Exploring the safe and ethical use of educational AI tools in schools

19th May 2023

We are excited to announce that Mr Rod Smith, Girton’s  Head of Academic and Data Services at Girton, has been invited to join a cross-sectoral Generative AI Community of Practice (CoP) consisting of 20 teachers across 20 schools in Victoria. This community of educators has been established by the Department of Education to explore the safe and ethical use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools in schools.

In an era of rapid technological advancement, AI is transforming various industries, including education. The integration of AI tools in schools holds immense potential to enhance student engagement, personalisation, and learning outcomes, however AI in education is still an evolving field that requires further work and development.

Moreover, while integrating AI into our classrooms, it is equally important to equip our students with the skills and knowledge to understand and use this technology effectively. By teaching our students about the capabilities, limitations, and ethical considerations, we can empower them to become responsible digital citizens who can critically analyse and leverage AI tools in their personal and professional lives.

Chaired by Ms Penny Addison, Director of the Curriculum and Assessment Branch at the Department of Education, the primary purpose of the Generative AI CoP is to foster collaboration among teachers and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices regarding the use of generative AI in schools.

During the four-month duration of the CoP, running from May to August 2023, members will engage in discussions, trial generative AI tools in their respective school contexts, and report back on their findings. The valuable feedback provided by the CoP members will enable the development of guidance and support for schools in the responsible and effective use of generative AI technologies.

This CoP is composed of 20 practicing secondary teachers, with 10 members nominated by the Victorian Department of Education, 5 members by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV), and 5 members by Independent Schools Victoria (ISV). Additionally, the CoP will include a small number of non-teacher representatives from the department, CECV, and ISV.

We congratulate Mr Smith on his invitation to join this esteemed community of educators. His expertise and contributions will play a vital role in shaping the future of educational AI and ensuring its safe and ethical implementation in schools. Importantly, by leveraging Mr Smith’s knowledge and the collective wisdom of the CoP, we can continue to develop a School policy on the use of AI at Girton that aligns with best practices, addresses potential challenges, and empowers our students to navigate the exciting world of AI with confidence, ethics, and responsible decision-making.