News and Notices

Principal’s Message

4 June 2024

Generative AI can generate new content such as text, images, audio, and video that resembles what humans can produce. It is effective at recognising patterns (in video, audio, text or images) and emulating them when tasked with producing something. (Source: Australian Framework for Generative Artificial Intelligence in Schools, 2023, Education Department Australia, accessed 30 May 2024)

Since the launch of ChatGPT in late 2022, the world has witnessed a rapid expansion of various forms of Generative AI. This expansion is so swift that even experts in the field find it challenging to keep up.  As a school community, our role in navigating these changes is crucial.

Through our Vision for Learning, our College community prioritises effective learning strategies, or “pedagogy first,” over technology. While technology offers personalised and supportive learning opportunities, it also presents challenges such as bias and accuracy, literacy development, ownership of work, and isolation. I strongly believe that the connection between a teacher and student is irreplaceable, as demonstrated time and time again in our Lasallian community.

It is a valid concern that AI platforms could be used by students to generate work and claim it as their own. The academically capable students won’t benefit from relying on AI, but those who struggle might be tempted to do so. As a learning community, we have redesigned tasks and altered our Assessment Policy to address AI, but in most cases, teachers will be able to identify work generated by AI because it won’t match the students’ normal work. Ongoing informal and formative assessments that happen as part of daily learning will be the best tools for both learning and detecting academic misconduct.

The ethical issues raised by AI tools are bigger than the issue of students cheating on assessments. On Friday 31 May 2024, our staff were privileged to hear from Leon Furze. An international consultant, author, and speaker with over fifteen years of experience in education, Leon spoke to staff about the implications of Generative Artificial Intelligence on writing instruction and education.  In particular, he focused on the rapid change of the technology, the ethical challenges it presents, how teachers are best placed to determine the use of AI to support learning and to identify inappropriate use of AI and how we can best utilise the Australian Framework released by the Australian Government to support teaching and learning.

Leon’s presentation affirmed the work of staff in developing key skills that will enable our students to navigate the ever-changing technological world that we live in.  These skills are deeply embedding in the College’s Vision for Learning and seen in many of our programs, including Problem-based learning (PBL), STEM, Career Education and Lifeskills.

Skills such as:

  • Being critical and creative thinkers, that challenge what they see and hear and utilise their knowledge to provide creative solutions to global problems
  • Being outstanding collaborators
  • Being an authentic team player who is reliable, gives of their best, tolerant, authentic and can compromise their ideas to ensure the best outcome, will ensure success in all future workplaces too
  • Being clear and effective communicators
  • Being responsible, empathetic and contributing citizens
  • Being in touch with everything that surrounds us – both culture and community.

Generative AI also poses challenges for parents and guardians.  Communication is the key to addressing any challenge. You can support your child through open communication, and regular chats about AI. Stay involved in what your child is doing with AI, address any risks, and focus on the positive aspects. By doing so, parents can help children thrive in a world where AI plays an increasingly significant role.

We are living in an era of rapid technological change. As a school community, our role in staying informed and navigating these changes is crucial to La Salle College being well placed to embrace the benefits of technology and determine how to best use AI and other new technologies safely and ethically to support innovative teaching and learning into the future.

Ms Giovanna Fiume | College Principal

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