A Guide to Teaching AI Literacy in South African Classrooms

Inspired by a recent article in the Times Higher Education about AI literacy, I drafted a guide for South African teachers who may want to integrate AI literacy into their classes.

As teachers shaping the minds of the next generation, you have the critical task of preparing your learners for a future that is, as we speak, being sculpted by rapidly evolving technologies. One such game-changer is Artificial Intelligence or AI. Now, more than ever, AI is becoming a household term. But what does it mean for the classroom? What is AI literacy, and why should it matter to you and your students?

At its core, AI Literacy is the knowledge and skills needed to engage with and critically evaluate AI systems and technologies effectively. This is not just about understanding the nuts and bolts of algorithms – it’s about cultivating an awareness of how AI impacts our daily lives, the ethical considerations, and discerning the biases and risks that come with AI-generated information. 

Now, imagine the future workplace your learners will enter. The tools and technologies that will be at their disposal are the ones that are either powered by or will work alongside AI. By integrating AI literacy into the classroom, we are not just keeping education contemporary; we are empowering our learners to be informed contributors to society, practised at navigating the AI-infused landscape.

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Using ChatGPT to Generate Tailored Practice Questions for Students

As technology continues to advance, educators are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to improve their teaching methods. One such technology that has gained popularity in recent years is ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot that can understand and respond to written input in a way that is similar to human conversation.

While ChatGPT has been primarily used for generating high-level and generic text, it has the potential to be a valuable tool in education. Specifically, it can be used to generate practice questions that are aligned with students’ individual needs. By inputting a block of text related to a specific topic, ChatGPT can generate multiple-choice questions with varying levels of difficulty.

This approach to generating practice questions has several benefits. Firstly, it saves educators time by automating the process of creating questions. Secondly, it allows for a more personalised approach to assessment, as the questions are tailored to each student’s needs. Finally, it provides students with an opportunity to practice their knowledge and skills in a way that is engaging and interactive. As such, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise the way educators approach assessment in the classroom.

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Exploring Teachers’ Perspectives on AI in the Classroom

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming various sectors, and education is no exception. As part of my ongoing attempt to understand the use of AI in education, I surveyed teachers* to gauge their perspectives on the potential impact of AI on education and their teaching practices. The survey consisted of four questions, including both quantitative and qualitative elements, designed to explore teachers’ current usage of AI, perceived benefits, concerns, and support needs for integrating AI into their classrooms. 

Question 1: On a scale of 1 to 5, how optimistic are you about the potential impact of AI on education and your teaching practices? 

(one being not optimistic at all, and five being very optimistic)

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