July 28, 2021

Renton Prep participates in Colombia’s TEB Innovation Time

In April, TEB Innovation Time hosted a virtual event at Gimnasio Campestre, Colombia. Recognizing the positive influence of the technology-driven education utilized in Renton Prep, we were asked to join this international event as a keynote speaker.

TEB Innovation

Grupo TEB (Tecnología Educativa de Bogotá) is a formal group of educators from high-quality private schools located throughout Colombia. Their objective is to promote technological innovation in teaching as a way to enhance student learning. As such Grupo TEB has a network of more than forty schools throughout Colombia; all of which are determined to share their experience on the role of technology in education.

Every year, Grupo TEB organizes the TEB Innovation Time event, a national and inter-institutional conference to discuss and share knowledge and observations of incorporating technology within the classroom. Our executive director, Dr. Zimmerman was among the list of keynote speakers in this international discussion on technology and education. She presented her observation of teaching with technology and the importance of AI in the classroom.

In addition, Alexandra Diaz, a 7th-grade student at Renton Prep, joined Dr. Zimmerman in the conference and presented the material in Spanish. Thus, making the TEB Innovation Time the first international virtual keynote Renton Prep presented in two languages.

The amazing overlays and features included in Dr. Zimmerman’s presentation were created by Prezi.

The Effects of AI in Education

In Dr. Zimmerman’s presentation, she spoke on the powerful influence that AI has on student education and growth.
Originally created in an attempt to use a machine to replicate human ability, Artificial Intelligence has since then advanced rapidly. As a result, it can now process information and complete repetitive tasks faster than humans and without end. Not to mention, as technology continues to evolve, so does the development and representation of AI.

That being said, it’s difficult for researchers to agree on a single definition that encapsulates artificial intelligence. This challenge stems from the scientific difficulty of defining human intelligence. As more is discovered about the human brain, the more complex the notion of human intelligence becomes.

Dr. Zimmerman states that she wants to prepare her students to understand how their brain has a natural capacity to excel in ways that machines cannot. Instead of letting technology and machine replace education, teach them how to use them to support their learning.

She shares, “I do not want AI to replace challenge and conflict, because perseverance and grit develop through difficulty. Resilience allows students to persist in creativity and innovation.”

Although AI simplifies many challenges it doesn’t mean that students stop progressing, but rather they now have to find a way to use the technology to overcome other obstacles. This adaptability is what will motivate students to succeed in their future endeavors.

Hope for the Future in a World with AI

STEM teaches students to see the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as interconnected rather than separate, isolated subjects. Machines aren’t as good as humans when it comes to learning how to make connections, show curiosity, and have an emotion that can inspire action. Therefore, teaching students what AI can and can’t do teaches them what they offer to the world: creativity, curiosity, emotion, and the drive to solve obstacles in their path.

In fact, educators don’t need many resources to start training students to gain skills in creativity, curiosity, empathy, storytelling, and making connections across domains. Moreover, educators can guide students to persist despite the challenges and inspire a sense of purpose, passion, and hope for the future.

Teachers are the voice of hope for students to pursue a life that leaves the world a better place while using technology. As intimidating as AI is, it cannot replace your role as an educator to guide and motivate your students. By shifting the way you teach, you can plant a seed that prepares young people to fulfill a calling in their life, one that utilizes technology in a better manner.

Transforming the Future at Renton Prep

At Renton Prep, we understand the power that technology has on society and on education. That’s why we incorporate it into our curriculum to teach students how to properly utilize its strengths. We strive to inspire our students to take charge of their future in this digital world.

We’ve been named one of the top three Middle School STEM programs in America and one of under 40 Microsoft Showcase schools in the United States for a reason.

Contact us today to learn more about our teaching methods and curriculum.