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Digital Futures for Education explores AI’s impact on university teaching and learning

The Digital Futures hub became the focal point for a thought-provoking hybrid event titled “Digital Futures for Education: What is the impact of AI on university teaching and learning?” Hosted by Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Associate Director of Outreach at Digital Futures, the event on March 6, 2024, convened a panel of experts to delve into the evolving landscape of education in the era of artificial intelligence (AI).

The discussion, the second in a series, sought to address pressing questions surrounding AI’s influence on higher education. Led by Professor Arnold Pears from KTH, the conversation navigated through key inquiries such as the redefinition of teaching practices, emerging professions, and preparing students for an AI-driven future.

The distinguished panel comprised leading voices in academia and industry:

  • Matti Tedre is a professor at the University of Eastern Finland specializing in computer science education and the societal implications of technology.
  • Lina Rahm is an assistant professor at KTH with expertise in the history of media and environment, focusing on AI and autonomous systems.
  • Raquel Broman, the Head of Competence at AI Sweden, whose work centres on upskilling and fostering collaboration between sectors for effective AI integration.

Through the Digital Futures for Education initiative, the event aimed to foster interdisciplinary dialogue, stimulate debate on digitalization’s potential in education, and align research goals with societal needs. By bringing together stakeholders from academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors, the event sought to promote discussion and build a community around the challenges and opportunities of the presence of AI in education.

Reflecting on the event’s significance, Teresa Cerratto Pargman remarked, “It is today crucial to foster a dialogue with different educational stakeholders so we can reflect on what we mean when we refer to AI in education, and what our direct experiences are with such AI systems in daily educational practice. In this sense, Digital Futures for Education attempts to provide a platform to explore the profound impact of AI on teaching and learning, ensuring that our universities are prepared to shape a future in which we as teachers and students would like to live.”

As AI continues to shape the future of learning, initiatives like Digital Futures for Education serve as vital arenas for exploration, collaboration, and innovation. With its mission to provide a space for critical reflection and collaboration, Digital Futures for Education is poised to drive meaningful change in higher education, ensuring that universities remain at the forefront of cultural and societal development in the digital age.

Text: Johanna Gavefalk