The Integration of AI and ICT in the Learning Environment: Education Leaders’ Perception

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This research paper investigates the perspectives of education leaders regarding the introduction and integration of technology in the learning environment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s ramifications to the traditional, in-person learning environment was considered as key impetus for the study. The research used an exploratory approach to survey education leaders (n = 70) in Dubai drawn from 8 private schools from secondary down to elementary school. The total student population of these schools was approximately 29,000. Through an author-designed self-administered 61-item, 5-point Likert scale survey instrument, the research collected primary evidence of the perspectives of education leaders regarding the impact of introduction and integration of AI and ICT in the learning environment. The research found that, integration of AI and ICT in the learning environment had a positive impact on learning and teaching. The availability of AI and ICT capabilities played a significant role in transforming the learning paradigm from teacher-centered to student-centered. Generally, education leaders were persuaded that AI and ICT would help in shaping future learning directions and bring about a new generation of students identifiable as ‘digital natives’ with horizontal classroom participation using ICT and AI tools as opposed to the traditional learning approach. The current paper therefore, proposes the need for integration of AI and ICT into the learning environment at the current backdrop of a global pandemic to shape the forthcoming horizontal, teaching and learning paradigm that will prepare students for a competitive and increasingly pluralistic world.
AI and ICT in learning, education leaders, technology, educational technology, student-centered learning, education leaders’ perception, learning environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE)