14 March 2024

A Year 6 class from Laxey Primary School took a significant step in the conversation surrounding education and technology by visiting the House of Keys last Wednesday (6 March), to take part in a lively debate about the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the classroom.

The motion for discussion, introduced by the Year 6 Madame Speaker was, "This house is of the opinion that AI technology should be introduced to support learning in the classroom."

Participants in the debate presented a range of thoughtful and committed arguments.

Supporters of the motion highlighted the benefits of AI as a tool to enhance both teaching and learning, making lessons more engaging and fostering enthusiasm among students. It was noted that, while AI has not previously been accessible within educational settings, its introduction could serve as a valuable aid rather than a replacement for traditional teaching methods.

However, concerns were raised by some students about the potential for AI to facilitate cheating and to deskill users, alongside worries about the credibility of AI-generated information and its lack of emotional intelligence, which could impair students' communication and critical thinking skills.

The debate concluded in an electronic vote, resulting in a 16-8 majority in favour of introducing AI to support classroom learning. To acknowledge the concerns raised, clauses were suggested for the bill to include safeguards in any potential implementation, such as prohibiting the use of AI for completing exams or homework.

The Year 6 class's visit to the House of Keys was not only an educational experience but also an opportunity for these young individuals to participate actively in a discussion that may shape the future of education.

Could these continuing conversations hint at the possibility of a formal debate in the House of Keys on "the use of AI in our classrooms" in the near future?