I was recently fortunate to be selected to represent Independent Schools Queensland and attend the Samsung Power Up Education Summit in Seoul. The concept behinds the Summit, the first of its kind for Samsung, was to connect with other educational experts in the Oceania region and gain a better understanding of how Samsung integrated systems work in the Classroom.

We all flew in from around the Oceania region on 12th May. The three of us from Brisbane met up with the Sydney team at Incheon International Airport, Seoul. This was the first time some of us had met in person outside of Online Teams calls, so it was nice to actually connect in person.

Once checked into our hotel, a quick walk around the area to see what was open on a Sunday evening and stretch the legs after the 10-hour flight, turns out – nothing!

Morning at breakfast we start meeting the other attendees from around the region. Such a diverse group of people from ministers, education leaders, teachers and digital learning experts.

Our first point of call was Samsung Digital City. This is the heart of Samsung and is a very impressive area. There are around 40,000 people working here and all are provided meals and transport.

Once in the conference room, we met the EVPs and VPs from various divisions of Samsung. A roadmap of each division was presented giving us a small insight into how Samsung operates. With their roadmaps shown, we are given a presentation by Prof Young Hoan Cho Young on AI and how it needs to work in Education. Prof Cho indicated that 765 million young people and adults lack basic literacy and numeracy skills, and two thirds of them are women. There needs to be a global alliance on how AI is used in the education and how it can be best used, universally.

Prof Cho also discussed how students who used digital technologies for learning between one to five hours a day showed better learning outcomes, but students who used digital technologies more than one hour a day for leisure (e.g., social media) showed a big drop in math scores.

The uptake of ChatGPT on a global level took just two months to acquire 100Million users – it’s closest rival was Tik Tok that took nine months to reach this target. That is a staggering uptake. We’ve all heard the stories around what ChatGPT has done to the education system and not all of it is good, but it need not be. Students should learn how to collaborate with Al as a learning partner and educators need to embrace it. It’s not going away.

Those who received ChatGPT prompt scaffolding from educators, generally outperformed students who did not. Especially in regard to self-efficacy, interest, knowledge, and performance in argumentative writing.

With the uptake so great, the Ministry of Education (2022) in South Korea developed 10 ethical principles of Al in education, which value the holistic growth of learners through Al. These include:

  1. Al unleashes the potential for human growth.
  2. Al ensures learner autonomy and diversity.
  3. Al respects the expertise of educators.
  4. Al strengthens the relationships among educational stakeholders.
  5. Al ensures equal opportunities and fairness in education.
  6. Al enhances solidarity and cooperation within the educational community.
  7. Al contributes to the promotion of public welfare in society.
  8. Al ensures the safety of all educational parties.
  9. Al guarantees transparency in data processing and ensures it is explainable.
  10. Al uses data appropriately and protects privacy.

Is this something that Australia could adopt? Not necessarily these exacts principles, but food for thought.

Albeit written in 2019, this makes for an interesting article to support the strategy. https://wp.oecd.ai/app/uploads/2021/12/Korea_National_Strategy_for_Artificial_Intelligence_2019.pdf

And you know what? Its ok that students know more than you, especially with technology. We as educators need to embrace it and learn from it.

During Prof Cho’s presentations, he mentioned something that resonated with me. This was along the lines of:

AI will not fix all of the problems in Education; you need the wisdom of educators too.   

Another presentation by Craig Kemp talked about the changing face of technology in education. A great presentation that touched on a few areas that were familiar too me but had not thought about for a few years. In particular the, SAMR model. This was introduced to me about 8 years ago. As I look at SAMR now through a different lens and the growth of technology over the last 8 years, the model is much clearer. I’ve seen organisations and schools just using the Substitution part of SAMR – this is not really where we need to be in today’s world, however it does depend on the activity.

Where does AI now fit into the SAMR model? At the augmentation level within the SAMR model, AI enhances the educational process without fundamentally changing it, adding real value. For example, a digital quiz platform can use AI-powered Natural Language Processing (NLP) to give more detailed feedback on student responses.

Lefflerd, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How will this impact the future? According to the World Economic Forum, the top skills needed in the future are:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Creative thinking
  3. Al and big data
  4. Leadership and social influence
  5. Resilience, flexibility and agility
  6. Curiosity and lifelong learning
  7. Technological literacy
  8. Design and user experience
  9. Motivation and self-awareness
  10. Empathy and active listening

These skills are essential because analytical thinking enables complex problem-solving and data-driven decisions, creative thinking fosters innovation, and knowledge of AI and big data is critical as these technologies can revolutionise industries and improve efficiency.

As educators, we need to embrace change, support change, work with change, and we need to deliver that change.

With the formal presentations done, it was off to lunch to experience a traditional Korean meal. For me, it was time to embrace a little change (well, to a point for me). We experienced some amazing food on this trip. I can say that I’m not a fan of Sea Urchin or River Eel, but hey, I gave it a go! 😉

The afternoon had us broken up into 3 groups to view some of the facilities around Samsung. The group I was in got to visit the Samsung Innovation Museum (SIM) first. The concept behind SIM is to take you on a journey starting at the discovery of electricity, through to lighting, Semiconductors, black and white TV’s, mobile phones (a few in the museum that I used to own, should I feel old or embrace the fact I was there to experience it 🤔 ) and what a home may look like now with automation. As a self-confessed nerd, this was a cool place and triggered memories some of the tech from 30 years ago (read Z80 Microprocessor)

Some of the older TV sets on display at the SIM

From SIM, we headed to the Exhibition House. This was a purpose-built house fully kitted out with Samsung Automation and devices. It’s amazing what you can do these days, however I don’t think my Wife would agree to what is achievable!

Checkout the 57″ curved monitor!

Back to the hotel and prepare for the Gala Dinner. A showcase of Korean culture, food and entertainment. A lucky Door prize saw one of the NZ Delegates go home with an S24 Ultra, he tells me his wife will be happy with the new device (he enjoyed his iPhone too much, I agree).

The Tuesday had us visit and tour an Elementary School and University. The school kids we interacted with (Year 3) were excited to practise their English as well as demonstrate to us how they use AR to learn about insects and plants and the translation apps. A really enjoyable time was had by all.

The final night was a traditional Chicken and Beer night before we wrapped up and a few of us headed to the Night Markets.

Our final day allowed us some free time to explore. It happened to fall on Budda’s Birthday, so we got to experience some of the religious celebrations around the city. The Korean people are so kind and friendly. No one walks around with a head in a device and the city is so clean, there is a lot of pride in Korea.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I thank Samsung for the opportunity. We got to meet and connect with many other education professionals, have insightful and thought-provoking conversations and share solutions and ideas, all with a common goal of using technology in Education.

I would’ve liked to have had more hands-on demonstrations, explanations on how One Samsung would work in an education and environment / digital learning echo system. Perhaps the next one will include this.

The Australian and New Zealand Delegates

Till next time

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