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Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon – if it hasn’t already - become an integral part of our daily lives. Personalized recommendations on streaming platforms. Self-driving cars. Virtual Assistants. AI is transforming the way we live, work, and learn. And it’s only just beginning.

Key stakeholders in the educational sector are asking themselves:

  • How can our media literacy curriculum prepare students to effectively engage with AI?
  • How can we provide students with the right skill set for the future, with AI changing the workforce as we know it?
  • How can we prepare our students to take control of their learning and navigate through a world of information shaped by AI?

The answer lies in our students’ most precious resource: their brains.

The answer lies in our students’ most precious resource: their brains. This article examines why students need a strong brain to thrive in a future shaped by AI.


While not the only goal, a key responsibility of education is to prepare students to be valuable contributors in the world. For centuries, schools have endeavoured to equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to succeed in the world of work.

In less than a year, AI has radically disrupted the workforce as we know it. Entire industries are changing; some professions may even become obsolete.

For many educators and administrators – this is the big question: how can our curriculum stay current when the workforce is changing every day? Even ‘core’ academic skills like reading and writing may not be as essential as once positioned.

What leaders now understand is that students must embody the spirit of what created AI in the first place: adaptability. That is, a brain capable of being agile, flexible, and responsible.

A brain capable of adaptability means that whatever workforce, economy, or challenges (global or otherwise) one faces, one can interact and react successfully.

An adaptable brain is one that thrives in novel and difficult situations. It learns skills efficiently and can generalize and generate new ideas with fluency and ease.

Critical Thinking

AI is producing content at an extraordinary rate. This is largely the attraction of AI – ”superhuman” efficiency in connecting vast amounts of data points to come to conclusions.

The risk of this impact, especially when it comes to our students, is the mass of misinformation, biased narratives, or harmful content being presented. Algorithms that perpetuate biases and generate material that negatively impacts students’ mental health and behaviour.

Educators play a critical role in guiding students to be curious, to seek an understanding of complexities, to be decisive and self-reliant. The solution is not to see all AI content as untrustworthy, but rather, that all content is owed deep examination and reflection.

The goal for students is to be savvy and discerning, not cynical.

Giving students the capacity to be critical thinkers enables them to use their brains as the ultimate fact-checker. A brain secure in analytical thinking, judgement, processing and decision-making, is the most powerful platform a student can use.

Creativity and Innovation

Whole industries are undergoing dramatic changes. Entire teams and departments in healthcare, law, finance and manufacturing may soon be automated. What skills remain?

There’s no doubt the world is digitally-charged: but human-centric values remain the top commodity. It is still humans who will drive progress, and who will push the boundaries of what AI can achieve, including ensuring an ethical application. It will be creative thinkers who will explore unconventional ideas, experiment with new approaches, and challenge existing paradigms. Like any evolution, people will lead the breakthroughs.

Creativity and innovation start – like all ideas – in the brain. Students equipped with a strong brain will have the capacity to find profound solutions shaped by a tuned moral compass.

Emotional Intelligence

At the core of the AI debate, is finding the humanity amongst all the technology. AI will be most successful when harnessed by IQ and EQ.

That is, by individuals and a society who are emotionally resilient, highly communicative, and constantly collaborative. These interpersonal skills are crucial for staying ahead, and for leading a world that is improved – not controlled – by AI.

So Now What?

Developing a robust brain capable of all these qualities is possible.

Cognitive programming can be delivered to students in their own schools and classrooms. Teachers can be provided with methodology and technology that foster and track students’ emerging intellectual processes. Programs proven to strengthen domains in the brain responsible for attention, executive function, and social-emotional intelligence can be integrated into school as daily activities.

A strong brain is not born, it is built.

It is not necessary that we rely on those who seem to be born leaders. In fact, all students can lead, in their own lives and within the world. A strong brain is not born, it is built. With cognitive programming, educators and educational systems can prepare students to navigate the future with confidence, intelligence, and humanity.

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Tara Bonner
Post by Tara Bonner
May 2, 2024
Tara Bonner collaborates with professionals and educators worldwide, envisioning the convergence of learning and neuroscience. Tara has witnessed that cognitive programming can be a transformative force not just for struggling learners, but for all seeking to experience learning with ease and joy. She's honored to be part of these discussions and an organization that's revolutionizing education by putting the "Brain in Education."