To prepare the future workforce to live and thrive in a society where this piece of technology is so fundamentally ingrained, several schools are now offering age and level appropriate training in artificial intelligence. Leading education body CBSE has taken the lead in introducing AI in the school curriculum. They have developed an integrated curriculum, and AI as an elective subject is already being implemented in classes 8-10. Other schools, particularly the ones affiliated with the International Baccalaureate (IB), have also been proactive in giving their students ample exposure to AI. Analytics India Magazine spoke to a few school principals and heads to understand the trend better. Many educational institutions, including Kendriya Vidyalayas, teaching CBSE syllabus, have already introduced AI to their students.
Bengaluru: Disruptive technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are making their way into classrooms as humanoid robots to teach students and interact with them as teachers do, at a school in Bengaluru. "Our robots impart lessons daily in five subjects to about 300 students in Classes 7-9 in four sections by turns. They also interact with them and respond to questions in the subjects," Indus International School's chief design officer, Vignesh Rao, told IANS here. Though the 5 foot 7 inch robots, dressed in formal female attire, do not replace real teachers, they complement them in teaching lessons in the subjects and reply to FAQs (frequently asked questions) from students. "We have programmed the interactive robots to answer questions students frequently ask on the subjects and related to them. With AI in play, the robots are able to respond to questions and doubts of our wards after a lesson is taught," said Rao.
In a move that aims to benefit 65,600 students and 540 teachers from government and government-aided schools in Goa, the State government in March this year implemented its novel and first of its kind in India – Coding and Robotics Education in Schools Scheme from the academic year 2021-22. The scheme aims to incorporate computational and design thinking abilities, as well as programming, into the Goa state board curriculum to prepare students to the needs of the digital world in the 21st century. It was introduced by Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, who is also the Minister of Education. The State government is looking to make this sort of skill education (coding and problem solving skills) accessible to school-going children from all sections of society. This scheme is a collaborative effort of the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), Directorate of Education, State Council Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and industry experts.
In Australia, the Scientists-in-Schools program partners professional scientists with teachers from K-12 schools to improve early engagement and educational outcomes in the sciences and mathematics. An overview of the developing syllabus of a K-6 course resulting from the pairing of a senior AI researcher with teachers from a K-6 (primary) school is presented. Now entering its third year, the course introduces the basic concepts, vocabulary and history of science generally and AI specifically in a manner that emphasises student engagement and provides a challenging but age appropriate syllabus. Reflecting on the course at this time provides an action research basis for ongoing maturation of the syllabus, and the paper is presented in that light.
"We need to get away from rote learning and focus on a more practical learning approach. Engaging students in projects, workshops, webinars, and competitions are the way to go. In addition, it'll encourage them to learn new things since this way of learning is fun. We are very pleased that the New Education Policy (NEP 2020) has already suggested these changes. Hopefully, in a few years, our education system will be more practical-oriented and less theory-oriented," said Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School.