December the 11th, 2020 – What might the school of the future look like? Croatian schools, more specifically primary and secondary schools, are set to get a taste of the incredible world of AI (artificial intelligence) thanks to the coming together of Infobip and STEMI.
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, The School of the Future is the name of the first STEM programme for artificial intelligence (AI) for Croatian schools, which, as of February 2021, will be implemented by STEMI in cooperation with Infobip, with the support of A1 Croatia. The goal is to open a window into the technological future for Croatian schools and their primary and secondary students by bringing them closer to the world of AI through practical work, thus creating new artificial intelligence engineers, while strengthening the link between the IT sector and education in general.
Back during the summer, STEMI started researching the feasibility of the idea and elaboration, and in October they joined forces with Infobip, one of Croatia’s top technology leaders whose engineers will work with Croatian schools and their students in terms of the preparation of digital materials and the development of the environment, so that they can work on their projects from at home or at school.
”The quality of knowledge transfer to the youngest generations – and this is where Infobip has found a great partner in STEMI – is of great importance if we want long-term social progress. AI is one of the main technological directions for Infobip and it’s very important to us that the youngest generations learn about the technology of the future from an early age. New leaders and innovators are hiding among those individuals,” said Izabel Jelenic, the technical director of Infobip.
STEMI presented the project to teachers at the Carnet conference, after which the number of applications for inclusion was much higher than the planned number of Croatian schools. ”The idea is for students to form development teams and, as a first step, study UN sustainability goals, select one of the goals, and explore which problem they can solve with an AI chatbot within that same goal. For example, students can create a bot that will help doctors in medical triage, or in determining the urgency of a case, which can help make the system more efficient, especially in these times when the healthcare system is under enormous pressure, all leading to the goal of achieving the goal of sustainability – Good health and well-being. They’ll then be able to further explore the domain of the problem, define the knowledge that the bot must be able to cover, and start implementing that. We believe that Croatian schools should also be places in which the future is imagined and created. That’s why we’re going to give students the task to imagine what the world will look like in 10-20 years from now, when AI will be all around us,” explained the director of STEMI, Marin Troselj.
As an educational-technological company, they focus, he says, lies primarily on building a bridge between industry and primary and secondary education.
”Today we live in Industry 4.0. and when we look at World Economic Forum research, the technologies and knowledge that will lead the industry are data analysis, machine learning, web / mobile application development, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, etc. These things are extremely underrepresented in all schools around the world. On the other hand, AI will make a similar transformation of both industry and society as electrification did back during the late 19th century. That’s why it’s extremely important to introduce children from an early age to one of the basic tools in the technology industry, but more importantly, to become aware of the impact of this technology on their very own lives,” said Troselj. Interested Croatian schools can apply to participate in the School of the Future project on the website until January the 31st, 2021.
”Digitalisation is transforming society and business, and lately it’s been the real backbone of every industry. Therefore, it’s necessary to teach children advanced skills such as artificial intelligence, in order to be active members of the digital generation from an early age, ready for new jobs that await them in the future.
At A1 Croatia, we’ve always been focused on the development of digital skills and new occupations such as data analysts, AI and machine learning specialists, robotics experts, and we want to share this knowledge with the community,” said Jiri Dvorjancansky, the CEO of A1 Croatia.
In addition to the main partner being A1 Croatia, the project was also supported by Croatia osiguranje, Zagrebacka banka, Bosch and Score Alarm. Thanks to the support of these companies, the School of the Future project will be implemented in more than 40 Croatian schools throughout the country. The project is expected to be completed in May 2021.