Recap: AI is here to stay: It’s impact on online, flexible, and distance learning

A water drop drops into water and is causing ripples and water to splash up

In collaboration with EdTechNZ, FLANZ hosted a panel conversation about artificial intelligence (AI) in online, flexible, and distance learning on 18 May 2023. This online event was part of TechWeek. As our panellists for this event, we welcomed Dr Rebecca Marrone (Lecturer Learning Sciences and Development, University of South Australia), Shanon O’Connor (Director, Tōnui Collab), Dr Mark McConnell (Professional Teaching Fellow, Director Teaching and Learning Commercial Law, University of Auckland), and Dr Truman Pham (Postgraduate Director, academyEX).

We asked, ‘What impact does AI have in primary, secondary, or tertiary education and learning in the workplace?’ Our panellists came from different areas of the education sector and provided their insights from the perspective of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and decolonisation of education.

In a well-supported event with 183 participants, Shanon, Mark, Rebecca, and Truman stated their understanding of the challenges and opportunities of AI in their educational work. As first panellist, Shanon acknowledged the potential of making learning more exciting but also outlined her concerns about Māori data sovereignty, digital inequality, and the bias resulting from the development of artificial intelligence. She made us aware of the research of Karaitiana Taiuru on Mātauranga Sovereignty. The balance between teaching students how to use AI in their workplace and how to build their digital literacy was a key concern for Mark who shared his department’s guidelines for students’ use of AI. Rebecca outlined how AI was used for personalised feedback and assessment, with the aim of creating a flexible, differentiating curriculum. Truman explained how AI, amongst offering other opportunities, can help with digital equality through its use in teacher training. We then entered into a short but lively session of Q&A in which Catherine Frost from the Ministry of Education shared insight into her and her team’s work around AI and the Curriculum.

The recording with corrected captions is available on YouTube. Additionally, the full transcript can be viewed as well as Mark’s slides and the Department of Commercial Law at University of Auckland’s guidelines for students’ use of AI.

Future FLANZ webinars will be announced here on our website where you can subscribe. If you’d like to receive an email notification when we publish announcements about new webinars, you can follow us on Humanitix.

Our next webinar will be on ‘Bicultural principles for teaching and learning online‘ with Arapera Herewini-Card and Dr Rosina Merry from Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand and examine the principles that were developed at Te Rito Maioha. This webinar will take place on 20 June 2023.

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