AI in Education: Teachers and students share their views
A recent survey conducted by RM Technology, an education tech firm, has revealed that around two-thirds of secondary school teachers believe they frequently receive assignments completed by AI programs.
Strikingly, about 9% of teachers admit to struggling to distinguish between student work and AI-generated content. The survey of 500 teachers also brought to light concerns regarding AI in education. Approximately 41% of teachers expressed the need for better regulation of AI, with 31% advocating for government intervention to monitor its use.
Mel Parker, an educational consultant, and former headteacher, stressed the importance of government regulation for safeguarding purposes and emphasized the necessity of proper training to navigate the rapidly evolving technology effectively. The survey also disclosed that more than a third of teachers felt their students had a better grasp of AI than they did.
While teachers are apprehensive, students see AI in a more positive light. A corresponding survey of students found that 68% believe AI has improved their grades, and 49% feel that excluding AI from their learning experience would have negative repercussions. Miya Crofts, a 17-year-old student, highlighted the convenience of AI for homework and revision, although she acknowledged the risk of becoming overly reliant on it. In contrast, Tito Thomson O'Reilly expressed reservations about AI, noting its potential to undermine social interaction and teamwork in favor of quick answers.
However, concerns extend beyond academic performance. Online safety is a growing concern, with students often possessing more expertise in AI-driven platforms than adults. Digital safeguarding consultant Charlotte Ainsley stressed the importance of recognizing AI's role in daily life and highlighted the potential exposure to inappropriate content due to algorithms. Ainsley advocated for government involvement in regulating AI, particularly in light of the challenges that emerged with social media.
In response to these concerns, a government spokesperson acknowledged AI's transformative potential in education. They shared that the government is actively seeking feedback to understand the benefits and risks associated with AI in education.
Furthermore, the government aims to establish a regulatory framework for AI across the UK to ensure responsible innovation that prioritizes safety. As the education landscape continues to evolve with the integration of AI, the perspectives of both teachers and students play a crucial role in shaping its implementation.