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AI tools coming to Australian schools following AI education framework

Despite most states banning or restricting the technology last year over plagiarism and privacy concerns, artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT will soon be a staple in schools across Australia.

user icon Daniel Croft
Tue, 23 Jan 2024
AI tools coming to Australian schools following AI education framework
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The decision to rollout AI in Australian schools supports a framework developed by the national AI schools task force and backed by the Minister for Education, Jason Clare.

Released on 1 December 2023, the framework was designed to outline the way in which AI should be used in schools, with Clare saying the technology should only be used in ways that “respect and uphold privacy and data rights, comply with Australian law, and avoid the unnecessary collection, limit the retention, prevent further distribution, and prohibit the sale of student data”.

Clare and the Department of Education have launched an inquiry into the use of AI in schools to determine the benefits the technology presents while also identifying the risks.


“Generative AI presents opportunities for students and teachers, but there are also risks such as the privacy and safety of school children.

“This framework will help guide all school communities so they can enjoy the potential benefits to teaching and learning that generative AI offers, while mitigating the risks.

“We will continue to review the framework to keep pace with developments.”

So far, the department’s research has determined that AI could be used to create more targeted educational opportunities and increase its efficacy, particularly with at-risk students.

“If we get this right, generative AI can help personalise education and make learning more compelling and effective,” added Clare.

Australia is reportedly leading the way in adopting the technology in the education sector, according to Department of Education spokesperson Julie Birmingham.

South Australia has long taken a particular interest in the technology, being the only state or territory which didn’t restrict the technology previously.

The state’s Minister for Education, Training and Skills, Blair Boyer, said that it is in the best interest of our future generations to develop an understanding of AI.

“AI will be a part of our work and lives in the future, which means we have a responsibility to educate young people about its appropriate use,” he said.

“If we don’t, we are doing them an incredible disservice.”

NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said that in rolling out AI in schools, preventing the technology from developing inequalities due to inaccessibility is a major concern.

“As we continue to work through how to responsibly manage the use of AI in school, we must ensure any future policy makes the technology accessible to everyone, no matter their background.

“We cannot have a situation where the potential future use of AI entrenches inequities among NSW students.”

According to Leslie Loble, University of Technology Sydney academic and former deputy secretary in the NSW education department, this is a serious concern, and the lack of understanding many students have of other technologies is an indication that throwing AI into the mix may only create greater disparities.

“A lot of students still aren’t getting the basics of computers and Wi-Fi,” she said, adding that there are significant differences in available resources between public and independent schools.

“There’s a clear gap in take-up of these sophisticated generative AI tools between households and schools that have resources and those that don’t.

“To the extent these technologies can have a positive impact on learning – that divide is deeply troubling and will lead to a learning gap getting even worse.”

That being said, Loble said the contrast between attitudes towards AI when ChatGPT was released in 2022 to now is alarming, and an indicator of just how much mindsets have changed,

“Going from seven states banning it to now is a sign of how far schools and systems have come in understanding the potential benefits and risks,” Loble said, according to The Guardian.

“But we really have to get started on clearer standards and expectations for what AI should deliver and how it should be defined and governed.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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