The Impact of Conversational AI on Inclusion and Accessibility (Part V)

One of the first challenges when using conversational AI in our teaching and learning is that we use the technology to connect and interact with students in innovative ways. As educators, we need to feel comfortable adapting our curriculum with new tools and ways to meet our students where they are. We also need to harness digital capabilities by emerging as digital educators in ways to foster collaboration and creativity. However, a potential pitfall of using any advanced technology is that we will widen the digital divide between students with relative digital privilege and those who may be marginalized due to lack of access or accessibility when it comes to them. innovative teaching and learning methods.

Let’s start with a little background, first looking at two key concepts: digital pedagogy and critical digital pedagogy.

What is digital pedagogy? Digital pedagogy (D) involves the study and application of digital technologies in teaching and learning. DP has its roots in constructivist theories of learning (see Kellsey & Taylor-Beswick, 2017; Lewin & Lundie, 2016), philosophies of digital pedagogy, and philosophy and education studies. DP is most often used to support blended learning approaches that include online, hybrid, and face-to-face environments.

Critical digital pedagogy is a way of thinking about and approaching digital technologies in education based on the principles of social justice, equity and inclusion. It highlights the importance of critically examining and challenging the use of digital technology in education and its potential impacts on students, teachers and society as a whole. Critical digital pedagogy (CDP) seeks to expand the definition of CS by addressing marginalizing issues such as how lack of access to technology, power structures, disparities in access, and issues of inclusion can affect teaching and learning. (see Morris & Stommel, 2018; Stommel, 2014).

Paulo Freire was a Brazilian educator and philosopher whose work has had a significant impact on critical pedagogy and critical digital pedagogy. Freire was particularly concerned with issues of social justice and how education could be used as a tool for liberation and empowerment.

One of Freire’s most important contributions to critical pedagogy is the concept of the “banking model” of education, in which the teacher is seen as the depositor of knowledge and the student as the recipient of that knowledge. Freire argued that this model was oppressive and undermined students’ freedom and critical thinking. Instead, he suggested a “problem-making” approach to education, where teachers and students work together to actively construct knowledge and meaning and encourage students to take an active role in their own learning.

Freire’s ideas have been influential in the development of critical digital pedagogy because they emphasize the importance of empowering students and recognizing their agency and potential to shape their own learning experiences. In the context of digital technology, this may include using technology in a way that supports student-centred, collaborative and inquiry-based learning approaches, rather than simply being used as a means of delivering content or assessment. It also includes critical examination and attention to how digital technologies can reproduce or reinforce existing inequalities and biases and work towards creating more inclusive and equitable learning environments.

It is important to remember that this is not a zero-sum choice when applying chat-based learning or conversational intelligence to teaching and learning approaches. Most educators today operate in a blended learning environment and necessarily have a blended pedagogic approach. How might teaching and learning approaches differ when digital tools or channels are involved? We understand what it means to be a good teacher in the classroom. But what does “good” look like in learning when using such a chat-based learning approach? Students come to class with expectations (which are often very different) of what “going to school” means. It is important to consider how the use of conversational intelligence can disrupt our students’ understanding of what it means to go to school. Now and in the near future, educators will need to develop and demonstrate skills traditionally associated with those of content curators and trainers as they engage increasingly connected and collaborative students.

There are many ways that conversational AI can be deployed in a way that takes into account critical digital pedagogy. Here are some examples.

  1. Emphasize student-centered and collaborative learning; conversational AI can support student-centered and collaborative approaches to learning by providing a platform for students to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas. This can help foster a sense of agency and ownership of one’s own learning and encourage the development of critical thinking skills.
  2. Promote inclusiveness and equity. conversational AI can be designed to be inclusive and accessible to all learners, regardless of their background or circumstances. This may include using natural language processing techniques to support a wide range of languages ​​or designing interfaces that are easy to use and navigate.
  3. Encourage reflection and critical thinking. conversational AI can promote reflective and critical thinking by prompting students to consider different perspectives and reflect on their own learning. This can help students gain a deeper understanding of the subject and gain new insights.
  4. Addressing potential biases. It’s important to be aware of potential biases in conversational AI and take steps to address them. This could include designing AI systems trained on different data sets or incorporating different voices into the development and design process.

We must approach any conversational AI tool in education with a critical and reflective mindset and consider the potential impacts and consequences of these technologies on students, teachers, and society at large. The use of conversational artificial intelligence in teaching and learning can enhance and augment traditional instructional approaches, rather than replace them. Conversation-based learning can effectively provide personalized and engaging learning experiences for students and support faculty. Additionally, view pedagogical constructs such as chat-based learning through a constructivist lens; people are not passive recipients of information, but individuals who have significant agency and actively construct their understanding of the world through their experiences and interactions, whether physical or digital.

We hope you enjoyed our series on GPT-3. If you did, be sure to tag us and share the post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Read the fourth post in this series here. GPT-3 and I. Is conversational AI the end of education as we know it? (Part IV)

We are also excited to announce that we will be adding GPT-3 capabilities to our award-winning AI learning platform, Walter. Join our waiting list! to get early access when it launches.

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