Getting Ahead of Ourselves

Adrienne Williams

Adrienne started organizing in 2018 while working as a junior high teacher for a tech owned and operated charter school. She expanded her organizing in 2020 after her work as an Amazon delivery driver during the pandemic afforded her the ability to see that many of the same issues that caused her to leave the charter schools were happening at Amazon as well. Since then she has worked both on the ground and behind the scenes with activists, politicians, researchers, and everyday people to enact positive change in the tech, labor, and education industries by exposing and educating the public on how these industries harm and ways in which that harm can be reversed. Adrienne began working as a Research Fellow at the DAIR Institute in 2022, in hopes that her unique lived experience of working within and organizing against these industries aids in pushing towards a more equitable society.

A New Science of Learning with AI

As we come to understand the affordances and limitations of generative AI, it is time to flip the narrative away from “How will AI impact education?” to “What are new and effective ways of teaching and learning with AI?”. In this presentation I will explore how AI can support innovative pedagogy. We know from research into the science of learning that effective learning requires teaching spaced over time, interleaving of topics, practice in retrieving items from memory, elaboration of ideas, concrete examples, and combining words and images. Other evidence-based teaching practices include setting clear goals, giving timely feedback, supporting group learning, and promoting critical thinking. Generative AI systems can be configured to enable effective learning while addressing their tendency to “hallucinate” false information. Roles for generative AI include: Possibility Engine (AI generates alternative ways of expressing an idea), Socratic Opponent (to develop an argument), Collaboration Coach (to assist group learning), Exploratorium (to investigate and interpret data), and Personal Tutor. Future research into generative AI for education should be based on a new science of learning with AI – to include developing generative AI systems that have long term memory, set explicit goals, and explain their reasoning. Rather than seeing AI as a challenge to traditional education, we can exploit it to prepare students for a future where AI is a tool for creativity and active learning, to be operated with great care and awareness of its limitations.

Mike Sharples

Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology

Institute of Educational Technology

Mike Sharples is Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK. His expertise involves human-centred design and evaluation of new technologies and environments for learning. He holds a PhD from the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh on the topic of “Cognition, Computers and Creative Writing”. He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. He founded the Innovating Pedagogy report series and is author of over 300 papers in the areas of educational technology, learning sciences, science education, human-centred design of personal technologies, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. His recent books are Practical Pedagogy: 40 New Ways to Teach and Learn, and Story Machines: How Computers Have Become Creative Writers, both published by Routledge.