Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Foster 21st Century Skills in Secondary Education
Artificial intelligence, or AI, is an emerging technology that is profoundly changing our society, economy and job markets. Some of its best-known applications include self-driving cars, chatbots, vocal assistants and search engines.
The objective of Project Edu4AI – “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Foster 21st Century Skills in Secondary Education,” implemented as part of the European Erasmus+ Programme (Strategic Partnerships). The objective is to develop a good practice at the national level to introduce artificial intelligence in schools and orient young men and women towards a responsible use of data and technology through experimental, experiential and collaborative activities. The project will last 25 months (01.11.2020-30.11.2022).
Education on artificial intelligence is not just about computational thinking, but also addresses how computers “perceive, think, act, learn and make decisions.” Indeed, although education addressing the operation and potential of artificial intelligence has become fundamental, there are no plans to introduce a school-level course on AI.
Project Edu4AI aims to develop a programme for teachers that will help them introduce students to the basic mechanisms of AI and data science, as well as stimulate critical thinking and the development of new competences, through practical activities, inspired by the maker movement, to recreate processes through simple and essential data and allow students to reflect through the creation of artefacts.
The project is based on the principles of reiterative codesign and will develop material and content, over the testing phase, with 25 teachers and students in schools in Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy. The pilot project will involve 25 teachers and 160 students. Opinions and comments from the schools participating in the project will be a precious resource to fine-tune and improve the open educational resources (OER) that will be shared on-line through a web platform.
Project Edu4AI has the following objectives:
- Develop an on-line community of secondary school teachers and students through a web platform dedicated to sharing projects and experiences.
- Develop an educational course for key 21st century skills and abilities: problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.
- Develop activities and labs to promote professional development of teachers and introduce AI education in schools.
- Develop open educational resources (OER) available on-line to support schools to introduce AI.
- Create synergies amongst schools, academies and industry for STEM subjects.
The long-term objective of Project Edu4AI is to encode a programme on AI skills for secondary schools and guarantee a democratic access to innovation.
European students, who are able to develop new products with enabling technology, such as artificial intelligence, can so contribute to improving community life.