VILNIUS TECH offers a training program on AI teaching in secondary schools
In May 2023, MERIT partner Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) offered a training program addressed to IT teachers of secondary schools in Lithuania based on AI teaching. The program included a Moodle course with distance lectures that were held every week (on Wednesday evenings) and recordings of the sessions. Over 600 participants registered and about 350 people attended at least 50% of the distance lectures (that is, at least 4 hours out of an 8-hour course). This activity was presented as part of the Digital Europe MERIT project, which aims to increase the number of digital specialists by providing them with advanced digital skills.
The Lithuanian government updated the IT educational program for secondary schools and added topics related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cybersecurity that will have to be applied in secondary schools’ programs starting from September 2023. However, the material and detailed plans for secondary schools were not provided by the government. As a result, during the sessions, teachers requested theoretical and practical material (with examples and tasks) that could be given to students of different grades.
The main objective of the program was to up-skill Lithuanian IT teachers in the field of AI and to share specific guidelines on what knowledge and tasks could be given in the secondary school lectures to prepare students and to provide them with needed technical skills to make possible the AI application. The training program was very valued among participants and there were numerous requests to join the course and get the material during and after the training. Indeed, teachers expressed the desire to have more similar training programs in the future.
The activity is expected to contribute to speeding up Lithuanian secondary school students’ knowledge of AI and its usage. Moreover, the program can lead to an increase in students’ interest in advanced digital skills, which can make them choose higher education studies in this field, or at least contribute to bringing to society more awareness of what AI is and how it can be applied.