Classes for the academic year 2023 have finally begun. In addition to graduate school classes, I am in charge of Faculty of Arts and Science courses for undergraduates, “Introduction to Basic Education” and “Introduction to Contemporary Pedagogy”. The number of students is 110, the second largest class of my history. To be honest, I didn’t expect such a large size, since my classes have a heavy number of assignments which is hard for most of students to deal with. Of course, there have been cases where students were not selected by lottery for other classes and came here instead.
In the class of “Introduction to Basic Education”, I explain the basic theories and research streams dealt with in educational technology, especially the relationship between theory and informatization, and trends and research on informatization in formal and informal learning. Since students have been educated in high school and other schools under the coronavirus pandemic, so they have a strong interest in the informatization of education. In the summer semester, based on the contents of the spring semester’s “Introduction to Basic Education”, we are planning to have the students experience some technologies and think about theoretical joints.
I think it is very meaningful to learn about educational technology, especially informatization of education in a situation where generative AI such as ChatGPT is appearing like a meteor and having various impacts. Either teaching and learning is not only for becoming a teacher, but it is also useful for realizing one’s own career, and the informatization of education has a direct effect on that. I think this is a topic that is very timely.
We also talked about generative AI. This includes how to make use of it. Our university has not yet discussed a total ban. As my mentor, Mr. Akabori, has taught in his classes, there are both light and dark sides in the educational application of information and communication technology, and I think we need to make the most of the light and reduce the dark sides. If used well, it can be a wonderful educational system, but if used poorly, the dark side will become more evident, and the movement will be to restrict it.
The progress of information and communication technology is beyond our control. It is advancing rapidly. We have explained in class that the key is how to use it in a way that makes us “smart” and helps us grow. It may be easier to use it to seek answers, but that can be seen as a lost opportunity for personal growth. Research findings in educational psychology, such as self-regulated learning and metacognition, are being utilized in various areas, and the literacy of the application of these theories will be needed. There is a research field called “help-seeking,” which is also related to self-regulated learning. Even in the field of help-seeking, the way in which the request is made can affect the growth of the learner’s ability, and it is said that if the “help” is not made properly, the learner can become dependent on it. Even when seeking “help” to an artificial object such as a generative AI, it is necessary to think of it as a learning strategy and use it as such.
So we talked about these things in class. I thought it was truly educational engineering.
This year’s classes are going to be fun.