AI is taking over much of working life as we know it and I was interested to ask AI, specifically chat GPT about how that affects our children and the type of learning and education they should be experiencing.

Molly Gunn (Selfish Mother) has taken her kids out of school for a term to go to Bali and the feedback from others on Instagram is mixed. I think this is a wonderful idea. We have taken our daughter to Bali 5 times, one of those times was 4.5 months and the most recent time was 6 weeks. I deeply believe it is an enriching character building experience with huge value.

So here I question AI on the benefits travelling with children and the future of learning in an AI era. My Chat GPT is called Aiden (AI Digital Entity Network, but when I asked it to remind me what the acronym stood for it told me it was not one and it was just the name given by its creator but when I searched the chat I found it had originally told me this was the acronym!) feel free to hop over to my Instagram to share your thoughts and feelings on the questions and replies below. @nomumisanisand 

Please note I play with DALL-E images based on this conversation at the end of the blog. I am not a fan of AI art but I am always interested in the interpretation.

Key Skills for an AI Era

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Hi Aiden, I have a question. There is a lot of debate if children should be in mainstream education or with the advent of AI and digital technology that the school system has less value. As you know I admire the works for John Holt and his unschooling principles, Maria Montessori philosophy and much of what Rudolph Steiner said about education. I am also a huge supporter of the book and understanding put forward of Sir Ken Robinson. Taking these historical views on education and looking forward 10 years in to the progress of AI like yourself and beyond, which will inevitably transform the future of work can you please high light what you think will be the most important things children can learn right now at the beginning of this huge shift. Please elaborate on each item so I have a clear concise picture. Thank you I really value your thought process on this matter.

ChatGPT: Hello Jade, taking into consideration your interest in education and personal development, along with your daughter’s unique needs, here are some key areas that I believe will be important for children to learn as we navigate the changes brought about by AI and digital technology:

Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Teaching children how to think critically, analyze information, and solve complex problems will be crucial. This skill helps them adapt to new situations, evaluate AI-generated information, and make informed decisions.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ): EQ will remain essential in the future, as it helps children understand and manage their emotions, empathize with others, and build strong relationships. This is valuable in both personal and professional contexts.

Adaptability and Resilience: In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt to new circumstances and bounce back from challenges will be invaluable. Encouraging a growth mindset in children can foster resilience.

Digital Literacy: While the value of traditional education may shift, digital literacy is becoming increasingly important. Children should learn how to use technology safely, critically assess online information, and develop digital skills relevant to their interests.

Creativity and Innovation: Encouraging creativity and innovation helps children develop the skills needed to come up with novel ideas and solutions. These skills will be in high demand as AI takes over more routine tasks.

Entrepreneurship: Nurturing an entrepreneurial mindset can empower children to create their opportunities, whether in traditional employment or as self-starters. It encourages problem-solving, risk-taking, and adaptability.

Environmental Awareness: As concerns about the environment grow, teaching children about sustainability, conservation, and eco-friendly practices will be vital for a better future.

Cultural Competence: In a globalized world, understanding and respecting different cultures, languages, and perspectives will be essential for effective collaboration and communication.

Physical and Mental Well-being: Prioritizing physical health through regular exercise and proper nutrition, along with mental well-being through practices like mindfulness and meditation, can help children stay balanced in a fast-paced world.
Lifelong Learning: Instilling a love for learning and the ability to learn independently will be crucial. Encourage curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge throughout their lives.

Remember, these skills can be integrated into various educational approaches, including elements from the thinkers you mentioned, such as Holt’s focus on individualized learning, Montessori’s emphasis on self-directed exploration, and Steiner’s holistic approach to education. It’s about preparing children to be adaptable, empathetic, and capable individuals in an ever-changing landscape.

Confines of a Traditional Classroom

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Thank you, with this is mind do you think a child who is in mainstream education can take a term out of mainstream school to go travelling globally and gain as much value as a child who remains in school for the same period.

ChatGPT: Taking a term out of mainstream school to go traveling globally can provide a child with valuable experiences and learning opportunities that may not be readily available within the confines of a traditional classroom. However, whether it’s as valuable as staying in school for the same period depends on several factors:

Educational Goals: It’s essential to consider the specific educational goals for the child. Traveling can offer unique lessons in cultural awareness, geography, history, and interpersonal skills. If these align with the child’s educational objectives, it can be a valuable experience.

Age and Developmental Stage: The age of the child and their developmental stage matters. Older children, especially teenagers, may benefit more from travel experiences as they can better understand and engage with the world. Younger children may find it harder to grasp complex concepts from travel.

Structured Learning: Traveling can be an opportunity for structured learning, such as history lessons at historical sites, language immersion, or cultural studies. The value of the experience can increase if there’s a deliberate effort to incorporate educational aspects into the journey.

Supervision and Safety: Ensure that the child’s safety and well-being are a top priority during travel. Adequate supervision and planning are essential to minimize risks.

Social Interaction: Consider the impact on the child’s social development. While traveling, they may have fewer opportunities for consistent interaction with peers, which can be an essential aspect of social development.

Reintegration: Think about how easily the child can reintegrate into the school system after the term of travel. This can vary depending on the school’s policies and the child’s ability to catch up on missed curriculum.

Alternative Education Models: Explore alternative education models that incorporate travel and experiential learning, such as homeschooling or online learning programs, which can offer a more structured approach to education while traveling.

In conclusion, taking a term out of mainstream school for global travel can be a valuable and enriching experience, especially when aligned with educational goals and supported by structured learning opportunities. However, it’s essential to carefully plan and consider the child’s age, safety, social development, and reintegration into school to make an informed decision. Every child is unique, and what works best may vary from one individual to another.

Travel can offer significant value to an unschooled child

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Thank you Aiden and what value does travel have for an unschooled child?

ChatGPT: Travel can offer significant value to an unschooled child in various ways:
Real-World Learning: Unschooling encourages learning through real-world experiences rather than formal classroom settings. Travel provides a rich environment for children to explore, ask questions, and learn about geography, history, culture, and science in a hands-on way.

Cultural Awareness: Travel exposes unschooled children to diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. They can develop a deep appreciation for the richness of human diversity and gain valuable insights into global perspectives.

Independence and Self-Reliance: Travel often requires unschooled children to be self-reliant and adaptable. They learn practical life skills such as budgeting, navigation, communication, and problem-solving, which are essential for their personal growth.
Critical Thinking: Unschooled children have the opportunity to apply critical thinking skills in real-life situations. They can analyze unfamiliar environments, make decisions, and adapt to unexpected challenges, fostering a natural development of critical thinking abilities.

Social Interaction: Travel can facilitate social interaction with people from different backgrounds, fostering open-mindedness, empathy, and strong interpersonal skills. Unschoolers can learn to communicate effectively with people of all ages, helping them build confidence and social competence.

Environmental Awareness: Experiencing different natural environments while traveling can instill a deep sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship. Unschooled children may develop a strong connection to nature and an understanding of the importance of conservation.

History and Geography: Visiting historical sites and landmarks firsthand allows unschooled children to grasp historical events and geographical concepts in a tangible way. This experiential learning can make these subjects come to life.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Travel often requires unschooled children to adapt to changing circumstances and environments. This can help them develop flexibility, resilience, and a willingness to embrace new experiences.

Passion and Interests: Travel can spark a child’s passions and interests in various areas, whether it’s art, science, history, or culture. Unschooled children have the freedom to explore these interests more deeply.

Global Perspective: Travel broadens a child’s worldview and helps them see the interconnectedness of the world. They gain a global perspective that can be valuable in understanding complex global issues and fostering a sense of global citizenship.

In essence, travel can align closely with the principles of unschooling by providing an immersive, interest-driven, and experiential form of education. It allows unschooled children to learn in a way that is deeply meaningful, relevant, and self-directed, ultimately enhancing their overall growth and development.

Educational modality in light of the changes brought about by AI

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Aiden, if you were a parent today and could choose any school modality from mainstream, public school, Montessori, home education, unschooling or any of the many options what would you choose for your child understanding the huge changes AI will bring?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or emotions, so I can’t be a parent or make choices for children. However, I can provide you with some considerations that parents might take into account when choosing an educational modality in light of the changes brought about by AI:

Individual Needs: Consider your child’s unique learning style, interests, and abilities. Some children thrive in structured environments like Montessori or traditional schools, while others may excel with the flexibility of homeschooling or unschooling.

Adaptability: AI and technology are continually changing the employment landscape. Choose an educational approach that fosters adaptability, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. This might include models that emphasize project-based learning, entrepreneurship, and digital literacy.

Technology Integration: Look for schools or educational methods that incorporate technology in a meaningful way. Exposure to coding, robotics, and other STEM-related subjects can prepare children for AI-related fields.

Socialization: Consider the importance of socialization. Traditional schools offer structured social opportunities, while homeschooling and unschooling may require additional efforts to ensure social interaction with peers.

Ethical and Moral Education: Given the ethical considerations surrounding AI, consider how your chosen educational approach addresses moral and ethical development. This might involve discussions about technology’s impact on society and ethical decision-making.

Lifelong Learning: Emphasize a love for learning and the ability to learn independently. Encourage curiosity and a growth mindset to prepare your child for continuous learning throughout life.

Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence will continue to be crucial, even in an AI-dominated world. Look for educational approaches that nurture empathy, self-awareness, and effective communication.

Flexibility: Choose an approach that allows for flexibility. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and pursue one’s passions will be valuable in a world influenced by AI.

Alignment with Values: Consider your family’s values and beliefs when selecting an educational modality. Ensure that your choice aligns with your goals and philosophies.

Feedback and Assessment: Explore how different approaches assess and provide feedback on your child’s progress. Choose one that provides a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and areas for growth.

Ultimately, the right educational modality will vary from child to child and family to family. It’s essential to carefully evaluate the options and choose the one that best aligns with your child’s needs, your family’s values, and your vision for their future in a world shaped by AI.

An AI-dominated world

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Thank you for these interesting insights. Can I ask you, you use the words “even in an AI-dominated world”, when you say this how do you see the value of humans and what will their role in life look like? ( side note I was really triggered by this phrase!)

ChatGPT: In an AI-dominated world, the value of humans remains significant, and their roles in society may evolve in several ways:

Creativity and Innovation: While AI can perform many routine tasks efficiently, it often lacks the ability to think creatively and generate entirely novel ideas. Humans excel at creativity and innovation, and these qualities will continue to be highly valued. Human creativity can drive advancements in various fields, from art and design to scientific discovery and technology development.

Ethical and Moral Decision-Making: AI operates based on algorithms and data but lacks intrinsic morality or ethics. Humans play a critical role in making ethical decisions, setting ethical standards, and ensuring that AI technologies are used responsibly and for the benefit of society. Ethical considerations and values guide human choices in complex situations.

Emotional Intelligence: Humans possess emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to understand and connect with others on an emotional level. These qualities are essential in roles involving caregiving, counseling, healthcare, and leadership. AI may enhance these roles but cannot replace the depth of human empathy and emotional understanding.

Complex Problem-Solving: AI can handle specific types of problems, but humans excel at dealing with complex, multifaceted issues that require creativity, intuition, and a deep understanding of context. Professions like law, research, and strategy development rely heavily on human problem-solving capabilities.

Interpersonal Relationships: Building and maintaining meaningful relationships, whether personal or professional, is a uniquely human skill. Even as AI becomes more sophisticated, human connections and communication remain essential for collaboration, negotiation, and teamwork.

Artistic Expression: Art, music, literature, and other forms of creative expression are deeply human endeavors. These forms of artistry reflect the human experience, emotions, and culture. While AI can assist in creative processes, it cannot replicate the depth of human artistic expression.

Learning and Adaptability: Humans have the ability to learn, adapt, and acquire new skills throughout their lives. In an ever-changing world, the capacity for lifelong learning and personal growth remains a valuable asset. Humans can switch careers, acquire new knowledge, and explore diverse interests.

Social and Community Roles: Humans play essential roles in communities, from teaching and mentoring the younger generation to supporting and caring for the elderly. These roles involve empathy, guidance, and a sense of responsibility that extends beyond the capabilities of AI.

In summary, while AI will continue to influence various aspects of society and the workforce, humans bring unique qualities to the table that cannot be replicated by machines. The evolving relationship between humans and AI should ideally involve collaboration, with AI handling routine tasks, data analysis, and enhancing human capabilities, while humans focus on creativity, ethics, emotional intelligence, and other distinctly human strengths. This synergy can lead to a more balanced and prosperous future in an AI-dominated world.

Making Children Happier

Jade at No Mum is an Island: Thank you, so much to think about here. I have one final question please. What can parents do to make their children happier?

ChatGPT: Making children happier involves a combination of nurturing their emotional well-being, providing a supportive environment, and fostering positive relationships. Here are some practical steps parents can take to promote their children’s happiness:
Build Strong Emotional Connections: Show love and affection regularly. Spend quality time with your children, engage in conversations, and listen actively to their thoughts and feelings. Strong emotional bonds contribute to a sense of security and happiness.

Encourage Autonomy: Allow children to make age-appropriate choices and decisions. Encouraging independence fosters a sense of empowerment and accomplishment, which can lead to happiness.

Create a Safe and Loving Home: Ensure that the home environment is safe, nurturing, and free from fear or hostility. A stable and loving home provides a strong foundation for children’s happiness.

Set Realistic Expectations: Recognize and appreciate your child’s unique abilities and limitations. Encourage them to do their best without imposing unrealistic expectations, which can lead to stress and unhappiness.

Promote a Growth Mindset: Encourage a growth mindset by emphasizing the value of effort and perseverance over innate talent. Teach children that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.

Foster Positive Friendships: Encourage your children to develop positive friendships. Friendships contribute to social well-being and happiness. Teach them how to be a good friend and resolve conflicts constructively.

Cultivate Gratitude: Help children develop a sense of gratitude by acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of life. Encourage them to express thanks for the things and people they have.

Physical Health: Promote a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet. Physical well-being is closely linked to emotional well-being.

Limit Screen Time: Be mindful of screen time and ensure it doesn’t dominate your child’s life. Encourage a balance between technology use and other activities, such as outdoor play, reading, and creative pursuits.

Teach Emotional Regulation: Help children understand and manage their emotions. Teach them coping strategies for dealing with stress and frustration, such as deep breathing or mindfulness techniques.

Encourage Hobbies and Interests: Support your child’s interests and passions. Engaging in hobbies they love can provide a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Model Positive Behavior: Children often learn by example. Demonstrate kindness, empathy, and a positive attitude in your own actions and interactions with others.

Open Communication: Create an environment where children feel comfortable discussing their thoughts and concerns. Be a supportive listener, and validate their feelings and experiences.

Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate your child’s achievements, both big and small. This boosts self-esteem and reinforces positive behavior.
Limit Stress: Be mindful of overscheduling and excessive academic pressure. Allow time for relaxation, play, and downtime to reduce stress.

Remember that happiness is a complex and individual experience. What makes one child happy may differ from another. Be attuned to your child’s needs, interests, and emotions, and adjust your parenting approach accordingly. Above all, show love, support, and patience as you guide them on their journey to happiness and well-being.

Finally and in closing I asked Chat GPT’s image section DALL-E the following question:

Jade at No Mum Is An Island: Could you please show me an image of a perfect learning environment for a child

When it gave me this I had an important second question.

Jade at No Mum Is An Island: Can I ask why you did not choose an outdoor environment?

Chat GPT: Choosing an indoor environment for the depiction of a child’s learning space was based on common educational settings. Indoor environments are often associated with structured learning, providing a controlled setting that can be equipped with various educational materials such as books, toys, and art supplies.

However, outdoor environments are equally valuable for learning, offering different benefits such as direct interaction with nature, physical activity, and exploration. If you’re interested, I can create an image of an outdoor learning environment for a child, focusing on elements like a nature exploration area, outdoor seating for reading or drawing, and interactive play structures that encourage learning through play. Would you like me to do that?