Digital Skills Forum: AI & the Future of Education

28 May 2021

How can education, the economy and employers work together to deliver the computing skills and opportunities for our post-Covid future?

The Digital Skills Forum, a new monthly series of online events hosted by The National Centre for Computing Education brings together expert speakers from industry and education for a lively discussion looking at how we can work together effectively.

Digital Skills Forum -  AI and the Future of Education

Thursday 10 June, 4.30pm – 5.15pm

  • Professor Simon Peyton Jones, Microsoft Research
  • Dr Jon Chippindall, Crumpsall Lane Primary School
  • Chair; Beverly Clarke

An interactive, forward-looking session to explore how the education system could adapt to the opportunities and challenges that AI presents.

Dr Jon Chippindall

Jon is a primary school teacher as well as a visiting academic at The University of Manchester where he champions engineering for SEERIH and runs the Computing Primary PGCE.

"I’ll be looking at how primary schools are preparing pupils for the future workforce and showcase emerging tools to introduce AI in primary, and the challenges of delivering a curriculum which keeps pace with tech developments."

Prof Simon Peyton Jones

Prof Simon Peyton Jones is a computer science researcher at Microsoft Research and has been deeply involved in computing education since 2007. He is Chair of the National Centre for Computing Education, and Chair and co-founder of Computing at School  (CAS).

“AI is everywhere, and it is doing lots of good things, from language translation to analysing medical images. But it can also be a kind of magic pixie dust that we sprinkle on hard problems in the hope they will go away.  It’s really important that our young people gain a basic understanding of how machine learning works, and a critical awareness of its strengths and weaknesses.
“But what, exactly, should young people learn?   We need a dialogue between education and employers to work out good answers.  We can’t just lob new material into the school curriculum –  we must reflect the increasing role of data, sometimes at enormous scale, in industrial applications of computing.  And we must equip and inspire our teachers with the knowledge, experiences, and skills they need to teach these new concepts with confidence.”

Chair – Beverly Clarke

Beverly Clarke is the National Community Manager responsible for the management and delivery of the Computing at Schools (CAS) a grass roots teacher-led network and part of the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) programme. She is also an author, education consultant and a member of the BETT Advisory Group.

“I am fascinated by how data is driving AI.  We are in a time in history where vast quantities of data are being generated daily and this is driving AI. We need to understand how this data is being used within our societies. Understanding of data usage and how it effects privacy, different groups of people and the purposes for which it is used such as advertising, tracking etc are of interest to me.  Overarching is ensuring that we don’t end up with a “Data Divide” – so that those that own the data hold the power.”

Attendance is free. If you would like to attend email for full details and link.