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GENERATION AI: Teaching Kids About Artificial Intelligence

GENERATION AI is a 2 year EU-Erasmus+ project that aims to support educators and young learners in developing an understanding of basic principles of AI and to become more critical consumers of technology applications across their life span. The University of Groningen, represented by Dagmar Heeg and Lucy Avraamidou from the Institute of Science Education and Communication, is the overall project leader of Generation AI. The project is a consortium of 6 organizations from 5 different European countries: Ireland, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and the Netherlands.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a timely topic and is currently a key priority for Europe. As indicated in the recently published “White Paper on Artificial Intelligence: A European approach to excellence and trust” given the global competition, a solid European approach is needed, which will build on the European strategy for AI presented in April 2018. For Europe to address the opportunities and challenges of AI, the EU must act as one and define its own way, based on European values, to promote the development and deployment of AI.


As AI and related technologies expand and grow, it becomes crucial for parents, educators, and policy makers to better understand, monitor, and regulate its uses and how it can impact children’s basic human rights, such as access to educational opportunities. The potential impact of artificial intelligence on children needs to be addressed, since children are the first Generation AI, who through-out their lifespan AI will play various roles to their development. There are several examples of AI tools and applications, with which children are surrounded with, including the learning algorithms powering YouTube Kids' content, Amazon’s Alexa, the smart toys which listen and keep track children’s interactions, and other educational robots.

It is important to understand that AI, when designed properly and with ethics in mind, they are designed to make our lives easier and better. In education, they can make a substantial contribution (AI book and ways is used). When designed poorly, AI tools can be frustrating (e.g. trying to give instructions to a speech recognition robot, which refuses to “understand”) and even harmful to interact with, primarily because ethics were not considered during the design process.

By teaching children the basics of AI technology, their workings and limitations, is one of the best ways to supporting children develop the skills and knowledge needed to protect themselves from excessive use and possible abuse. This is important because although the benefits of AI and the potential for strong education value on one hand, it also possesses strong limitations on the other by placing children under scrutiny and strict monitoring, and often times without them knowing it.

Overall, GENERATION AI aims to:

  • Develop an evidence-based understanding of the complexities and basic principles of AI and computational thinking;
  • Teach educators on how to integrate AI in teaching learning to promote creative problem solving, resilience, and design thinking.
  • Support teachers and learners to become more critical consumers of technology applications across their life span.

During the project, the consortium will develop an e-learning platform in which educators can find guidelines, teaching frameworks, best practices and curriculum examples, on how to integrate AI in the classroom. Students, teachers and school leaders will be actively engaged in the development and pilot-testing of the curriculum materials as will they evaluate the e-learning platform.

For more information on the project please check the website or the project Facebook page.

For questions please contact the project coordinator Dagmar Heeg (

Laatst gewijzigd:10 november 2021 13:51