Teachers' Voices Season 3 Episode 2

Join educational researcher Nina Alonso for this podcast series as she shares powerful stories from teachers around the world, talking in their own words about their own experiences.

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What are the main concerns that teachers have about artificial intelligence in the classroom? What opportunities does AI open up for students? How can AI focus on automation while helping humans do what they’re best at?

In the second episode of Teachers’ Voices season three, Nina speaks to Stefania Druga, Principal Researcher at the Center of Applied AI Research at the University of Chicago. Stefania is the founder of Cognimates, an AI education platform for building games, programming robots, and training AI models.

Stefania Druga, University of Chicago

Stefania believes that AI is “becoming one of the basic literacies along with reading and writing”. It is becoming embedded in every aspect of our lives, so we need to understand it, she argues. Stefania teaches programming to children so they can understand how it works, and to become critical users of AI.

Stefania understands the fear that some teachers feel about AI. “I understand it’s overwhelming, but we need to be in the driver’s seat. And what better way to support people to be in the driver’s seat than starting very early?” Teachers don’t have to know everything about AI, but they can guide their students and have conversations around values.

Nina also hears from three educators – Marisa López, Paul Abok, and Yvette Larsson – who share some concerns about AI, such as privacy, security, and equity, as well as the opportunities they see, for personalised learning, for example. In the next episode, hear more from teachers in their own words talking about their experiences using AI for lesson planning and classroom instruction.

Join the new Teachers’ Voices WhatsApp group and read the community guidelines.

Listen out for

  • Helping children become critical users of AI.
  • Creative coding for kids.
  • Acknowledging that AI can be biased.

Find out more on BOLD

ChatGPT: Educational friend or foe? Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Elias Blinkoff argue that artificial intelligence should be used to enhance, not limit, students’ learning.

Giving children agency in an era of artificial intelligence – Sanna Järvelä, Inge Molenaar, and Susanne de Mooij say that if used well, AI can help learners control and monitor their own learning.

Should ChatGPT replace teachers’ red pens? In our guest podcast Ed-Technical, two former teachers – Libby Hills from the Jacobs Foundation and AI researcher Owen Henkel – ask experts to help educators sift the useful insights from the AI hype.

Guests and resources

Stefania Druga
Personal website
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Center for Applied AI
Research publications
Cognimates AI education platform: Free resources
TEDx talk: The Power of Play
TEDx talk: HacKIDemia — creative making for social impact
TEDx talk: Boys and girls should play together
TEDx talk: Tapping into children’s creativity & technology to change the world (in Romanian)

Marisa López

Paul Abok

Yvette Larsson

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