Teachers and school leaders from all over England are about to get in on some serious artificial intelligence (AI) action, my friends. They’ll be participating in an AI hackathon during a two-day event that aims to explore the power of technology and how it can elevate education to new heights.
Now, AI is already leaving its mark on society, boosting the economy and enhancing public services. And in the realm of education, it’s got some massive potential, ranging from helping teachers with their administrative tasks to providing students with personalized feedback on their work.
To tap into these benefits, the Department for Education is teaming up with Faculty AI, the National Institute of Teaching, and the AI in Schools Initiative to host an epic AI hackathon in London on October 30th and 31st. This event will bring together teachers and leaders from schools across England, including heavy hitters like Harris Federation, Star Academies, Outwood Grange Academies Trust, and Inspiration Trust.
During this hackathon, participants will dive deep into AI and put it to the test in various scenarios. For example, they’ll explore whether it can write a lesson plan or accurately grade exam papers. Think of it like a playground for all things AI.
But wait, it gets even better! Secondary school students will be invited to share their experiences and knowledge. The best solutions that come out of this hackathon will be shared with the Department for Education’s workload reduction taskforce. And guess what? Schools across the country will have the chance to test and use the awesome tools that are created. This move aligns perfectly with the government’s goal of cutting the working hours for teachers and leaders by five hours a week. Let’s give them a break, folks!
The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, is over the moon about this whole thing. She said, “In my tech business career, I’ve witnessed innovation in action. And let me tell you, artificial intelligence has the power to revolutionize the way we do things, from providing personalized support to students to tackling the never-ending list of teacher tasks. But to unlock these benefits in education, we need to understand AI better and approach it safely. That’s where this hackathon comes in. Faculty AI and the National Institute of Teaching will be there to support participants, so let’s step into the future, my friends!”
And we can’t forget about Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology. She’s fired up about this hackathon too. Michelle said, “We’re diving headfirst into exploring how AI can overhaul education. We’d love to see teachers use AI to speed up those pesky administrative tasks and planning, giving them more time to focus on what truly makes a difference for students. And hey, we’re also equipping the next generation with AI skills through our conversion courses, so they can dominate the workplace!”
Tom Nixon, the Director of Government at Faculty AI, is thrilled to be a part of this AI extravaganza. He said, “AI is the star of our generation, and now is the time to bring its immense benefits into schools. From creating timetables and lesson resources to providing personalized feedback to students, AI has the power to reduce workloads and amp up the quality of education. This hackathon is a crucial step towards turning talk into action, my friends. We can’t wait to get these cutting-edge tools into classrooms!”
And there’s more! Dr. Calum Davey, Executive Director of Research at the National Institute of Teaching, adds, “We want a school system that truly nurtures teachers and school leaders who are making a difference for children every single day. And hey, emerging AI technology might just lend a hand in their work, but here’s the catch: schools need to lead the charge in identifying problems and developing solutions. That’s why we’re proud to work with Faculty to bring together AI experts and classroom experts. Together, we’re listening to all those involved and sharing what we learn.”
Now, my friends, it’s important to note that the UK is already a top dog in the AI world, spearheading safe and responsible development of this incredible technology. And in the lead-up to the UK AI Safety Summit in November, this hackathon is a crucial step in ensuring the UK stays at the forefront of AI globally.
In fact, the Department for Education has been hard at work in this realm. They launched a call for evidence in June, gathering input from educational professionals on the risks, ethical considerations, and possibilities of AI in education. The results of this call will be published in November 2023 alongside the outcomes of this month’s hackathons. Together, they’ll support the government’s efforts to unlock the potential of AI and ensure it progresses safely, reasonably, and fairly.
Buckle up, folks, because AI is about to transform education in ways we’ve only dreamed of. It’s time to embrace the power of technology and usher in a new era of learning. The future is here, my friends!