Artificial Intelligence Demystified

Artificial Intelligence demystified

CLWB.org is delighted to announce a major initiative aimed at democratising Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is driving the automation of a swathe of jobs – including many that were once regarded as ‘safe’.

Whilst AI can seem inaccessible and complex at first, our goal is to open up AI for as many people as possible by helping them to quickly acquire a practical understanding of how AI works and what it can do for them.

From October 2017 we will be working with broadcasters, recruitment agencies, publishers and technical partners in UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Brazil to deliver 1-day workshops and learning kits.

With no prerequisites – apart from curiosity and basic Excel skills – professionals from all walks of life will get the tools they need to make sense of AI. As part of the package, participants will receive a toolkit that they can then use at home or in work to consolidate and build on their learning.

Participants will be carefully lead through the basic mathematics, data handling, and algorithmic thinking skills needed to understand AI, and will be shown how AI solutions can be implemented and scaled.

AI Demystified topics include:

  • What exactly is AI?
  • How can you take advantage of AI?
  • ‘Quick Starts’ – essential Maths and Technology skills
  • Putting Machine Learning to work on your data
  • Getting to depth and scale with AI solutions

Starting at the Engine Shed in Bristol UK on October 19th and 26th 2017, we are working with SETsquared to run 2 workshops, and invite you to participate.

Click here to sign-up: Eventbrite ticketing for Artificial Intelligence Demystified

AI scenario icons

 

Coding and STEAM Workshops in Australia, 2016

Australia coding and STEAM

You wouldn’t put someone in front of a piano and say, ‘Figure out how to play it’. The same can be said about coding in schools.

Following the endorsement of the new Australian Technologies Curriculum, the Queensland Government made coding and robotics compulsory in schools from Prep to Year 10. Its reasonable to expect that it won’t be long before each Australian state will ensure that schools are embedding coding and robotics in the curriculum – which is clearly a very good thing.

But what does this mean for schools, institutions and teachers who are expected to deliver this new curriculum? Whilst Scratch, Code.org and similar packages give students and teachers an entry point, teaching “General Purpose Computer Languages” to students is an altogether different matter.

And its a similar story for the broader push towards STEM/STEAM. Whilst schools are equipped to teach each STEAM subject area, making learning gains from the integrated STEAM approach requires careful thought, planning, development and investment.

To help schools respond, CLWB will be delivering Coding and STEAM (Science Technology Entrepreneurship Arts and Maths) workshops in Australia in February – March 2016.

In October 2015, we ran STEM workshops in Melbourne and Brisbane, and at the Cognitive Acceleration conference in Queensland. We received a clear message at these workshops – “please help us implement the Digital Technologies curriculum – particularly coding – in our schools”. So, we’ll be coming back to Australia in February and March 2016 to run a series of workshops focusing on teaching coding and STEAM.

The CLWB “You Can Teach Coding” workshop will directly teach teachers how to teach coding. The CLWB “Practical Steps to STEAM” workshop will build on our recent STEM workshops and provide opportunities to plan STEAM, and participate in hands-on learning activities.

Option 1: “You Can Teach Coding” @ School

One-day In-School Bespoke Workshop

This is a full-day, in-school bespoke coding workshop for a group of up to 10 teachers paired with up to 10 students. This workshop will not only teach teachers how to code, but also how to teach coding. Participants will be taken from assumed no-knowledge to being confident in teaching with a “General Purpose Programming Language” by the end of the day. The workshop can be used to train student “Digital Leaders” and build a coding culture across the school. Teachers will be given a CLWB Computer Science kit and post-workshop Skype distance support as part of the workshop package.

Option 2: “Practical steps to STEAM” @ School

One-day In-School Bespoke Workshop

This is a full day bespoke workshop focused on creating a STEAM curriculum at your school. In the morning, participants will be lead through Science, Technologies, Arts and Maths subject content. This will be followed by a planning activity aimed at getting maximum learning gains from the STEAM approach, and integrating technology and entrepreneurship into the curriculum. The afternoon session focuses on a practical, hands-on STEAM activity, enabling participants to acquire new skills in Electronics, Programming, Designing and practical ‘Digital Making’. Teachers will be given a CLWB STEAM Kit and post-workshop Skype distance support as part of the workshop package.

Option 3: “You Can Teach Coding” Professional Development 

One-day Teaching Coding workshop

Meet and work with teachers from other schools at this full-day workshop, which will not only teach you to code, but also how to teach coding. Participants will be taken from assumed no-knowledge to being confident in teaching with a “General Purpose Programming Language” by the end of the day. Participants will receive a CLWB Computer Science Kit and 1 post-workshop Skype support, as part of the workshop package.

Option 4: Practical steps to STEAM Professional Development

One-day STEAM workshop

Meet and work with teachers from other schools at this workshop, which builds on the STEM workshop that we ran in Brisbane and Melbourne in October. The workshop will focus on creating a STEAM curriculum within your school. In the morning, teachers will be lead through Science, Technologies, Arts and Maths subject content. This will be followed by a planning activity aimed at getting maximum learning gains from the STEAM approach, and integrating technology and entrepreneurship into the curriculum. The afternoon session focuses on a practical, hands-on STEAM activity, enabling participants to acquire new skills in Electronics, Programming, Designing and practical ‘Digital Making’. Participants will receive a CLWB STEAM Kit and post-workshop Skype support as part of the workshop package.

If you or your school is interested in any of these options please use this form to let us know.

Note: You might be interested in having both Options 1 and 2 in your school over 2 days or you might be interested in sending teachers to workshops covering Options 3 and/or 4 in your area. You may also like to consider having a bespoke workshop in your school and invite other schools in your area to send teachers. Use the “Comments” box to let us know what options you would like.

Australian Technologies Curriculum – STEM Workshops

Australian Technologies Curriculum

Following the recent approval of the Australian Technologies Curriculum, CLWB with Intuyu Consulting and Cognitive Architecture ran a series of STEM workshops in Victoria and Queensland.

Based on the recent Leadership at the Speed of Thought program, Mike Lloyd gave a worldwide view of how technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ‘Internet of Things’ are disrupting the world of work, opening up new opportunities and threats, and the implications of these developments for education.

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Participants were then guided through a mapping of the new Australian Curriculum to STEM activities, and shown where technologies and new pedagogies can make the most learning impact.

Following this, teams created one-year STEM plans for their schools.

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A key component in STEM is multi-disciplinary projects, so teachers finished the workshop by designing, building and programming a Wearable solution using a CLWB Wearable kit. This gave them the opportunity to develop new skills and understanding – e.g. Programming, Design, Making and the science behind conductive thread.

We were delighted to bring an edited version of the workshop to the Cognitive Accelaration Conference, Australia –

Cog Accel

Mike would like to thank Adrian and Rachel at Intuyu; Tim Smith from Cognitive Architecture; Mt Alvernia College, Brisbane and Genazzano College, Melbourne, and all the participants at the workshops.

‘Re-Maker Spaces’ for Circular Economies

Circular Economy

For 200 years much of world has prospered as a result of digging up finite raw materials, turning them into products, and after they have been consumed, these products are thrown away as waste.

Now, many people are becoming more conscious of living in a finite world. Adverse effects of the manmade world on the environment are beginning to have an impact on economics. Take Brazil, for example. 80% of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydro sources. Fantastic – a low carbon solution I hear you say. Well, yes, but decades of slash-and-burn in the Amazon and Atlantic Forests has changed weather patterns and now Sao Paulo – the engine room of the Brazilian economy – is facing severe drought and disruption to electricity supply. This is expected to have a negative effect of 2 points on GDP growth.

So what has this got to do with the use of technology in education? Well quite a lot actually. Take for example the latest buzz in education – Maker Spaces. Hardly a week goes by without hearing of a Maker Space project or plans to run a student Maker Faire. Whist we warmly welcomes this as clear evidence of the shift away from the ‘consumption and productivity tool’ paradigm towards an invention-based paradigm, we are in danger of missing an extremely important point – what and how what we make things has an impact on the environment. In Maker Spaces and Fab Labs in schools, there is deeper learning to be gained in setting the learning process in the wider context of the Circular Economy. Instead of thinking of product lifecycle as cradle-to-grave, we need to build products within a cradle-to-cradle processes.

If we look at making in Maker Spaces through a Circular Economy lens, we see several types of making activities –

  1. Repair
  2. Refurbish
  3. Reusing
  4. Re-cycle
  5. Remove

Today, our commodities are presented to us as ‘black boxes’, with manufacturers saying ‘we’ll take care of the complicated stuff – you just buy a new one when the old one breaks’. So, no wonder repairing is looked down on. The wonderful ifixit.com is attempting to change this by publishing a vast library of detailed repair manuals. There are deep learning opportunities when children learn to repair products and ‘teardowns’ are great ways to understand STEMD concepts.

Re-use– salvaging components from one product to build another one offers – offers wonderful deep learning opportunities. India is a hotbed of activity in this are with Jugaad and Frugal innovation an integral part of the economy.

Jugaad

Examples of Jugaad innovation – clockwise, Hearing Test Prosthesis; Local Technology Cooker; Alarm Clock Blood Pressure Monitor; Baby Warmer; Fridge; Childbirth Aid; Mobile Phone Projector. C/O Wired Magazine – http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2013/05/features/frugal-innovation

There are other Deep Learning opportunities here for students to apply the following principles to designing and making:

  • Multifunctionalism – can the product I’m making perform more than one function. This, for example, could allow one product to be produced whereas previously several separate products would have been needed.
  • Repairabilty – How easy is the product to repair. Are repair processes documented well and archived openly? Ifixit is a great example of this.
  • Reuseabiliby – Assemblies should be designed and joined in a way that makes replaceable components easy to reach. Eg a 3d printed or moulded product that permanently encases key components is less than optimal.
  • Recyclability – can reusable components be recovered easily, and are materials being used recyclable?

In recent times, learning to use a screwdriver and soldering iron has been seen as a low level skill and only for those who can’t afford new goods. Likewise, working with wood, metal and plastics has been seen as low grade skills for those not ‘smart’ enough to follow an ‘academic’ pathway towards law or medicine for example.

Thankfully, technology is disrupting this dated view of the world. The future belongs to those who can shape technology in its widest sense, and the smartest of these will have the Circular Economy at the core of their practice.

So let’s not take a ‘slash and burn’ approach to building Maker Spaces – buying the latest shiny things simply to make more stuff more easily gives completely the wrong message. Let’s think it through – what Deep Learning do you want students to gain as a result of engaging with your Maker Space? Can we use Maker Spaces to teach about the wider world that we live in? Can we even teach young people to set up mini enterprises in repair, refurbish reuse and recycling – let’s call it re-making. So let’s rename ‘Maker Spaces’ to Re-Maker Spaces – the places to go for deep and joined-up learning.