19 Nov 2019

NEW TEACHER RESEARCH REVEALS AI ETHICS WORRIES 

Press release: Bett Engages community and offers AI learning opportunity

London, 6th November 2019: New research released today by Bett, the biggest global gathering of the EdTech community, reveals teachers are concerned about the negative impact of artificial intelligence in the classroom. Join Bett’s live Twitter discussion on Wednesday 6th November as experts unpack the findings and share their insight. 

From automating admin tasks and creating individualised learning to overcoming language barriers or tutoring outside the classroom, AI is changing the face of teaching. But, despite the very real benefits of AI, Bett has tapped into teacher insight to find widespread concerns around other impacts AI could bring to education. To open up the conversation around this important topic, Bett will be discussing this research live on Twitter as part of their #BettTalks series, with contributors from across the AI and education sectors. 

The research, which surveyed over 5,000 UK teachers, revealed a huge 87% of teachers are worried that the increasing amount of access children have to digital devices in schools to facilitate greater use of AI could have a negative impact on their friendships and social skills. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these concerns are higher for older teachers, with those aged 50+ most concerned (45% very worried) compared to 33% of those in their 20s being very worried. Tellingly, only 1% of teachers asked stated they weren’t worried about this at all.

Primary school teachers are more concerned (89%) than secondary (84%) and independent schools are less worried about this impact (80%) than their state funded counterparts (86%).

The same research went on to ask teachers about the impact they feel AI will have on plagiarism, with interesting results. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) feel that AI will make plagiarism easier to spot but almost a third (32%) feel that it will be harder to pick up, highlighting a degree of division. With this question, responses were similar across independent and state funded schools.

Eve Harper, Bett Show Director for the UK, commented, “The ethics around the use of AI in the classroom is challenging for schools. The Bett community is here to help educators understand and embrace new technology. This research has really emphasized the worries that teachers up and down the county have around AI. To try and de-mystify this and answer questions the teaching community has we will be hosting a Bett Talks Twitter hour that we would encourage all those interested in the subject to join.”

AI expert Dr Wayne Holmes of OU/Nesta will be joining Bett for the first Bett Talks session at 8pm on Wednesday 6th November, offering his views and opinions on the research findings and providing support and advice to the Bett educators community. Dr Holmes holds a PhD in Learning and Technology from the University of Oxford and has been involved in education, educational technologies and education research for more than 25 years. He will be joined by Stella McCarthy, Computing Coordinator of Benhurst Primary School. Use #BettTalks to follow and join the discussion.


About Bett

Bett is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together 800+ leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start ups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community.

Location & Opening times:

ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL, United Kingdom.

Wed 22nd January, 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 23rd January, 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 24th January, 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 25th January, 10:00 - 15:00

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