LearningML is a personal project that I started in March 2019 and for the development of which I have had the help, advice and opinions of several good friends and education professionals. It had its origins in the creation of an educational resource on teaching Machine Learning (ML) at school, in which I participated when I was working in the Department of Classroom Experimentation at INTEF.
Between November 2019 and May 2020, the development had a high intensity phase at the end of which a first functional version of the platform was released, ready to be presented to the educational community and to be used in real educational environments. Since then, the development has been limited to adding translations into different languages (English, Galician, Catalan, Italian, German and Greek) that have been kindly and selflessly provided by some LearningML users.
At the beginning of May I started preparing a research project co-led by several members of the KGBL-III research group in which we aimed to test whether LearningML was an appropriate tool for teaching and learning ML (instructional validity) to children aged 10-16, and also whether it was easy to use and attractive (face validity).
The result of this research was reflected in the paper “Evaluation of an Online Intervention to Teach Artificial Intelligence with LearningML to 10-16-Year-Old Students” accepted at the SIGCSE ’21 conference on Computing Science Education and published in its proceedings (you can download a free preprint here).
LearningML was also presented in the first edition of the fortnightly seminars of the Raspberry pi foundation and in a book that collects all the experiences presented there. Other forums we attended were the Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality congress and the event organised by the Fundación Cruzando de Chile on Artificial Intelligence in schools, where I had the opportunity to show the platform to our brothers from Latin America.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are topics that have aroused the interest of many teachers interested in the development and teaching of Computational Thinking, and thanks to all this dissemination, LearningML has reached many of them. I can say, without a doubt, that the most gratifying aspect of this work is the messages of encouragement and gratitude that I receive from time to time from a teacher and even from a student.
It is also very encouraging to see that, within the general interest in teaching Computational Thinking, AI and ML in schools, some teacher training courses have included LearningML as an appropriate teaching tool, especially because of its ease of use.
So I can unashamedly show my gratitude to all of you who have supported me and my satisfaction with the result obtained. I think that having reached this point is reward enough for all the work developed during these two and a bit years. I also believe that the platform, as it is, will be useful for many teachers and students for some years to come to understand better what is hidden under the belligerent term “Artificial Intelligence”.