. And, this isn’t only about AI as a subject. That is arguable because there still are several misconceptions about the subject of Artificial Intelligence. Many of us; including you and this author, have considered AI to be something extraterrestrial as depicted in Hollywood movies. But what was sci-fi decades back has become a striking reality today. From AI-based voice assistants to automatic parking in cars, AI has become common everywhere!
AI can be introduced in schools both in learning as well as teaching. We will start with discussing why AI must be introduced in school curriculums.
- Demystifying the Concept of AI: The biggest problem in life is ignorance and the biggest problem in education is the ‘fear’ to remove that ignorance. AI is the future. But how will you prepare students for the future if they don’t know what it is and have a wrong notion on the subject of Artificial Intelligence? It is suggested to simplify the topic in terms that school kids can understand. They must understand AI just like they are taught about the 9 (now officially 10) planets of the solar system.
- Approaching Complex Subjects with Ease: This is one of the biggest advantages of AI. It may sound too intimidating, and the idea of introducing this subject to students at lower classes may sound puzzling. But look into it more comprehensively. A large portion of AI is Mathematics and comparing pieces of data. Enabling students to compare different theories and formulas as is done data analytics will make mathematics much easier for them. Moreover, the thought of integrating something that sounds like science fiction will also make mathematics more interesting for these students.
- Learning How to Learn: The issue is in our system of education. Students listen to what teachers say, read what is in text books and then prepare for exams. Once they pass, they go for higher studies and then get ready for their first jobs. But the subjects they learned in school or higher educational institutions may seem a bit outdated or irrelevant to professions. Employers need more. This is especially evident in the service sector such as IT based jobs, banking, communications, and tourism. The employers will have to train these youngsters all over again. The beauty of AI is that you learn more while you learn. That is, once you get introduced to the basics of AI, you will learn more about it as you practice. Moreover, AI applications automatically optimize the sessions according to your pace, interests and learning abilities.
- Learn the Basics of Coding from a very young age: Coding no longer has to be forcefully introduced upon students nearing the start of their careers. Becoming familiar with AI in high schools itself, gets students to be familiarized with coding. For example, teaching Python can enable students to fetch data, train models, test models and even design websites to share those pieces of data with the world. AI can give school students several chances of practicing coding; which could turn out to be a big boon later in their lives and careers.
There are a lot more advantages of integrating AI within school education and a single article may not be enough to express facts. We at SchoolforAI can help you. SchoolforAI is an online training platform offering hybrid-training sessions to school students (From grade 6 to grade 11th) on the different concepts of AI and related subjects. We understand that sudden changes like these cannot be made in the educational system overnight. Hence, we invite schools and training institutes to partner with SchoolforAI to revolutionize the mode of learning and the topics of learning. Contact us today to know more and make a difference.