Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education extols the value of globalized education and advocates for the use of AI in educational settings. 

Gillian Keegan Highlights AI’s Potential to Assist Teachers by Marking Homework

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Gillian Keegan, Secretary of State for Education extols the value of globalized education and advocates for the use of AI in educational settings. 

According to Gillian Keegan, the employment of AI in the classroom would allow teachers more time for “close up and personal” instruction, something that could never be replicated by a machine. Like the personal computer and search engines, she advised educators to welcome AI as a means to better serve students’ educational needs.

Despite Whitehall’s optimism, though, many academics remain wary about AI’s readiness for widespread deployment.

At the BETT conference in London, Keegan told attendees that the government’s first priority is providing schools with the technology they need to function. This involves making sure schools can access fast Internet; the UK government has promised to make gigabit internet available to all schools by 2025. 

Gillian Keegan Highlights AI's Potential to Assist Teachers

Keegan said that the government would upgrade school WiFi networks in 55 local authorities around the country that did not satisfy connectivity standards and had poor academic achievements.

The UK Government has consistently emphasized its dedication to the International Education Strategy’s goals, which are to attract and retain at least 600,000 international students and increase education exports to £35 billion by 2020. 

To reach the second goal, international enrollment must grow; however, everyone agrees that this growth must be managed strategically with the best interests of the students in mind.

In her keynote address at the Education World Forum in London, Ms. Keegan laid out her vision while acknowledging that the application of AI in educational settings remained a contentious topic.

I am aware that anti-AI sentiment exists in various nations. Some people are saying it’s the end of civilization as we know it,” she explained.

She advocated, instead, that teachers take to heart the words of Winston Churchill: “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Gillian Keegan Highlights AI's Potential to Assist Teachers by Marking Homework

She remarked that AI has the potential to revolutionize a teacher’s daily routine. Lesson planning and grading, for instance, might be significantly simplified with its help. 

Keegan also announced two pilots, one in Blackpool and one in Portsmouth, both of which he described as places deserving of increased funding for schools. Schools will be better able to utilize their technology to its full potential, improve student outcomes, and prepare for the future with the support of these pilot programmed. 

The results of these pilots will show other educational institutions whether or not the items have real-world potential and utility in the classroom.

This would free up AI to focus on areas where it excels, leaving classroom instruction to human instructors. Just like they did with the invention of the calculator or, more recently, Google, everyone must adapt to this new form of technology, and they are planning to educate themselves on it and then implement their findings to benefit their students.

What it’s capable of doing has made them very curious. How well it might work for customized and adaptable learning, how it might be utilized as an assistive tool to widen access to education, and how much time it might save teachers when marking.

Their office has already started down this road by issuing a statement that looks at the benefits and dangers of using generative AI in classrooms.

“We have a lot more thinking and learning to do to understand the potential here,” she said. “I am committed to working hand-in-hand with experts, educators, and all of you in this room as we do that thinking.”

As the Secretary of State for Education emphasizes the importance of globalized education and AI integration, NT Squad supports the potential benefits of AI in education for intentional students.

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