Artificial Intelligence is transforming and disrupting many industries and markets. Around the world, governments and companies are proclaiming we are entering the “era of AI” with the rapid development of intelligent devices that can recognize faces and interact via speech, robots that can work alongside people to help automate warehouse logistics and manufacture goods, algorithms that can generate novel photo realistic images and music, computers that can provide decision support to clinicians to help detect cancer more reliably, and so much more.
As computers continue to automate more and more routine tasks, inequity of education remains a key barrier to future opportunities where success depends increasingly on intellect, creativity, empathy, and having the right skills and knowledge. This accelerating change raises the critical question of how to best prepare students, from children to life-long learners, to be successful and to flourish in the era of AI.
Computational thinking is recognized as a new literacy for the 21st century. AI literacy is also becoming recognized as important for STEM education on a global scale. We are working with schools, education nonprofits, and industry collaborators to develop a comprehensive K-12 AI education program to serve students, teachers, and families worldwide.
We are extending student-friendly coding platforms (such as Scratch, App Inventor, and Jupyter Notebooks) with AI services, content, and curriculum to empower students to learn via playful experimentation, creative expression, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. We are also developing teacher training materials, project guides, assessments and standards aligned with the AAAI-CTSA’s Big 5 Ideas of AI: machine perception, knowledge representation and decision making, machine learning, human-AI interaction and societal impact of AI. We are also integrating ethical design concepts and practices so that students appreciate issues of bias, fairness, transparency, and privacy in what they create.
Vocational-technical students and adult learners need to understand and apply AI concepts and practices so they can engage in rewarding professional opportunities in the growing AI-economy. Our goal is to create new AI Career Pathways for vocational-technical schools, as well as to drive innovation towards continuous, agile adult education programs in AI.
We pair collaborative online learning experiences with Action Learning Labs to enable voc-tech and post-secondary schools to offer new approaches to learning and training. We collaborate with industry, voc-tech schools, and MIT teacher training programs to create curriculums, mentor materials, and assessments that keep pace with this rapidly evolving area. We also see an opportunity to develop AI tutors to amplify and scale teacher training programs cost-effectively. Our ultimate goal is to drive transformative impact that provides employment opportunities to close the prosperity & opportunity divide -- starting in Massachusetts and then expanding across America’s Heartland and around the globe.
There is an opportunity to incorporate AI into the classroom in a personalized and emotionally compelling way that is effective, scalable and affordable. Such technologies should empower teachers and engage students while respecting privacy and being mindful of broader social implications.
In particular, intelligent agents that serve as learning companions, mentors, or practice partners have the potential to supplement and assist teachers – especially in much needed areas such as special needs education or for children who need additional support. We aspire to develop AI-enabled solutions to address problems that challenge our nation’s ability to provide high quality education to all children. For instance, this includes supporting children who lack access to affordable quality preschool programs, are English language learners, have learning disabilities, or have developmental disorders such as ASD. In addition, we believe that developing new tools to support a continuity of intervention for parents at home, the education team at school, and clinical teams as needed will yield significant positive results.
Developing high-tech solutions to complex problems requires creativity, social intelligence, critical thinking, ethical judgement, and working as part of a team with diverse perspectives and expertise. Creative activities and designing with compassion brings meaning, purpose and joy to people’s lives.
Cultivating these qualities in the future workforce is not just an economic imperative, it is also critical for human fulfillment and opportunity as people work closely and collaboratively with intelligent machines and each other. By democratizing AI through education, training, and outreach activities in collaboration with non-profit organizations, we aim to inspire and empower a far more diverse and inclusive group of citizens to apply AI technologies to improve their lives and solve problems facing their communities. We are working with organizations who serve under-represented communities.This includes hosting expositions and competitions for K-12 students as a way to showcase their AI for Social Good projects to grow a vibrant community of young AI makers and innovators.
We engage in multidisciplinary, iterative, and evidence-based research with diverse stakeholders to create new technologies, activities, practices and programs for real-world impact in homes, schools, afterschool programs and online communities.
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MIT is the birthplace of Constructionism under Seymour Papert and is a cradle of AI. We have revolutionized how children learn computational thinking with hugely successful platforms such as Scratch and App Inventor. Now, we are bringing this rich tradition and deep expertise to create and empower an AI literate society.
We at i2 Learning are excited to work with MIT to engage and inspire middle school students with innovative new curriculum on AI & Ethics as part of our Mass STEM Week offering. Helping students at an early age understand the limitless possibilities of AI as well as the ethical challenges those possibilities create, is crucial to helping them succeed as members of a diverse future workforce and as global citizens.
We’re not just interested in AI and education because it’s the "next new thing"… we want to make sure teachers and students are prepared to maximize AI’s potential and are also ready to help create lasting tech improvements for learners.
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