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Exploring the Impact of AI on Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning (AEOL) educators are facing new challenges with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). As AI technology continues to grow, it is influencing our experiences in nature and our understanding of being human. The University of Canterbury conducted a study titled “The impact of artificial intelligence on adventure education and outdoor learning: international perspectives” which gathered insights from contributors across the globe.

AI tools such as ChatGPT have the potential to enhance experiences in nature by planning expeditions and creating images and videos. However, there are limitations to what AI can achieve. It cannot capture the reflective story of an individual student’s experience in nature or the transformational understanding that can occur. AI simply reflects the knowledge and information available on the internet, which can be biased, limited, and superficial.

There is also a concern about AI becoming a form of cultural appropriation. It has unsolicited access to knowledge, including Māori knowledges, without any control from the communities to whom the knowledge belongs. This can lead to the misuse and misrepresentation of cultural information, jeopardizing the authenticity and integrity of indigenous knowledge.

The article also discusses the need to prepare student-teachers for a “post-plagiarism world” and to become “AI literate” ahead of the technology curve. While AI can be a tool for democratizing AEOL, it cannot replace the real-life experiences and physical communication that are integral to outdoor education.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to impact adventure education and outdoor learning in both positive and negative ways. Educators and individuals need to be mindful of the limitations of AI and the potential risks of using it without proper contextualization and understanding. It is essential to navigate the integration of AI into these fields with caution and respect for diverse perspectives and knowledge systems.

Source: University of Canterbury

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