The UK Government Unveils £5 Million AI ‘Training Package’ for Teachers

In this post:

  • UK government has announced a £5 million AI training package for teachers.
  • The initiative will address educators’ need for AI guidance and promote transparency from tech firms.
  • Concerns were raised about reaching a broader workforce readiness for AI adoption.

The UK government has proposed a £5 million ‘training package’ to improve educators’ ability to embrace and deploy AI within teaching institutions. The AI training package will consist of an online course for mandatory teacher training and tools to help educational managers apply AI best practices.

Also read: Exploring AI Education Landscape: A Comprehensive Overview

According to the announcement, the government is currently in the process of soliciting a vendor for this multi-year effort to help educators safely and appropriately use AI in their classrooms. A survey conducted in the previous year demonstrated that teachers’ biggest concern regarding AI is the lack of information on its safe application.

Government Launches Comprehensive AI Training Package to Upskill Teachers Nationwide

In response, the Department for Education (DfE) has unveiled plans that are still in their formative stage to meet this need. The department is gauging interest from potential suppliers for the project, which is expected to cost between £1 million and £5 million.

The DfE proposed the establishment of a project team in the tender document to support an edtech evidence board of experts. This board will scrutinize evidence of edtech product effectiveness to ensure schools and colleges can identify products backed by data.

Source: GOV.UK

The DfE’s tender document presents the formation of a project team towards the establishment of an edtech evidence board of experts. This board will ensure that schools and colleges can find edtech products that have evidence of their effectiveness against a set of criteria.

UK Plans AI Training Website and Grants To Support Schools in AI Adoption

 A recent YouGov poll highlighted the need for teachers to be provided with more support and training for the safe deployment of AI. Rose Luckin, a professor at University College London, described the plans to the Guardian as a “crucial and long overdue move.“

As AI becomes more prevalent in education, it’s crucial that teachers have the knowledge and skills to leverage it effectively, confidently and responsibly.

Rose Luckin

The AI training offer is expected to include a website and possibilities to interact with basic AI systems for the trainees. Also, the grants will be provided to teachers or organizations to create use cases of best practices of AI tools in schools and colleges.

Also read: Universities Expand AI Education to Address Ethical Concerns 

Additional training will help teachers to enhance their knowledge of AI through live webinars on various AI methods. The aim is to help schools and colleges adopt AI to improve efficiency by automating common tasks such as administrative work, considering the risks that can arise.

Experts Highlight Key Challenges in Effectively Implementing AI Tools Within Classrooms

Richard Taylor, an edtech investor and the managing director of MediaTaylor, has criticized this project by stating that the efficacy of the idea in this project to go beyond the initial set of early adopter teachers will be very limited concerning the overall teacher workforce. Also, Jodie Lopez, a business consultant at an edtech firm, emphasized the need for comprehensive professional development on technology integration in the classroom; there is the danger of a sudden shift to AI as this might be too big a leap for some teachers to handle.

Also read: Debunking the Negative Perception of AI in Education

Through various methods and policies, such as using ICT in education, the government has demonstrated its preparation to enhance the impact of AI in education to equip educators with relevant skills for future employment. Thus, through promoting transparency, utilizing scientific rather than political rationality, and providing educators with professional development on AI practices. 

Cryptopolitan reporting by Brenda Kanana

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