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A teacher at the Day of AI pointing to students with their hands raised.

Why you don’t need to be a STEM educator to teach AI

Did you know that 90 per cent of jobs will need digital skills in the next two to five years? More specifically, 75 per cent of jobs will require STEM skills. The demands of the job market are evolving, and how we integrate STEM into our teaching practices must also adapt to keep up. While originally conceptualised as a set of stand-alone disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), our increasingly technology-driven world has given us cause to rethink and redefine the scope of STEM education and begin actively integrating STEM skills across all subjects.

All educators, regardless of disciplinary background, play a pivotal role in helping students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in our future workforce. As AI technologies continue to impact and reshape industries, AI education has become an essential element of this preparation. Let’s explore why you should be embracing AI education in your classroom, even if you aren’t a STEM educator.


AI impacts everyone

While STEM educators undoubtedly play a crucial role in helping students navigate the technical aspects of AI, providing students with opportunities to engage with AI across all disciplines is equally important. Whether you teach English, Art, History or Social Sciences, AI has implications and applications that intersect with virtually every field. By incorporating AI education across a range of diverse subject areas, we can ensure that students develop a holistic understanding of the impact of AI on society, ethics and their future careers, no matter which industry they choose to pursue.


 

A focus on capabilities, not content

Proficiency in STEM is no longer limited to traditional STEM careers. As the demand for STEM skills continues to rise, our students are falling behind. One-third of Australian 15-year-olds do not have the STEM skills that employers want now.

Industries ranging from healthcare to finance are leveraging AI and other advanced technologies to streamline processes, make data-driven decisions and innovate. By teaching students about AI, we can equip them with valuable STEM skills such as adaptability, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and data analysis—skills that have become essential in any workplace.

By providing opportunities to explore AI concepts through the lens of different subjects, students can gain a deeper context and appreciation for the interconnectedness of these skills and the real-world applications of AI. Think: English teachers examining the ethical implications of AI in literature and media, or Art teachers discussing how AI is influencing and broadening our capabilities for creativity and design.

 

The importance of ethics from an early age

As AI technologies become more prevalent, ethical considerations surrounding their use have become increasingly important. It is essential to engage students in discussions about AI ethics from a young age and encourage them to think critically about the implications of these technologies. If AI is to benefit our broader society, our future creators and innovators will need to advocate for ethical AI practices, whether that means addressing biases in algorithms or considering the impact of automation on employment. Providing these educational opportunities is critical to prepare students to navigate these unavoidable challenges of our increasingly AI-driven world.

 

 

Bringing AI education to your classroom with the Day of AI

The Day of AI lesson plans, slides and student resources are a comprehensive resource for teachers that require no additional preparation.

Our learning materials align with and support key Australian Curriculum requirements, and have been thoughtfully designed by world-leading experts to be delivered by teachers of all backgrounds and levels of experience—no background in computer science, AI or any other digital technologies is necessary.

Participating teachers can also join a free online training workshop ahead of the Day of AI to go through the program content and activities and ensure they feel confident delivering them.

 

Sources

Houlden MA. How STEM Learning Helps to Build Better Futures for Children. ICAS Assessments.

https://www.icasassessments.com/blog/how-stem-learning-helps-to-build-better-futures-for-children/

Published August 15, 2023. Accessed February 12, 2024. 

Schoeffel S. Why STEM practices should be taught across the entire curriculum – Social Ventures Australia. Social Ventures Australia. 

https://www.socialventures.com.au/sva-quarterly/why-stem-practices-should-be-taught-across-the-entire-curriculum/

Published November 30, 2017. Accessed February 12, 2024.

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