Website review by James Denby, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2020

AI4ALL Open Learning

Free courses invite everyone into the world of AI

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Grades
9–12
Subjects & Skills
Creativity, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Everything you need to teach about AI. Starts with the basics and builds in complexity.

Cons: Much of the content is designed to be teacher-led.

Bottom Line: A fabulous resource for teaching about one of the most important fields in technology today.

AI4ALL Open Learning is designed to be teacher-led. For many teachers, this will mean a fair amount of preparation and learning so that they feel comfortable with the content and projects included in the courses. Everything is prepared and extremely well organized for teaching and learning, but unless you are already familiar with key concepts in AI and computer science, you'll want to set aside time to prepare for the course.

Bytes of AI courses are suitable for many different subject area courses. They're tied to current events (e.g., "AI and COVID-19") and could, for example, make an interesting companion to a social studies class to examine the intersection of science, policy, ethics, and computer science. Because of the length of AI4ALL's other courses (30+ hours each), most teachers would probably use them in a computer science class or club. Some students could also complete the courses independently.

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AI4ALL Open Learning is a website dedicated to opening doors to learning about artificial intelligence (AI), particularly for groups traditionally underrepresented or marginalized in tech. AI4ALL operates from the premise that AI will have a tremendous impact on society and that diverse perspectives and experiences are crucial to ensuring that its social impact is positive. As they say it, "AI will change the world. Who will change AI?"

The site offers more than a dozen courses on different topics in AI targeting high school students. Its Bytes of AI courses are short, one- to two-hour introductions to topics in artificial intelligence like "AI and the Environment" or "AI and COVID-19." "Explore AI" and "Sentiment Analysis and Natural Language Processing" are much more in-depth explorations of what AI does and where it's going. Both of these courses include over 30 hours of learning time. Every course comes with complete course materials (Google Slides presentations), links to external learning resources, and challenging projects for students. Discussion forums are built into the site to encourage community.

AI4ALL Open Learning addresses the needs of students and teachers looking for both an introduction and a much more content-driven exploration of AI as one of tech's most quickly growing fields. It's also an area that is often criticized for bias, and this platform seeks to both address the potential for built-in slant and invite young people from all backgrounds to become creators of the technology that shapes our world.

AI4ALL has created a carefully designed plan for building student knowledge and understanding of AI. The connection to real-world examples and practical projects will challenge students and help them build genuine understanding of a complex and relevant topic. After the introductory Bytes of AI courses, the site leaves exploration behind for some serious learning. The courses increase in complexity, and students and teachers will likely find the content to be challenging. Much of the content is lecture-driven but breaks down key concepts and information so that students are then free to focus on application. And there are enough current event- and media-related examples to make the material feel fresh and relevant. Overall, this free resource can show high school and college students that they can both understand and help develop the technology that plays an increasingly important role in society.

Overall Rating

Engagement

The range of courses and AI applications will boost interest and highlight real-world uses, which showcases relevance.

Pedagogy

In addition to the instructor-led presentations, there are external resources, media-related examples, projects, and exit tickets to get students involved. 

Support

AI4ALL provides complete courses with all resources needed to teach the course in addition to both teacher- and student-led discussion forums. 


Common Sense reviewer
James Denby Educator/Curriculum Developer

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