Tech

How AI is Transforming Middle Eastern Education

  • May 28, 2024
  • 3 min read
How AI is Transforming Middle Eastern Education

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer just a tool for students to write essays. Schools in the Southeast are beginning to harness this technology in innovative ways. In West Sussex, Cottesmore School has introduced an AI headteacher to work alongside human leader Tom Rogerson, offering advice on supporting teachers, staff, and children with additional needs.

The AI headteacher at Cottesmore School serves as a “co-pilot,” helping clarify thoughts and acting as a sounding board. Students at the school have also used AI to design their perfect tutor, ensuring they can get answers even when one-on-one time with teachers isn’t available.

The impact of AI in education is being felt in other areas too. Turner Schools in Folkestone, Kent, have integrated AI into their lessons, teaching students how to use it responsibly. Dr. Chris Trace, head of digital learning at the University of Surrey, believes that AI is here to stay and will become an integral part of the future workplace. He emphasizes that while AI might not replace jobs, it will certainly replace those who can’t use it effectively.

Dr. Trace sees a future where AI tracks student progress, identifying areas where they excel and where they need help. This could make education more efficient and tailored to individual needs. Tom Rogerson believes AI could revolutionize education, offering personalized and bespoke learning experiences.

However, there are concerns. Rogerson stresses the importance of keeping human teachers in the loop and warns against humanizing the technology too much. He advocates for a cautious approach, testing AI’s limits without assuming it is either entirely good or bad.

Nationally, there’s worry about students using AI to plagiarize. Dr. Trace notes that much of the initial work around AI in education focused on preventing cheating. Cerys Walker, digital provision leader for Turner Schools, points out that while teachers can use detectors, AI-generated work can sometimes be indistinguishable from student work. Walker also highlights the issue of unequal access to technology, which could increase educational disparities.

To address these challenges, schools have a responsibility to teach students about the ethical use of AI and its limitations. The Department for Education emphasizes that understanding both the opportunities and risks of AI is crucial for realizing its full potential.

As AI continues to develop, its role in education in the Southeast and beyond will undoubtedly grow. While it offers exciting possibilities, careful and thoughtful implementation will be key to ensuring it benefits all students.

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Risper Akinyi
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