Home » australia
Category Archives: australia
As new technologies emerge, educators have an opportunity to help students think about the best practical and ethical uses of these tools, or hide their heads in the sand and hope it’ll be someone else’s problem.
It’s incredibly disappointing to see the Western Australian Department of Education forcing every state teacher to join the heads in the sand camp, banning ChatGPT in state schools.
Generative AI is here to stay. By the time they graduate, our kids will be in jobs where these will be important creative and productive tools in the workplace and in creative spaces.
Education should be arming our kids with the critical skills to use, evaluate and extend the uses and outputs of generative AI in an ethical way. Not be forced to try them out behind closed doors at home because our education system is paranoid that every student will somehow want to use these to cheat.
For many students, using these tools to cheat probably never occurred to them until they saw headlines about it in the wake of WA joining a number of other states in this reactionary ban.
Young people deserve to be part of the conversation about generative AI tools, and to help think about and design the best practical and ethical uses for the future.
Schools should be places where those conversations can flourish. Having access to the early versions of tomorrow’s tools today is vital to helping those conversations start.
Sure, getting around a school firewall takes one kid with a smartphone using it as a hotspot, or simply using a VPN. But they shouldn’t need to resort to that. Nor should students from more affluent backgrounds be more able to circumvent these bans than others.
Digital and technological literacies are part of the literacy every young person will need to flourish tomorrow. Education should be the bastion equipping young people for the world they’re going to be living in. Not trying to prevent them thinking about it at all.
[Image: “Learning with technology” generated by Lexica, 1 February 2023]
Update: Here’s an audio file of an AI speech synthesis tool by Eleven Labs reading this blog post:
At an amazing ceremony and dinner at the National Gallery in Canberra tonight I was surprised, flattered and delighted to receive an Australian Award for University Teaching in the Humanities and Arts. This is a huge honour, and I’m extremely grateful to have my approaches to learning and teaching acknowledged in this manner. That said, I’m incredibly conscious that no one teaches in a vacuum, and in Internet Communications I am but one cog in a very complex and well-maintained machine, so this award is at least as much testimony to all of our team at Curtin University as it is to me.
Most importantly, though, I wanted to publicly thank the students who offered their thoughts and feedback about my teaching. We live in an era where students get asked to fill in an awfully large number of feedback forms, surveys and evaluations, so adding even one more thing to that pile is a big ask. So, THANK YOU to all of my students, current and past, whose kind words led to this award.
I’d also like to think that this award is a reminder that despite the huge media attention being paid to MOOCs and so forth, quality online education has been available and refined over more than a decade, and our Internet Communications program is one such example. I truly hope that as this next generation of online learning matures, close attention will be paid to successful examples already available! Successful learning and teaching is, after all, built on understanding the successes and failures of the past.