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How international schools are navigating the fourth education revolution

Updated 27 May 2024

Home to more than 80 schools across four continents, the Nord Anglia Education Group is a global leader in international education. The education group has recently launched a quarterly publication, Insights, to explore the challenges and opportunities facing its international schools.

Some of the most pressing matters identified include student happiness and the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on education globally. While the education sector met the introduction of generative AI with suspicion and caution, Nord Anglia Education is leading the fourth education revolution.

Teachers are having to come to terms with the need to upskill themselves, and teacher training must be reformed to adapt to student needs and the technological climate we find ourselves in. Parents are also having to understand that they are raising their children in an education landscape different from the one they grew up in.

The case of the fourth education revolution

Student using ChatGPT by Matheus Bertelli

The education sector has experienced several significant revolutions, all precipitated by the invention of new technologies or ways of thinking. The invention of writing and reading catapulted the first revolution, while the second revolution was brought about by formalised classroom teaching and learning. The printing press's creation revolutionised education once more since then, and now we are at the beginning of the fourth revolution propelled by AI.

As AI continuously adapts and learns, it will become more equipped to communicate with humans and eventually wholly transform the teaching and learning process as we know it. Then, it becomes necessary to train teachers to harness its power to improve education for all students. The education system's biggest challenges are the lack of differentiation and reliance on test scores to determine students' intelligence.

This reliance has also impacted students' self-worth, as they determine their value based on their test scores. AI can assist teachers by taking over time-consuming tasks like lesson planning, marking, and assessment, enabling teachers to create personalised teaching plans that develop different intelligences rather than only cognitive abilities.

How Nord Anglia's schools are using generative AI to enhance learning

Several countries banned the use of AI in classrooms when ChatGPT launched in 2022, but international schools have taken the lead in integrating the technology into their teaching and assessment methods. Some of Nord Anglia Education's schools are harnessing AI to enhance the learning experience for its students.

British International School in Kuala Lumpur

The British International School in Kuala Lumpur has developed a customised AI-powered teaching assistant. This AI-powered teaching assistant allows students to define the topic they'd like to explore and the course specification they are working on, and the AI then enables the learners to delve into the content conversationally.

Students can ask the AI questions as they engage with it. The AI develops the learner's critical thinking skills, which leads to in-depth engagement with the content. This session concludes with a quiz and a summary of the recommended follow-up areas.

Although this AI bot is still in development, students who have had an opportunity to use the AI have offered positive feedback thus far. Students have reported being able to ask questions they may not have been able to ask in class.

Avenues: The World School in New York

Another Nord Anglia Education school, Avenues: The World School in New York, actively encourages AI use. This is particularly the case in its STEM subjects, such as application development projects, where students can use ChatGPT to generate code and then revise and perfect it.

The school also has an AI chatbot, initially developed in 2019 and enhanced using OpenAI's technology. Avenues: The World School in New York has incentivised students to adhere to its academic integrity standards rather than policing or banning AI use.

As AI use becomes more prevalent in our societies, it is becoming increasingly important to prepare the upcoming generations for the impact it will have on their career prospects and daily job tasks. Nord Anglia Education Group has provided fascinating use cases for AI in the international school classroom, making it essential for all stakeholders, including teachers and parents, to work together to drive responsible AI use.

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