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Home » Empowering educators: The AI4AL project’s mindful adoption of AI technologies in Adult Learning and Education

Empowering educators: The AI4AL project’s mindful adoption of AI technologies in Adult Learning and Education

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Given the exponential growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in all aspects of life, the AI4AL project seeks to upskill Adult Learning and Education (ALE) trainers, so that they can confidently apply AI-powered tools to enhance their training. AI-based solutions can transform adult learning by leading to improved skills assessment procedures for adult learners, and by personalising learning pathways tailored to the needs of each learner. 
While the potential of applying AI in ALE among other educational sectors is undeniable, it remains both challenging and untapped. Adult educators need to be equipped with new sets of skills to be able to apply AI in their educational settings, as well as feel confident and secure about this technology. In this context, the AI4AL project aims to facilitate the mindful adoption of AI technologies in ALE. Co-founded by the European Commission and running from 2022 to 2024, this project is the result of a partnership between different European organisations: EAEA, ALL DIGITAL, SKILLLAB BV, EGInA, ProArbeit, CPIP and SVEB (associate partner). 
Through understanding, exploring and experimenting with AI, educators can identify the impact and opportunities it has on their work, such as innovations in learning pathways and teaching practices. If teachers, trainers and educators are well-prepared, trained, and literate on the topic of AI, they can best harness the benefits this technology offers, while also teaching AI literacy to others. Ultimately, educators with AI literacy skills will be prepared to address upcoming AI challenges with confidence. Among its many benefits for adult education, AI-based solutions can support skills assessment, provide tailored resources for each adult learner and increase accessibility by removing barriers to access, as well as help adult educators save time by automating repetitive work and standardising results. Ultimately, educators can keep their teaching skills up to date thanks to the new resources and training opportunities that AI technologies have to offer. In essence, the involvement of educators in the development and use of AI-based solutions for adult learning is fundamental for the wide and effective use of AI in adult education.
To facilitate this mindful adoption process, the AI4AL project will:
  • Develop a matching tool “AI4AL” that will use AI technologies to link the assessment of basic digital skills to micro-credentials, in order to facilitate the construction of highly personalised training offers;
  • Work on an Engagement Kit for the direct involvement of educators in the process of adopting AI-based technologies in the ALE sector – both formal and non-formal -;
  • Train adult educators on the use of AI4AL and the application of AI technologies in this sector through a self-paced learning path.
 
The AI4AL project seeks to highlight the fundamental role of educators in developing and using assistive technology, demystifying in turn the different threats regarding AI replacing teachers. This way, the ALE community can establish the ground for a more inclusive and ethical AI by taking an active part in the processes of creating AI tools and ensuring informed access to underrepresented groups. By addressing the potential impact of AI technologies on different groups of individuals and considering their singularities, its benefits will be more inclusive and equitable. 
In line with DigiCo’s objective of supporting trainers and educators of basic digital skills with tools to teach with and about AI, we invited Angeliki Giannakopoulou, project coordinator at EAEA- European Association for the Education of Adults, to moderate one of the discussions in the 3rd Episode of our #BackToBasics Digital Inclusion series. Angeliki, as the project coordinator of AI4AL, shared her knowledge of methodologies, tools and processes for this project with the audience, enhancing the discussion on how to choose tools that enable the exploration, discovery and interaction of AI technologies. Complex issues demand partnerships and multi-stakeholder approaches to be addressed, and applied AI in the ALE sector is an example of this. Together with the EAEA, the AI4AL project and other relevant partners, we will continue promoting resources and discussions about this topic to foster a more informed and confident community of trainers ready to unlock the full potential of AI. As an outcome of this event, and thanks to the contributions of our mentors and participants of the session, we developed the publication “Teaching with and about AI: A Practical Handbook for Trainers”. We invite you to read it through the following link: