Familiarizing children with atificial intelligence
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
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Oulu : K. Khalid,
Studies regarding the digital literacy of children can be found easily. Such as teaching children about coding, involvement of children in the design and development of technology, learning of CT, and abstraction. On the other hand, the availability of literature regarding the combination of children and AI is still not enough. Especially, there is a lack of research regarding AI literacy of children which is the research problem. The gap was found while searching for material regarding AI and children through ACM Digital Library and IEEE Xplore which motivated to conduct this research. Thus, the research was conducted with the aim of familiarizing children with the AI.
Moreover, the qualitative research method was used for this study. The reason to choose this method was the lack of literature in this field. Another reason was to obtain evidence-based on observations in the real environment. Data was collected in the form of observations, texts (activity worksheets), pictures, video, and audio. The teacher was interviewed at the end of the last session to get feedback about children’s learning. Also, the study was conducted at an international school in Oulu, Finland. Sessions were conducted on 19 Nov and 26 Nov 2019. Each session was of approximately 45 minutes. Children belonging to the age-group of 11–12 years were included.
To introduce AI to the children existing material with modification was used. During the sessions, children had some hands-on activities such as an online ML activity. Some activity worksheets were also distributed among them. Children were asked about AI before and after this concept was explained to them. Findings of the study suggested that some children’s opinion about AI was changed after they were being engaged in learning activities. In the beginning, upon asking them about AI a few children answered as coding or robot whereas repeating the same question at the end some students mentioned “thinking by itself”. In contrast, some students still mentioned robot or computer. Observations also suggest that children seemed to learn more easily through hands-on activities and by listening to stories.
Based on the results of this study, it seems that more sessions with careful planning are needed to get better results in the future. One limitation is, the results of this study cannot be applied to a large group of children. Another limitation of this study is the unknown background of participants.
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