SOTA Gen AI session

“How would we know if students are using Generative AI to do their assignments without any learning on their part?”

My answer: “Start using Gen AI yourself daily so you know how to design assignments that instil true learning while embracing the students’ use of Gen AI.”

This was one of the many discussions I had at the School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) yesterday. I was invited to speak on the impact of Gen AI in education as part of SOTA’s Professional Development Day for their teaching staff.

The breakneck advancement of Gen AI is causing educators across the world much concern and worry. What happens when you put a tool with such vast computing power into the hands of children? Is it reckless to embrace a technology that is turning the traditional concepts of creativity and human artistry on their heads?

Our session was fully packed with 40 teachers who teach a diverse range of subjects from chemistry to art to creative writing. (I was also excited because this was an audience with whom I could really talk shop about art!)

Many of the teachers’ questions revolved around blending Gen AI with teaching techniques. I shared with them my experience that the fundamentals of great teaching will not change, but instead will become more focused on engaging students in deep learning.

To walk the talk, I showed them demos on how Gen AI can help explain difficult science concepts in creative ways. I shared how I design marketing assignments that get NTU students to do legwork in the real world. I also showed how I teach students how to generate AI Art within a creative framework. I also pulled out a few more rabbits from my Gen AI hat to elicit gasps from the audience.

As I tell the audience in all my Gen AI workshops: To wield any tool well, we must first be great at what we do (ie. our job and our skills). Thus, I have no doubt that great teachers in SOTA and every other school will elevate education to new heights when they figure out how to use Gen AI.