GUEST PODCAST: Ed-Technical Episode 5

Join two former teachers – Libby Hills from the Jacobs Foundation and AI researcher Owen Henkel – for the Ed-Technical podcast series about AI in education.

Each episode, guest hosted on BOLD, Libby and Owen will ask experts to help educators sift the useful insights from the AI hype. They’ll be asking questions such as “How does AI really help students and teachers?”, “What do we actually know about this technology, and what’s just speculation?” and “When we say ‘AI’, what are we actually talking about?”

In the fifth episode of this series, Libby and Owen talk to Sian Cooke, about her quest to save teachers’ Sunday evenings! Sian is Head of the Department for Education’s Emerging Tech Unit in England, who are doing a lot of thinking about what generative AI means for the whole education system. Come and hear what it’s like responding to generative AI from a policymaking perspective. 

Sian talks about where she sees the immediate low hanging AI fruits for teachers, and why she thinks generative AI tools are particularly promising for low stakes high frequency tasks. We often hear that there are no silver bullets in education but Sian thinks there might be some bronze bullets that we shouldn’t overlook in the excitement about new technologies. 

Sian used a lot of technology in the classroom when she was a teacher, but from a policy perspective, she started working on education technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing internet access and laptops to children who couldn’t get online for remote learning. Since 2020 she’s been working on the DFE’s strategy for technology in schools and more recently she’s been heading up the Emerging Tech Unit in the digital strategy division.  

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