Getting Ready For AI In The Classroom | Cantium
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It’s the hot topic of the moment and there is a lot of discussion around how AI tools like ChatGPT, Bing Chat and Google Bard will be used in the classroom. Headteachers, Deputy Heads, IT and office staff are on the frontline of this revolution, but we know from speaking to them, that many feel overwhelmed and unprepared for the impact that AI will have in their classrooms.

With the government pledging a £2 million investment in AI through Oak National Academy, the appetite for the technology shows no signs of slowing down. If used properly, AI tools have the potential to positively impact student learning and help teachers to create more personalised learning experiences. For instance, this could be producing resources based on individual learning styles, pace and preferences; analysing students’ performance and tailoring lessons to their specific needs or providing personalised suggestions for educational resources.

It's Not Just About Enhancing the Learning Experience

However, AI can also help automate administrative tasks and we believe that part of the technology’s true value lies in alleviating workloads, addressing burnout and supporting teaching. A government report released at the start of this year showed that nearly one in five teachers work at least 60 hours a week – and most spend less than half of that teaching. It also highlighted that general admin takes up “too much” time, so we need to look at how we can support teachers and relieve them from the administrative pressures they are facing.

AI isn’t a magic bullet, but it can automate tasks such as scheduling and record keeping, to allow teachers to focus more on their interactions with students. For example, tools like ChatGPT could be used to rewrite text for students in different age groups, to make resources more accessible. Or used to facilitate communication in multilingual classrooms by providing instant translations for students where English is their additional language.

MIS’ such as Arbor or Bromcom also incorporate AI functionality, enabling staff to save time, answering questions such as “Which pupils were late today? or “Which Year 10 class has the lowest average GCSE points for Maths?”. Automated communication can be used by simply confirming the subject, for example, ‘poor attendance’ and ‘tips to improve attendance’, and professional communication that is ready to send is created in a matter of seconds.

These time-saving aspects allow teachers to focus more on lesson preparation, student interactions, and providing valuable feedback.

Helping Schools to Innovate With AI

Implementing AI in schools requires careful planning, consideration and collaboration among educators, administrators, and technology experts. It’s important to identify specific educational challenges and goals that AI can address, alongside the schools existing technological infrastructure and readiness for AI integration. Unfortunately, AI is often associated with misconceptions that it is expensive or will take away human jobs. These feelings of concern are normal but for AI to be successfully implemented, schools will need to build confidence in its use cases and address concerns with training programs that give teachers and staff the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technology.

For 35 years, Cantium has provided IT support for schools covering everything from the school office to the cloud – and back again. We’re equipped to help you select the AI tools that align with your school’s education objectives and needs, while at the same time considering technological factors such as ease of use, scalability and compatibility with existing systems. We can help you test the effectiveness of AI applications and work together to make sure your educators, administrators and students are considered during the decision-making process. AI isn’t something to be feared, instead we can work with you to embrace it as a tool to help improve performance and efficiency.

For more information on how Cantium could help your school create or drive your technology strategy, contact a member of our team today.