High-definition, realistic image representing the concept of Pure Innocence and the role of Artificial Intelligence in education

Artificial Intelligence in Education: Balancing Innovation and Authentic Interaction


As I observed an education class as an observer in an elementary school, I knew that when Louisa raised her hand, we would receive an unforgettable answer. However, this time she achieved something truly remarkable, as it took her quite some time to reach the point and answer the actual question. And when she finally did, she hardly offered any information about her day at Brighton Bay. The other students, at least those who paid attention, attentively listened to their classmate. Even those who were not fully engrossed in her presence were friendly towards her. They understood that Louisa enjoyed being heard, and there was no reason to deny her that. Furthermore, her narrative was intellectually interesting, and her classmates appreciated it.

We often study the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has or will have on our students and our schools. However, perhaps we spend too much time on this subject. It would be better to focus on recognizing that we are the guardians and that we should exercise our authority on how often AI appears in our lessons. Many in our professional sphere have been fascinated by it and wonder how they managed before without it. Its benefits are numerous, and it is right to harness them as we invest in our professional preparation and time management.

However, perhaps we need to set boundaries. When it comes to AI’s access to the classroom and exposing our students to it, is it more likely to do harm than good? And is there enough time for students to get to know AI? We must protect the classroom as a space for genuine human interaction. It has already taken enough risks without the presence of AI.

The fact that young people spend a lot of time in front of screens, potentially without ideal supervision, means that they absorb large amounts of entertainment content. They can mimic a lot from this, which means they cultivate memory and acquire valuable cognitive skills. However, there may also be a dark side, preferring perfect performance at the expense of more genuine interactions.

There is an incredible variety of entertainment options for children of all ages, so this well will never run dry. But can the same be said for the number of people willing to dedicate time to uninterrupted human contact? Entertainment is funded, prepared, promoted, and commercialized, while human interaction is spontaneous and relies on the goodwill and generosity of human nature.

Excessive screen time may not be as damaging for older individuals who have invested the necessary time and effort to educate themselves and develop a diverse range of skills, but what about children? They stay in their formative and defining years, and will miss out if face-to-face interactions do not play a significant part in their lives. AI may be new and trendy, but its predecessors remain splendid, and we must protect them.

For example, let’s take Authentic Interaction. Am I the only one who longs for an era where children like Louisa were so unguardedly young? The way she clearly enjoyed the attention of a live audience as she confidently shared her story is something that many contemporary children do not experience.

Furthermore, there is a risk that AI may deprive students of the opportunity for Authentic Interaction if they perceive it as the sole resource for all their educational needs. As long as it has a place in the school, it should be as part of our teaching, the teachers who educate our students. It should continue to take the traditional form of Active Interaction on a human level, where teachers carefully create opportunities for students to engage with AI as a tool. Inviting the use of AI for the specific purpose of comparing results with those produced by humans facilitates students’ learning on how to use it effectively.

This approach also promotes the proper use of AI, equipping students to utilize it better in the future. However, the most crucial aspect is for them to have the qualities necessary to fully participate in these communities in a human way. Something that Louisa and her classmates easily managed in those days, but has somewhat become more challenging now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

1. What is the impact of Artificial Intelligence on students and schools?
2. Why is it important to protect the classroom as a space for genuine human interaction?
3. What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of Artificial Intelligence for students?
4. How can we ensure the proper use of Artificial Intelligence by students?

Definitions for some key terms or scientific bodies used in the article:

1. Artificial Intelligence: A technique that develops machines capable of performing tasks that require human intelligence.
2. Elementary School: An educational institution for children aged 6 to 12.

Recommended relevant links:

1. The Irish Times (official website): The newspaper mentioned in the article, providing further information on education.
2. Twitter (official website): The social media platform where you can follow the education section of the Irish Times to stay informed.