Preparing For The Inevitable Impact of AI on Education

BY GINA SPARROW | 7 min read

Innovation Heroes: Season 3 - Episode. 2

The Elephant in the Classroom: Preparing For The Inevitable Impact of AI on Education

Join the conversation as Galileo Global Education’s CIO, Raid Naim, and Adam Olsen discuss how the emergence and rapid adoption of AI technology are impacting the education sector and where we need to focus our innovation efforts to manage these changes.

Education is Evolving with AI

I remember my Dad's advice, "When in doubt, pick c!" It was meant to ease my young mind as I headed out to write my final exams, as the common belief was that on a multiple-choice test, answer c (the third option in a 4-5 option set) was the safest bet on a random guess. However, the traditional multiple-choice test format, which only evaluates the final result rather than the critical thinking and problem-solving process, is not conducive to true education.

By automating certain tasks such as grading and providing more personalized learning experiences, AI could revolutionize the way we approach education. It could help us move away from the traditional focus on rote memorization and towards a more creative and dynamic learning experience that emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The education system is already responding to AI's rapid adoption, with some institutions incorporating AI into their curriculum and others using it for administrative tasks. However, there are also concerns about the ethics and fairness of using AI in education, such as potential bias in grading algorithms or lack of access to technology for disadvantaged students.

Overall, the conversation highlights the potential of AI in education and the need to rethink our current assessment methods. As AI technology continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see how it can transform the education industry and help learners of all ages achieve their full potential.

🔉 Click to listen 👇

Highlights from Season 3: Episode 2

We've pulled some highlights from today's interview—be sure to check out the full episode.

Galileo Global Education: Changing the Way Schooling is Done

Galileo is a network of about 60 universities and 200,000 students in about 15 countries. We have universities in Senegal all the way to China, so our worldwide network tries to push universities and institutions of higher education to thrive in elevating the education experience in general. If you look at innovation in general, scientific innovation, not only digital, the main thing right now is how to enable personalization at scale. If you want to offer a service, that service should be personalized perfectly for the user and at the same time, you can do that on an immense scale. 

The challenge in every industry has been, "How can I create the perfect personalized experience for the consumer or the customer while being able to scale that and lower the cost?" If you look at some digital services, they actually managed to reach a very high level through digital innovation. 

Taking Education to the Next Level with an Innovative Approach

If you look at all the design thinkers and user experience experts and data scientists--they work for the personalization. Cloud engineers are working on scalability. If you look at education, it has not achieved a good level of personalization or scalability. You want to offer a specific level of personalization, but you want to scale it because you don't want to have a one-on-one interaction--you can't achieve that on a global level. Now, learning has shown a very interesting development with MOOCs, with massive online courses that have achieved the scale part of the learning experience, but have failed to offer individualization and personalization. 

Online Blended Learning: Why It Makes Sense

You have a few innovators trying to go there, but there's no huge success that would revolutionize the whole thing. COVID and more of online learning have kind of pushed things in that direction. COVID pushed both the learners and the educators to accept that kind of change that's happening with online blended learning. Suddenly, it was the reality because there was no other way to live in the market. 

I think it's not only the online access or the personalization in terms of individuals having a smaller number of people--I think the classroom with a smaller number of people with personal care is not going to disappear, but it has to be combined with the high level of flexibility, because the classroom is not flexible. For a flexible classroom, you have to go into hybrid models where learners can learn in the classroom and between the classrooms. 

Catching Up: It's Time for Education to Move Forward

The adaptation speed of the education industry is lower than other industries, especially in the service economy. Professors seem to have a little bit of a lighter lift in online teaching, and they can feel more disconnected from their jobs and their passion for teaching. They're feeling the need to change very heavily, and I think what will become visible is not only a need to change, but also to reinvent. I don't think that technology will make educators obsolete. 

AI and Education

There are a lot of skills and a lot of things that educators will have to do that will not be taken over by technology for a long time. However, lecturers might be obsolete in the next few years--there's a huge difference between those. I'm not convinced that higher education institutions have made that kind of distinction, so they need to start to redefine the added value. They need to figure out how to adapt with technology by redefining the role of educators, not lecturers. Content provisioning is not teaching, and content provisioning is going to be taken over by machines very soon. 

AI and ChatGPT passing exams is a symptom of how badly we're doing with assessments in the education industry, rather than a sign of AI's abilities. The systematics behind this kind of assessment don't have to do with intelligence. In the nature of education, you have to care about the results, but all the way to the result, critical thinking matters. Now, the machine or AI in this case is forcing us to correct course. Think about calculators-- the machine forced us to change the way we assess knowledge and education in a better way. Now, that's going to happen with AI in a more impactful way. 

It's not only about whether you can cheat any test or assess knowledge--it's not even only about the ability to create papers in minutes. The ability to create content or to simulate knowledge is one thing, but the other is the capability to learn. You can learn a lot, and there's the question of what do educators do instead of lecturing? To me, it's about building the capabilities of critical thinking. That's going to be the role of an educator. 

What AI cannot teach is critical thinking--putting all the information into context, changing views and seeing what fits. You can increase some productivity with AI. It's going to be a very normal interaction like driving a machine, or collaborating with a machine. It'll be a huge change in how we create value. 

Will AI Change Higher Ed?

With the simple automation we have in education, we're noticing that we're not talking about AI yet. We're talking about simple automation in the process--using some data to optimize processes to make them faster to take. 

In the past five years or so, there have been drastic advancements in some of these processes and technologies. It's a massive industry. The challenges are not technological, because the technology you can use in education is the same as the technology you can use in any other industry. It's a well-regulated industry, and regulation being slower than technological development is a major challenge. 

Education and Change

When it comes to the manufacturing industry, it's been through changes before digital came out with the industrial revolution, automation, and electronics. The companies had to adapt. The education industry does not have that history of change, and nothing forced them to change. 

As an educator, I value the accommodation and communication of knowledge. In every step in digital innovation transformation, you clash with regulation or you crash with the whole institution. We're all trying to innovate, we're trying to keep up with all these advancements and it's the regulations and the slow-moving processes that are really holding up. 

(ps. We ran this blog past ChapGPT and this is what it had to say… “As a language model developed using AI, I can attest to the potential benefits of this technology in education. I could help students with research, generate outlines, and even assist with writing, significantly reducing the time and effort required for these tasks.”)

Thank you for checking out Season 3: Episode 2 of the Innovation Heroes series!

Let's keep the conversation going! Interested in chatting with Adam on an Innovation Heroes segment or recommending a guest? To join the queue, send an email to Attn: Adam. Include your name, email, and topic of interest (you can also use the HeroX contact form). 



About Raid Naim | Connect

Raid is a versatile leader with a unique background spanning across various industries. As the Chief Innovation & Transformation Officer at Galileo Global Education, he leads the charge in revolutionizing the world of education with a focus on innovation, creativity, arts and culture. Raid has brought his wealth of experience from the automotive industry, IT, and education to spearhead the mission of making Galileo Global Education the world education leader in innovation. With an international network of 54 schools in 10 cities, Raid is determined to drive the future of education and ensure that Galileo Global Education stays ahead of the curve.

Connect with Raid: LinkedIn


🔉 About the Innovation Heroes podcast

The Innovation Heroes series covers all things open innovation, crowdsourcing, and remote work. It’s time to open up the airways, share strategies, engage partners, and leverage the power of crowd intelligence to expedite solutions to the pressing problems facing every level of organization, individuals, and the world. The key word here is OPEN. 

We're bringing our partners in innovation, organizations who have run their own crowdsourcing projects, innovator powerhouses, and remote work legends into the spotlight. There is a global network ready to contribute time, energy, and intelligence to just about any challenge that comes their way. All we need to do is provide the opportunity. Thank you for being a part of the solution. Discover the Power of the Crowd

About Adam Olsen | Connect

Adam is your Podcast Host and Possibilities Manager at HeroX, connecting with innovation leaders from around the world to gain insights on how they approach innovation, the technologies they're most excited about, and how these innovations impact their industries.

HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation that allows anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd.

Connect with Adam: LinkedIn,


Your Crowd. Your Solution.

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