Plenary Sessions

Tuesday Plenary: The rocks don't care how you get there: Addressing inaccessibility in the Earth Sciences for a more inclusive discipline

Anita Marshall, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida

Tuesday, July 16 | 4:30pm-5:45pm

The Earth Sciences have long struggled to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. One significant barrier is the academic and cultural focus on field-based learning. Field learning can be a highly beneficial component of earth science education, but too many students are left out or have poor experiences when accessibility and disability-specific needs are not met. Through personal stories, examples and outcomes from accessible field courses, and practical tips for enabling inclusive learning communities in any setting (field, lab or classroom), this presentation will explore the why, how, and impact of making Earth Science accessible to all.

Thursday Plenary: Supporting meaningful collaborations in the classrooms of the future: What is the role of AI?

Monica Ko, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder

Thursday, July 18 | 4:30pm-5:45pm

What should the classroom of the future look like, and what is the role of AI in these classrooms? Over the last 30 years, the research on how people learn increasingly acknowledges that learning is collaborative, dynamic, and supported by tasks that connect to the needs and interests of the learner. Yet, the prevailing approach to using artificial intelligence (AI) in education has focused on supporting individual students in narrowly defined tasks, rather than open-ended collaborative knowledge building. In this talk, I will describe the work of the Institute of Student-AI Teaming (iSAT) and how we are working to build learning environments and AI technologies that support equitable and productive collaborations. I will also discuss how these technologies might support teachers' orchestration of classroom activities at the small and whole group levels in secondary classrooms.

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