Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP) hosted the 11th Annual STEM Learning Summit to representatives from 17 different Virginia school divisions, including over 50 educators, on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The topic of the summit, artificial intelligence (AI), was presented throughout the day by five expert speakers addressing the ins and outs of AI and how it can be implemented into K-12 environments.
Participants first received a warm welcome from ITTIP’s Director, Dr. Paula Leach, and Longwood’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Larissa Smith. Next, Dr. Helen Crompton of Old Dominion University (ODU) opened up the presentation portion of the program. Dr. Crompton spoke about her research in AI, including its impact on personalized learning, curriculum, and mentoring, leaving participants with recommendations for implementing it in the classroom. This was followed by an engineer’s view of AI presented by Dr. Yiannis Papelis, a research professor at ODU. He provided a perspective of AI that included modeling, analysis and simulation. He also spoke about historical views of AI, as well as how deep learning has enabled the advancement of AI. Dr. Papelis shared personal successes and failures with AI during the development of an autonomous car for a team competition, over 10 years ago.
Following a lunch break, Dr. Willy Kjellstrom from Albemarle County Public Schools shared with participants how AI is being used through the lens of The (Im)Possibility of Counting Honey Bees, with high schools students. Dr. Kjellstrom spent time allowing STEM summit participants to experience machine learning using digital devices to capture images, leaving participants with his own advice and additional AI resources. Dr. April DeGennaro, a teacher from Georgia, then provided her big ideas of AI through the presentation, AI is Elementary. Dr. DeGennaro also demonstrated and shared how Cozmo, the only AI robot currently on the market, is used with her elementary students.
The 11th Annual STEM Learning Summit ended with additional AI resources and professional reflections presented by Dr. Mano Talaiver, former ITTIP Director and current owner and operator of the consulting firm, Cogent Cause. Dr. Talaiver challenged participants by asking them how they will use and/or implement what they learned about AI and apply it to their roles as educators. Closing remarks for the summit were provided by Dr. Leach. Participants left with a better understanding of AI and how it can and is applied in the classroom. You can find some of what participants learned by searching for the hashtag, #ittipstemsummit, on Twitter.