UNESCO and Ericsson launch a new portal for teaching AI to students

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rarely out of the news – especially during these challenging times, when AI has been suggested as a tool to help end the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many people do not have a full understanding of what AI actually means, how it works, or how it might help.

Today UNESCO and Ericsson are proud to launch the Teaching AI for K-12 Portal. This portal will provide a one-stop repository of resources for all educators around the world. The aim is to help curriculum developers and teachers to better understand the promise and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and to develop AI curriculum for, and teach AI to, students in grades K-12 (ages 5 to 18 years old).

“Technological innovations have become an integral part of education around the world,” said Borhene Chakroun, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO, highlighting the importance of launching this new platform in partnership with Ericsson. “The shift to online and distance learning during this COVID-19 crisis makes it more apparent than ever: Artificial intelligence is at the forefront of these innovations.” UNESCO is supporting the efforts of Member States in leveraging AI for equitable and quality education and offering platforms for global discussion and agreements such as the Beijing Consensus on Artificial Intelligence and Education in 2019. “This portal is a new opportunity to work with one of our partners in the Global Education Coalition to provide teachers and students with appropriate guidance and tools to face the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the world of tomorrow,” said Mr Chakroun.

“Now more than ever, society understands the importance of being digitally connected.  Ericsson believes in empowering an intelligent, sustainable and connected world, one in which a quality education is accessible for all,” says Heather Johnson, Vice President, Head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson.

“People around the world are witnessing the power and vital role that AI can bring. This is also true for Ericsson where we have been developing AI as part of our solutions for more than 10 years. In partnership with UNESCO we can bring our expertise to the table to deliver this digital platform on Artificial Intelligence, helping students from around the world discover more about how AI can play an essential role in the wider technology and connectivity eco-system.”

The first release of the platform highlights learning resources on the topic of “Exploring AI at Home”. These hands-on activities, which are available in five languages, will help teachers and parents support children and students to learn at home about AI. It includes documents, videos, links, lesson plans, online courses and software – all of which have been chosen because they are of high quality and either free or open source. The next phase will contain a broader framework for teachers and curriculum developers, not only guiding them on what AI is but also providing them with the resources to develop curricula in order to be able to teach AI to their students.

UNESCO is also welcoming Ericsson to the Global Education Coalition which seeks to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption. The participation of Ericsson shows its continued commitment in connecting the next generation with the tools and content they need to learn, develop and thrive. As part of their contribution, Ericsson is also releasing a second digital learning program called Ericsson Educate that features courses on 5G networks, IoT, data science, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning. This digital learning program has the potential to benefit students all around the world who are currently disadvantaged due to lockdowns and home quarantines.