Coding is creative self-expression and so is Artificial Intelligence (AI). In order to make sure our students and children understand AI, we must ensure that our teaching practices focus on children’s own interests and creative ideas.
More importantly, we must aim for teaching about how to best use AI. We do not build AI just for the sake of building AI. We build AI to achieve outcomes that help us in our daily lives. For example, we do not need human workers to calculate delivery truck routes or doctors to check cancer scans as AI can take care of that.
Harness children’s imagination for learning
If we use AI for the good of our communities, it has potential to make the world a better place. But how to teach children creative usage of AI? The key to learning is children’s imagination. All children have vivid imagination and creative visualization comes naturally to them. We must harness the power of children’s imagination to help them learn not only about AI, but also about how to utilize AI.
This year school closures have made online education and parents’ support very important to children’s learning. On the positive side, families get to spend more time together with parents taking a key role in supporting their children in learning.
What kind of support do children need?
But how can an ordinary parent support their kids in learning AI? For most parents, AI is an overwhelming issue. It is hard to understand and to speak about. If you want your child to learn about AI, it would be a good opportunity to learn about yourself too.
If we present questions to children that they can tackle through play and imagination, they will have endless resources for creativity. As an example, a child could be motivated by building an ice-cream making robot. How would the robot know her favorite flavor? While figuring that out, children will learn about the concepts of data, sensors and machine learning.
Code School Finland and Classroom have launched an online artificial intelligence (AI) course for kids from 6+ years of age called My AI Robot. The 7-lesson online course brings together parents and children to learn about artificial intelligence in a fun and motivating way.
The course is available for parents and schools in Hong Kong, with no prior knowledge about AI needed. Read more about the course here.