Teachers could use AI to mark homework and plan their lessons | UK News

STALYBRIDGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Pupils raise their hands during a lesson as they return to school at Copley Academy on September 09, 2021 in Stalybridge, England. Secondary school pupils returning to school across the UK in the second year of the global coronavirus pandemic are taking part in a mass program of lateral flow testing to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

The education secretary said AI could “transform a teacher’s day-to-day work” (Picture: Getty)

Teachers could use artificial intelligence to do “heavy lifting” and help them with lesson plans and marking, the education secretary said.

Gillian Keegan said AI should be used to enhance the classroom experience in the same way technological innovations of the past, like calculators and Google, have done.

“AI could have the power to transform a teacher’s day-to-day work,” Ms Keegan said at the opening of the Education World Forum in London.

“For example, it can take a lot of the heavy lifting out of creating lesson plans and grading.

“This would allow teachers to do what AI can’t, and teach up close and personal in front of the classroom.”

She said it could radically reduce the time teachers spend grading and talked about its potential as “an assistive technology to improve access to education.”

Ms Keegan went on to praise the schools and universities that are already using AI, but added: “We have a lot more to think and learn about as we see the potential here.

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Education Secretary Gillian Keegan speaks during the formal opening session of the Education World Forum at the QEII Centre, London. Picture date: Monday May 8, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story EDUCATION Keegan. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Gillian Keegan said: ‘We need to think and learn a lot more’ to understand AI (Image: PA)

“I’m committed to working hand-in-hand with experienced educators…as we pursue that mindset.”

The Association of School and College Leaders called the government’s approach to educational technology “fragmented and lackluster.”

Secretary-General Geoff Barton said: “Artificial intelligence and other digital technologies may have the potential to help in the classroom in the future, but the Government needs to develop a strategy to turn this into a reality.

“More importantly, ministers must address the immediate problem of the severe teacher recruitment and retention crisis schools and colleges are experiencing, caused by real wage cuts and workload pressures caused by government underfunding of the education system.”

Schools'are increasingly having trouble recruiting teachers'

There are currently more than 46,500 vacancies for teachers across the country (Image: PA)

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There are tens of thousands of vacancies in schools, according to a new study.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) announced today that there are more than 46,500 teaching job advertisements nationwide.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said, “Teachers face a double whammy as their salaries stagnate, but they also lose instructional support such as teaching assistants and new technology as school budgets tighten.”

A survey last April also found that just under half of working teachers plan to leave in the next five years.

Columnist and teacher Nadeine Asbali recently wrote in Metro: “It is true that the recruitment crisis is not just about money, but we cannot think about what is happening to education without talking about funding – funding wages , yes, but also resources, school budgets and the professional support needed for the most vulnerable.

“Fair wages that reflect not only the cost of living but also the years of study and training required to become a teacher mean more people will stay in the profession. As simple as that.’

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Justin Scaccy

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