DLD 17: Fixing Education for the AI Age Panel

During DLD we hosted a panel on the future of education. Check the video below for the full session. In summary:

Rose Luckin, professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab, argued strongly against the standard ‘stop-and-test’ method of assessment. This form of assessment is far too expensive, ineffective, and puts undue stress on the students. Instead, schools should employ AI to dynamically test the students and to aid teachers to “use their human skills more affectively”. She also bemoaned the fact that the current system privileges the already privileged and that AI can and should rectify this situation.

Conrad Wolfram, mathematician and educational theorist, discussed his thoughts on the current state of maths curriculum the world over. He is of the opinion that we must embrace the fact that we are living in an age of computers. Therefore, students should employ them to do computations, allowing them to focus on higher-level problem solving.

Esther Wojcicki, journalist and educator, contended that the most effective form of education is project-based learning. To that end, she created the Palo Alto Media Arts Centre at Palo Alto High School where students independently publish numerous publications. She is a firm believer that in order for there to be any reform in education, teachers must stop ‘teaching to the test’ and start teaching students to ‘learn how to learn’. 

Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder of Project Placed and CognitionX, discussed the need for experiential learning in education. In order to realize that reality, she founded Project Placed which matches university computer science students with companies. This puts them in a hands-on learning environment in which they work on projects thus better preparing them for the real world.

Finally, Jürgen Schmidhuber, computer scientist and expert on AI, gave his thoughts on the bare necessities of education. He opined that a familiarity with the basics of physics and maths as well as social skills are fundamental for success. He argued that in the age of AI which we are approaching, it is ever-important to continue to learn in order to gain new skills.

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