DevReady PodcastThe Future of Education: Insights from Bert Verhoeven on AI Integration – EP 13` – DevReady Podcast

In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, our host Andrew Romeo is joined by Bert Verhoeven, Program Director Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Newcastle and Founding Director, VES. Listen to the episode to understand the integration of AI into the curriculum, the evolution of critical thinking, and the challenges and opportunities facing academia in the age of technology.

Bert shares his diverse journey from entrepreneurship in Holland to academia and social entrepreneurship in Australia. Bert reflects on his experience founding a social network for international students, highlighting the challenges of competing with platforms like Facebook and ultimately pivoting towards teaching entrepreneurship.

One significant aspect of Bert’s career is his passion for skill development, evident in initiatives like training sports teachers for underprivileged youth in Brazil and Africa. This commitment to creating shared value resonates throughout his career, leading to his current role at the University of Newcastle.

Bert discusses the integration of AI education into the curriculum at Flinders University, starting in January 2023. Despite initial skepticism, they embarked on a startup-like endeavor to prepare students for the transformative impact of AI, emphasizing responsible utilization and problem-solving skills. The shift in mindset over time underscores the importance of adapting teaching methodologies to incorporate emerging technologies effectively.

The impact of integrating AI education is evident in improved student outcomes and critical thinking skills, reflected in enhanced proposal pitches and problem analysis. This shift highlights the evolving demands of the 21st-century workforce, emphasizing critical and creative thinking as core competencies across disciplines.

As the role of knowledge workers evolves in the age of AI, Bert emphasizes the importance of co-creation and creative adaptation alongside artificial intelligence. He discusses AI’s diverse applications, from research to enhancing writing skills, while cautioning against plagiarism and promoting originality and critical engagement.

Bert underscores universities’ challenges in integrating AI into teaching and assessment methodologies, emphasizing the need for authentic, real-world problem-solving approaches. He highlights the urgency for educational institutions to adapt their curriculums and teaching methods to meet future demands, predicting a significant shake-up in the education sector. Finally, Bert draws parallels with historical examples to illustrate the potential for societal perceptions and norms to evolve, emphasizing the role of socialization in shaping collective thinking and fostering positive changes.

Topics Covered
  • Bert’s career journey from entrepreneurship to academia and social entrepreneurship
  • Initiatives for skill development
  • Integration of AI education into the curriculum 
  • Challenges and opportunities in preparing students for the impact of AI
  • Impact of AI integration on student outcomes and critical thinking skills
  • Evolution of the role of knowledge workers in the age of AI
  • Importance of co-creation and responsible use of AI alongside human creativity
  • Challenges universities face in integrating AI into teaching and assessment methodologies
  • Need for educational institutions to adapt curriculums and teaching methods for the future
  • Societal evolution and the role of socialization in shaping collective thinking.
Important Time Stamps
  • From Holland to Australia: A Journey of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (0:36 – 5:01)
  • AI in Education: Navigating the Future with Bert Verhoeven (5:15 – 9:40)
  • Elevating Education: Bert Verhoeven on AI’s Impact on Student Success (10:34 – 14:43)
  • Empowering Students: Bert Verhoeven’s Guide to Using AI Ethically (14:44 – 19:22)
  • Navigating the AI Integration: Challenges and Opportunities (19:23 – 26:01)
  • Future-Proofing Learning: Bert Verhoeven’s Insights for Educators (26:04 – 27: 37)
  • Efficiency Redefined: Bert Verhoeven’s AI-Assisted Assessment Strategy (28:03 – 35:57) 
  • Rewriting Norms: Bert Verhoeven on Shifting Societal Perceptions (35:58 – 38:05)

Bert Verhoeven | LinkedIn

University of Newcastle | LinkedIn

University of Newcastle | Website
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