Government promotes AI in schools and eyes protection of pupil’s data

Government promotes AI in schools and eyes protection of pupil’s data

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is carving its path into numerous sectors and education is not immune to this sweeping wave of change.

The Government’s recent drive for the advancement in AI will ensure that schools reap financial and operational benefits from AI applications.

The rise of AI and large language models like ChatGPT and Google Bard can unlock an improved understanding of educational strategies.

The wealth of data AI can process holds the potential to refine teaching methods, optimise resource allocation, and enhance student learning outcomes.

However, there is a cautionary aspect to consider. With the ability to facilitate extensive data analysis, AI might attract private companies looking to leverage pupil data for profit.

This raises vital questions about the ownership and financial value of such data, as well as the need for schools to gain returns from any commercial use of this information.

The Department for Education (DfE), spearheaded by Baroness Barran, is actively engaging with these complex issues.

While no definite principles are set yet, the DfE is partnering with experts in data ethics and privacy to navigate these tricky waters. The Department’s concerted efforts demonstrate a commitment to responsibly integrate AI in schools, prioritising the safeguarding of pupil data.

While AI promises significant benefits, it’s important to find a balance between harnessing its potential and addressing its challenges.

Speaking with online publication, School Week, Neil McLean of the Chartered Institute for IT, explained that there are “four Ps” to consider when using AI: purpose, processes, people, and payback.

These “four Ps” encapsulate the need for ethical data usage, robust data handling and security measures, professional accountability of those involved, and the realisation of substantial benefits for schools.

These benefits should not be restricted to monetary gain but should also actively improve the quality of education for your students.

Contact Haslers for advice.