In November, I had the privilege of attending a CIRCLS Convening themed around AI, which was partly sponsored by NSF and Digital Promise. While there is a major focus on generative AI in education, this conference featured the use of AI as a tool to enhance educational applications. Attendees were called to prioritize educational goals and values as we design and investigate AI and other emerging technologies. Attendees shared their research and collectively prioritized future explorations and investigations.hans peter gauster 3y1zf4hipcg unsplash

Topics addressed during the convening included:

  • Emerging Technologies such as Machine Learning, Generative AI, Augmented Reality, Assistive Technologies and more
  • Advances in Learning Sciences Methods and Theories
  • Equity, Ethics, and related design concepts (responsible or human-centered design)
  • Insights on improving learning in specific STEM and broader subjects.
  • Research in educational settings for learning in formal educational institutions and informal settings like museums

The conference’s theme focused on a “shift from a rapid technology proliferation perspective to instead a considerate and thoughtful design process that strives for equity by enabling teachers and learners to shape their own experiences.”

One of the exciting parts of the conference was exploring the Gallery Walk of posters and demonstrations from currently NSF-funded grants. Projects ranged from mixed reality robotics to human interactions. Several projects were based on classroom simulations designed to inform teachers about their instructional practices. One titled SimEquity, based out of the University of North Texas, is designed to decrease bias in teaching through simulation classroom interactions. While many projects are still under development, it proved the ability of these innovative technologies to improve student learning.

You can view all the information from this CIRCLS Convening, including keynotes, plenaries, and project pages.

Author: David JarboeCETL, Co-Chair, CoSN Emerging Technologies Committee
Director of Instructional Technology/STEAM/CTE, District TWO Harrison Schools (CO)

Published on: February 2024

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