Governing AI & education technologies: Transforming education

2 Dec 2022 09:00h - 10:00h

Event report

The workshop discussed the negative fallout from the digitalisation of education systems, emphasising AI-integrated Edtech systems. It also offered up policy recommendations and ways in which other stakeholders can be better equipped to mitigate the effects of the associated risks.

The conversation examined the risks posed to the teaching and learning processes in the classroom, and the issues of and the shaping of learner behaviours by digital tools were addressed. Important here is the dominant role freely given to private infrastructure, not legitimised to operate in the education space. The discourse then turned to the lack of capacity within countries in the Caribbean and Africa to meaningfully contribute to the policy discussions on digital issues. Until recently, key digital literacies, such as critical digital disposition and critical reading readiness have been absent from digital skills training programmes. These gaps are registered on several digital indexes like the World Skills Clock, and contribute to the North-South digital divide. Not only do they leave a significant proportion of the global population out of the conversation but they rob the discussion of diverse perspectives on how best to govern AI technologies.

We are already witnessing the impact of using Edtech technologies in schools as cyberattacks on educational institutions increase. At the same time, the resistance to Edtech grows with these increased incidents of critical data leaks, undermining the gains Edtech technologies can bring. We must also consider the future impacts of these leaks on the employability and general well-being of our children.

Overall, there is a need to critically assess techno-determinism, platformification and datafication of education as decision-makers in education assess how AI tools are integrated and how they can affect learners in the long run. Governments must also set standards and guidelines for the design, and deployment of Edtech tools in schools. Edtech companies must be licensed to operate, be made subject to appropriate regulations and provide granular details as to the usage of data collected. School administrators must employ systems to ensure transparency and accountability throughout the monitoring process and seek input from technical staff prior to onboarding these technologies. There should also be public awareness regarding the liabilities and misconceptions associated with these technologies. The promotion of civic participation, digital citizenship and AI for good should be encouraged, and very importantly, learners must be equipped to join the discussion on governing these technologies and the wider topic of internet governance. 

By Alicia Shepherd


The session in keywords

WS258 WORDCLOUD Governing AI Education Technologies Transforming Education IGF2022