KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

(draft)

Keynote: Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta, University College London
Title: Challenges and opportunities of AI for education (in progress)
Abstract: (in progress)
Biography: Dr Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta is a Reader [Associate Professor] in Adaptive Technologies for Learning at the University College London, Knowledge Lab. Her research focuses on Artificial Intelligence in Education, with the specific emphasis on developing adaptive interactive environments for learning. She has over 20 years of experience in working with different learners, including with children and adults with and without special needs, and of developing AI systems for front line education.  After completing her PhD in computational linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, she transitioned fully into AI in Education research and focused on modelling emotions in learning interactions, knowledge elicitation and knowledge engineering methodologies, and AI for social inclusion. She has been a principal investigator as well as co-investigator of a number of large interdisciplinary grants focusing on the application of AI to a variety of formal and informal educational contexts in the UK, the EU, India and the Philippines. Kaśka is an active participant in the recent debates and a contributor to evidence for parliamentary hearings on the role of Artificial Intelligence in human development and learning. In this she seeks to help harness AI for human benefit. She is Head of Research for the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at the UCL Institute of Education, member of the management committee for the Bloomsbury Centre for Educational Neuroscience, the steering committee for the UCL Institute of Digital Health, and of the Executive Board for the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education. 

Keynote: Carl Bereiter e Marlene Scardamalia , University of
Toronto.
Title : Knowledge Building in a Post-AlphaGo World.
Abstract: John Seely Brown has claimed that the triumph of Google’s AlphaGo over the world’s greatest Go player was a cultural turning point, changing everything—how we should conduct our lives, what knowledge means, and how we conceive of ourselves when we are no longer indisputably the smartest beings on the planet. The most remarkable thing about AlphaGo in comparison to other champion-beating game-playing programs is that it developed novel strategies that human players could learn and that improved their play. Whereas older intelligent tutoring systems taught novices what experts know, a new version of AlphaGo teaches people what AlphaGo knows. The new watchword is human-computer collaboration, to which humans bring the distinctive assets that arise from being social creatures living multifarious lives. For AI in Knowledge Building, however, there is a risk of the machine taking charge, limiting student agency and the learning that goes with taking responsibility for knowledge advancement. We suggest that a way of finessing this problem is to put the most powerful AI into tools that students themselves can take control of and use to advance their collective knowledge-creating efforts.
Biography :
Carl Bereiter is a professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for
Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and a co-founder with Marlene Scardamalia of the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology (IKIT). He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education and has been twice a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Along with Marlene Scardamalia, he developed CSILE, the first networked system for collaborative learning. He has published widely on a variety of topics in instruction, cognitive psychology, and educational policy. Publications include “Theory Building and Education for
Understanding,” in the Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2017 and “Principled Knowledge: Not a Bridge but a Ladder in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2014 and, with Scardamalia, “Self-organization in Conceptual Growth: Practical implications,” in the International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change (2nd ed), 2013.
Professor Marlene Scardamalia holds the Presidents’ Chair in Education
and Knowledge Technologies at OISE/University of Toronto and directs IKIT, the Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology—a worldwide network of innovators working to advance the frontiers of knowledge building in various sectors.  Marlene’s work has led to numerous honours and awards, for example, the World Award of Education from the World Cultural Council; the institute she founded with Carl Bereiter received the ORION Learning Award for the development of the world’s first collaborative learning environment and for leadership in research-based innovations in theory, pedagogy, and technology, all aimed at making citizens part of a 21st-century knowledge-creating culture. Her extensive research into how knowledge can be built within a community through interconnected, intentional, and collective efforts of participants invites us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic for learners from early childhood through to tertiary education.

Keynote: Alessio Paolo Buccino, University of Oslo
Title: Machine learning in plain italian, how it works?
Abstract: Artificial Intelligence has now become an unconscious ubiquitous presence in our lives. It was not produced by following the dystopian suggestions of science fiction, but through the diffusion of specific algorithms that pervade the digital processes present in our everyday life, and that allow us to think of “machines” as entities able of “learning” according to processes in some self-determined way. The intervention will try to highlight the specificities of these algorithms by referring to the most well-known applications, from image recognition to autonomous car driving.
Biography: After a degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Polytechnic of Milan and a master’s degree in Electronic Technology from the same University, he received a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Houston, Texas. He currently holds a doctorate in the field of Brain Computer Interfaces, jointly conducted by the University of Oslo and the University of California – San Diego. In his research he uses computational approaches to improve neural electrophysiology techniques.

Keynote: Domenico Parisi, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, CNR.
Title: Ambienti digitali.
Abstract. Digital Environments are computer simulations of some aspect of reality equipped with an interface that allows anyone to understand that aspect of reality. The user does not only interact with what he sees on the screen, as happens in virtual reality and video games, but interacts with the simulation behind what he sees on the screen, manipulating the factors at play and observing the effects of his manipulations. The Digital Environments user interface is not verbal and therefore the Digital Environment can be used by anyone regardless of the language they speak, it is highly motivating and even fun. It offers challenges to the user or between different users, wherever they live in the world. Digital Environments are available on the Internet and can relate to aspects of school teaching subjects and aspects ignored by school education but which human beings today have to know and understand in order to live well in the world in which they live.
Biography: I do research on at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council in Rome where I do research on robots. I am not so much interested in robots as practical applications but as tools of a new, non-disciplinary, science of human beings based on the principle that only if you are able to reproduce X with a robot, you have really understood X. But I am also interested in how a robotic science of human beings can help human beings to better understand the many problems they face today and will face in the future.

Keynotes: Rhonda Christensen e Gerald Knezek, University of North Texas:
Title: Navigating Life in a Digital World: Challenges for Current and Future Generations
Abstract: Constant and perpetual advancements in internet-based communication have supported the development of global communities of scholars examining affordances of technology on an unprecedented world-wide scale. Nevertheless, today’s scholars are typically Baby-Boomers or Gen X while 21st Century Learners span a much wider range from pre Baby- Boomers to post-Gen Z. The generation gap appears to be expanding as students are navigating in a digital world that is constantly evolving. The new normal is a 5th grader immersed in something with his or her nose close to a screen – that to grandparents might as well be Merlin’s magic wand.
Schools seek to harness the home-school connection for enhanced learning opportunities even as parents are often unaware that the children can invite a large portion of the world into their home through the same portal. Concerns about internet addiction abound. We must plan carefully to capitalize on the promises of advanced learning technologies while also being aware of the looming pitfalls. We see a future where the outlook is bright for the wisdom of the older generation to be blended with the new windows to the world of newer generations, for the benefit of all.
Biography:
Rhonda Christensen, Ph.D. is Research Professor in the Learning Technologies Department in the College of Information at the University of North Texas, USA. She is a co-director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching and Learning at UNT and a Co-PI and Project Director for the Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World (MSOSW) project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovative Technologies Program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Science Education Consortium funded project. She serves as the Chair of the IT Council for the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE). She is a Fulbright Senior Scholar recipient working in the Netherlands on a research teaching assignment. Dr. Christensen has participated as a leader and participant in four of the international EDUSummIT meetings focused on ICT in education.
Dr. Christensen has co-authored and taught a pre-service technology integration course for more than 15 years. She also teaches doctoral courses on research design and analysis. She has more than 50 journal article publications, greater than 200 national and international conference presentations, more than 20 book chapter publications, and edited or authored more than 10 books. Her research interests are the impact of technology integration in education, enhancing STEM education in middle schools and mobile learning in education.
Dr. Christensen received her Bachelors’ of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A & M University, her Masters’ of Science in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems and her Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas.
Gerald Knezek, Ph.D. is Regents Professor of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas, USA. He is Director of the Institute for the Integration of Technology into Teaching & Learning (IITTL) at UNT and Past President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE). He is a Founder of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group on Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning (TACTL SIG).
Dr. Knezek’s research interests include measuring attitudes and dispositions toward information technology, developing and testing formal models of technology integration, developing practical research designs, and refining scaling methods and techniques. He has been Lead or Co-Principal Investigator for several research projects funded over the past two decades by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Department of Education, and the Gates Foundation over the past two decades. These include NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, NASA STEM Innovations, a U.S. Fund for Improvement for Post-Secondary Education project and NSF Research in Disabilities grant featuring the placement of virtual students with disabilities in dynamic, online simulator for teachers.
Dr. Knezek was doctoral program coordinator for Educational Computing from 2002-2004 and Learning Technologies Program Coordinator from 2014-2016. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Japan’s National Center for University Entrance Examinations during 1993-94 and shared time between Texas and Ecuador on a Fulbright Senior Specialist appointment during 2006-07. He received a third Fulbright award as Senior Specialist to the Netherlands in 2012-13. Dr. Knezek received his B.A. in Mathematics and Social Sciences from Dartmouth College, and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii.

Contacts: congressockbg@gmail.com