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17.3.2023 | Jamie Lee

What role does technology and AI have in education: Reflections from the Brookings Symposium

What is the future of AI and education? How can technology be used to incorporate gamification into the classroom? Our Head of Research, Crystal Green, reflects on the future of technology and our newest Gamified Curricula Spotlight with Supercell.

Last month, Crystal Green attended the Brookings Education systems transformation symposium and attended an intriguing session on the future of AI and education facilitated by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek from Brookings Institution, HundrED innovator Simran Mulchandani from Rangeet, and David Jarboe from Colorado Springs D2 Harrison Schools. Here are three key insights on how we can integrate digital technology into an ecosystem of learning.

1. "We are already living in metaverse"

In the session, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek emphasised that while there are many concerns about the emergence of AI in education, we are already living in the metaverse. We are constantly engaging in new ways with technology, therefore it is not a question of fighting the integration of technology into the classroom but rather how we are going to use it and be intentional about its usage. Similarly, Simran Mulchandani shared how Rangeet’s platform uses active pedagogies that measurably develop a breadth of skills aligned with the SDGs including Social Emotional and Ecological Knowledge (SEEK), Brookings’ 6Cs, wellbeing, agency and global stewardship. He emphasised that technology should be teacher-centric and serving education’s purpose, not simply increasing screen time for children. 

“Rangeet empowers all teachers to introduce active pedagogies in any classroom. It has been designed around the latest in international learning sciences and employs technology that allows teachers to develop the skills necessary to thrive in this world of AI and the Metaverse.”

2. Chat GPT can be used to develop critical thinking

For example, Chat GPT is simply a tool that can be used to further your thinking, but it should not think for you. If students use Chat GPT, they should also critique and reflect on the output so that it becomes a tool for developing students’ critical thinking. Virtual reality is another tool that can give students the opportunity to explore experiences they may otherwise not have been able to create equity through access. David Jarboe pointed out that this technology is truly transformative and that “virtual experiences allow students to be fully immersed in their learning and removes barriers by transporting students to any location, environment and time regardless of their life circumstances.” 

Tools like VR are a great way to introduce gamification into learning. Despite the fact that the utilisation of technology can be in some ways socially isolating, the integration of games is an inherently social activity as playing together or against one another can bring a sense of belonging or community. 

3. The benefits of gamification can be use more widely in education  

When thinking about technology as a tool, its usage for gamification also comes to mind. HundrED recently launched a Spotlight on Gamified Curricula in collaboration with Supercell that is aiming to find innovators working on educational programmes or courses that incorporate elements of game design, such as competition, points, rewards, and progression, to engage and motivate learners. While oftentimes game elements can be introduced to the classroom through technology in the form of apps, VR, and other digital platforms, they can also be integrated through more traditional instructional methods, as long as the goal is to create a learning experience that is enjoyable and effective.

We are interested in how teachers and innovators are incorporating playful and creative elements into the classroom and how to blend physical and digital learning. This Spotlight on Gamified Curricula will identify 10-20 impactful and scalable education innovations that offer educational programs and courses designed to incorporate game elements and/or are structured like games to upper secondary school learners aged 16–25. You can apply for the call until 15 June 2023.

Learn more about the new Spotlight on Gamified Curricula here.