Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a vital technology and is set to have an influence across many areas of life in the near future. An understanding of the underlying technologies and social issues around AI will be an essential part of the digital skillset in the data-driven future. As a result, a focus on AI readiness is becoming increasingly relevant in the education sector.
“Building on Intel's strong history of working with the education community, we've developed a teaching and learning resource for AI skills, focused on school and college age students”
The importance of learning AI skills is recognised by Intel's latest Corporate Responsibility Report, which not only reviews achievements delivered against its 2020 goals, but also sets out its goals for 2030. The strategy aims to create a more responsible, inclusive and sustainable future enabled by technology and collective action.
The report also highlights digital readiness, with one of Intel's goals for 2030 being to empower more than 30 million people with AI skills training. While the teaching of AI skills is increasingly a key focus among universities, it has yet to become widely available to students in lower age groups. Created to address this, the Intel® AI For Youth program already provides AI curriculum and resources to more than 100,000 high school and vocational students in 10 countries. The next step is to roll out a comprehensive program that will give educators the option to access a wide range of AI skills-based content. The UK is one of the countries where work is already underway.
"Building on Intel's strong history of working with the education community, we've developed a teaching and learning resource for AI skills, focused on school and college age students," said Stuart Walker, Head of Education UK at Intel. "We've been piloting the resource across three countries over the last year and we are now looking to carefully roll it out to more educators.
"Initially, we plan to offer the resource to a relatively small group of early innovators in the UK education world so that we can gain valuable feedback before honing it for a wider audience."
One of the early adopters is Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and Ian Phillips, Chair ISC Digital Strategy Group Assistant Headteacher, Director of Computing ICT, commented: “We are delighted to work with the team at Intel to help develop the AI for Youth curriculum to be relevant for the UK. This is a most timely holistic initiative because it is urgent and necessary that young people develop both AI skills and the understanding of the implications of the use of AI to ensure the industries of the future can really make the world a better place.”
The comprehensive learning platform will feature a range of content designed to equip young students with the skills and mindset that they need for AI readiness. The four-stage learning journey will include an introductory 'Inspire' stage to establish some of the key concepts relating to AI. The 'Acquire' stage will then take a more practical look at vital skills involved such as coding and data skills, while also addressing the social side by highlighting issues such as inclusion, bias and privacy.
The 'Experience' stage will then enable students to take a deeper dive into AI skills and how they can be applied, through hands-on technical workshops. The final 'Empower' stage will see students creating social impact projects to demonstrate what they've learned. While preparing younger students for AI readiness, the learning platform will also offer them invaluable teamwork and communication skills.
Depending on the feedback from the initial group of students and educators, Intel will investigate how the content could be introduced to align with existing curriculums or even introduced in bite-sized chunks. With teachers having to deal with the reality of limited budgets and resources while coping with the latest challenges brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, they will likely be planning for the academic year ahead through a slightly altered lens. It is hoped that this new learning initiative will provide a useful option for educators who want to introduce their students to the world of AI and help prepare them for the workplace of the future.
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