Sunday, July 21, 2024

Queensland schools trial AI learning tool

Five hundred students and 25 teachers from 10 Queensland state schools are trialling an artificial intelligence teaching and learning tool called Cerego.

Cerego is an adaptive learning platform that uses generative AI and machine learning to provide quiz-based learning that quickly adjusts to the needs of individual students.

Teachers remain at the centre of classroom learning, providing Cerego with the parameters of the quiz design to specifically target the needs of their students.

Using machine learning based on the student’s answers, Cerego then provides a personalised, tailored learning experience for the student to progress through the content.

“There’s no doubt the recent explosion in AI presents some incredible opportunities in our classrooms. Like the calculators and the internet before it, it’s going to change the way we teach and learn,” said Education Minister, Grace Grace.

“For teachers AI is about saving time, reducing workload, and ensuring the technology is intuitive and easy to use. For students it provides a tailored interactive learning experience that quickly adapts to their individual needs.

“And of course, while we need the right support, we need the right safeguards too: we can’t have a situation where private data is sold off, where academic integrity is compromised, or where AI is used to bully students or target teachers.”

The Minister said that research has shown that using specific tools that only draw on accurate and approved information is one of the most effective ways of harnessing AI in education. While applications like Chat GPT are open source which can lead to issues with accuracy, Cerego’s source information can be provided directly: in this case it is a digitised version of the full curriculum used in Queensland state schools, she said.

Students taking part are in classes from year 5 to year 12 and are studying a wide range of subjects including English, physics, science, health and humanities and accounting.

The trial is consistent with the six principles of the Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools which was agreed on in the Education Ministers’ Meeting this week.

Learnings from the trial will be used to develop resources providing information and guidance for all state schools about the use of AI in schools in 2024. It will also support the work of the national body, Education Services Australia, which has been asked by Ministers today to produce a framework of requirements for those developing AI products to use in schools. 

“The views and experiences of teachers, students, schools, and families will continue to be critical in developing Queensland’s approach to use of AI in state schools, and I very much look forward to hearing all about what we learn through this trial,” said Minister Grace.

The Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools has been developed with feedback from the profession, parents, and unions in the state and non-state schooling sectors. The framework is built around six principles:

  • Privacy, security and safety
  • Human and social wellbeing
  • Teaching and learning
  • Transparency
  • Fairness
  • Accountability

The trial is one of the ways that the State Government is exploring the use of AI to provide excellence in digital innovation and learning. Other initiatives include:

  • School based communities of practice for school leaders, teachers and business managers with an interest in AI;
  • A trial of Microsoft Bing Chat for staff in a small number of schools; and
  • Extending the use of Academic Integrity courses developed by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

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