Reporting from the Digital Coalface: How EdTech is Enhancing the Learning Experience



Venue: The Law Society of Ireland, Dublin
Dates: 1 – 2 June 2023
Call for Papers: Closed

Registration: Click here to register for EdTech 2023
Programme: Click here to view the Conference programme

Conference Theme: The world appears to be lurching from one unprecedented event to another, and the education sector is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on education, contributing to a state of permacrisis characterized by ongoing challenges and uncertainties. The rapid shift to online and hybrid learning models has revealed longstanding inequalities in access to technology and digital literacy and has created new challenges for educators and learners alike. The pandemic has also highlighted the urgent need for flexible and adaptable approaches to education that can respond to rapidly changing circumstances.

This state of permacrisis is not necessarily a negative phenomenon and could be seen as a necessary and beneficial corrective. It challenges us to rethink our assumptions about education and to embrace new technologies and pedagogies that can enhance the learning experience.

Compounding these challenges, the proliferation of artificial intelligence and language models such as ChatGPT is transforming the landscape of education and assessment. While these technologies offer new possibilities for personalized learning and assessment, they also pose challenges related to ethics, bias, privacy, and transparency that must be carefully navigated.
Against this backdrop, the role of edtech staff, including instructional designers and learning technologists, has become increasingly important in addressing these challenges and leveraging the potential of these emerging technologies. This conference will explore how edtech is enhancing the learning experience and how we can navigate the permacrisis through innovative approaches to technology-enhanced learning. It will provide a platform for sharing best practices, research, and insights into the ways in which edtech is shaping the future of education.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Mike Sharples
Generative AI for teaching, learning and assessment: Issues and opportunities

Generative AI systems such as ChatGPT are already disrupting education. They can write essays for students, summarise scientific texts, produce lesson plans, engage in conversations, and draft academic papers. In this presentation, I will introduce the capabilities and limitations of current generative AI and discuss how it is transforming higher education, including emerging policies and guidelines for use. I will also propose new roles for AI teaching, learning and assessment with AI. Rather than seeing AI solely as a challenge to traditional education, we can prepare students for a future where AI is a tool for creativity, to be operated with great care and awareness of its limitations.

Mike Sharples is Emeritus Professor of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK. His expertise involves human-centred design and evaluation of new technologies and environments for learning. He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. He founded the Innovating Pedagogy report series and is the author of over 300 papers in the areas of educational technology, learning sciences, science education, human-centred design of personal technologies, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. His recent books are Practical Pedagogy: 40 New Ways to Teach and Learn, and Story Machines: How Computers Have Become Creative Writers, both published by Routledge.

Sonja Bjelobaba
Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: Intersections, Implications, and Innovations

Photo Credit: Maria Nilsson

The intersection between academic integrity and artificial intelligence highlights novel educational opportunities for the integration of AI in the curricula but also presents a spectrum of ethical challenges. These new challenges have shifted the focus in higher education from plagiarism and contract cheating towards the ethical use of AI in education as well as to unauthorized and/or undeclared content generation using AI, potentially constituting academic misconduct. As such, policy documents and assessment methods must be critically reviewed and adapted to align with emerging AI technologies. This talk will present the recommendations from the European Network for Academic Integrity for the ethical use of AI in education. Furthermore, the broader implications of AI in academia, potentially instigating a paradigm shift in our understanding of originality and plagiarism, will be discussed.

Sonja Bjelobaba is a researcher at the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics as well as a Senior Lecturer in Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian at the Department of Modern Languages at the Uppsala University in Sweden. Bjelobaba is a vice-president of the European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI) and coordinator of the Erasmus+ strategic partnership project Bridging Integrity in Higher Education, Business and Society (BRIDGE, 2020-2023). She defended her thesis at the University of Gothenburg where she, as an educational developer, taught research integrity, postgraduate supervision courses and other courses for faculty relating to teaching and learning in higher education. Sonja Bjelobaba’s research concentrates on academic and research integrity.

Panel Title: E ≥ AI2
Join us for a lively panel discussion on the intersection of academic integrity and artificial intelligence (AI) in education, where we explore the challenges and opportunities that arise when these two domains converge. With the rise of AI-powered tools for plagiarism detection, essay grading, and more, educators and institutions must grapple with the ethical, social, and pedagogical implications of these technologies for academic integrity. At the same time, AI also presents new opportunities for promoting academic integrity, such as personalized feedback, early intervention, and predictive analytics. Our panellists will share their insights and perspectives on this fascinating topic and engage in a lively exchange with the audience.

The Panellists:

David Kerrigan

AI Generated Photo

David is a futurist, author and keynote speaker specialising in the impacts of Disruptive Technologies. He has written 7 books and lectures on AI at Stanford Continuing Studies twice a year, as well as at the Irish Management Institute and Technological University of Dublin. David is also founder and COO of London-based computer vision firm, Quikkly and a strategic Consultant at Enovation Solutions.

Labhaoise Ní Fhaoláin

Labhaoise is a member of the Technology Committee of the Law Society, is a former commercial litigator and is completing a PhD in the governance of artificial intelligence, funded by Science Foundation Ireland at ML-Labs Centre for Research Training, School of Computer Science, UCD. She is a member of the NSAI Top Team on AI and is the Law Society nominee to the Council of Europe Committee on Artificial Intelligence.

Billy Kelly

Retired from Dublin City University (DCU) at the end of April 2022, from January 2012 to April 2022, he served as Deputy Registrar and Dean of Teaching & Learning at DCU.

As Deputy Registrar, he had University-level responsibilities for curriculum development, quality assurance of teaching & learning activities, and regulation of all DCU-accredited awards including Joint Awards.
As Dean of Teaching & Learning, he had oversight of strategic initiatives in relation to teaching & learning across the University; with a particular focus on the expansion of digital learning opportunities for on-campus students and online delivery of awards.

Since November 2019 he has served as the Chair of the National Academic Integrity Network, a national peer-driven network of staff members from Irish higher education institutions, student representatives, and higher education representative agencies. The Network aims to establish the nature of academic misconduct practised in Irish higher education institutions; to identify appropriate measures institutions can take to both prevent and address such misconduct; and to inform dedicated communications strategies and/or enhancement initiatives developed in this area.

Mairéad Boland
Senior Manager, Academic Integrity Regulation and Strategic Partnerships (QQI)

Mairéad works in QQI’s Stakeholder Engagement Unit, where she leads the implementation of the agency’s regulatory responsibilities in relation to academic integrity. She is also responsible for QQI’s programme of engagement with the professional statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) as well as engagement with QQI partners from across the education system, within Ireland and abroad.

Mairéad has worked with QQI since 2017 and, during that time, has also managed institutional monitoring and review processes as well as programme validation processes. Prior to working with QQI, Mairéad worked as a research associate at Friedrich-Alexander Universität in Erlangen, Germany, where she also lectured in legal translation at the Institut für Fremdsprachen bei der Friedrich-Alexander Universität. Mairéad has an LL.B. (ling. Ger.) from Trinity College Dublin and an LL.M. from Friedrich-Alexander Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg. Mairéad is a member of the board of AQ Austria and of the Education, Training and Standards Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI).


Moderator: Ken McCarthy

Ken is the SETU N-TUTORR Institutional Lead at South East Technological University. Prior to this, he worked in the Centre for Technology-Enhanced Learning (CTEL) at Waterford Institute of Technology as Head of Technology Enhanced Learning.  He is currently vice president of ILTA a position he was elected to last May.  In the early days of the pandemic, he ran a moderately successful podcast – Who’s Zoomin’ Who? and was also on the organising committee for #GastaGoesGlobal.  A card-carrying tech nerd he feels that the current developments in generative AI represent a watershed moment that will herald a seachange in how we interact with technology.

Conference Fees:
Conference – €195
Conference + Dinner – €245
Conference + Dinner + ILTA Membership – €270 (this includes a 50% discount on the ILTA Membership fee)
Conference + ILTA Membership (not Dinner) – €220 (this includes a 50% discount on the ILTA Membership fee)

Registration: Click here to register for EdTech 2023
Programme: Click here to view the Conference programme