Prof. Gyöngyvér Molnár

University of Szeged, Hungary

Gyöngyvér Molnár is a professor of education and the director of the Institute of Education and the head of the Doctoral School of Education as well as the head of the MTA-SZTE Digital Learning Technologies Research Group at the University of Szeged, Hungary. She earned her PhD in 2004. In 2010, she habilitated in the area of ICT in education. Then, in 2017, she was awarded a Doctor of Sciences (DSc) degree with a thesis entitled ‘Technology-based testing in education: Assessing improvement in problem-solving ability’. Her main areas of interest include: technology-based assessment, improving cognitive skills, studying the quality of school learning, and the potential for using ICT in education – all of which are aimed at improving the quality of learning. She heads eDia, an online diagnostic testing system used in numerous countries. She serves on the editorial boards of numerous domestic and international journals. In 2007, she was presented with the Academy Youth Award, in the same year, she was named an Innovative Teacher at the Innovative Teacher Forum in Paris, in 2014, she was selected for the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program, in 2016, she won the Apáczai Csere János Prize for her outstanding scholarly work in support of educational practice, in 2020 she received the Innovation Award and in 2022 the Researcher of the Year Award at the University of Szeged. She has also published widely both domestically and internationally: over 375 papers and studies in all. The number of independent citations of her work exceed 1700, and she has a Hirsch Index of 25. She is married and a mother of three.

Speech Topic: Artificial intelligence, Diagnostic Assessment, and Teacher Competencies: The keys to flexible learning and future education
 

Abstract:  As the world evolves, so does our understanding of effective education. Every time a new technology emerges, it provides an opportunity to reconsider the purpose of education, align it with various needs and critically review our methods and tools, thus essentially reshaping our educational system. Traditionally, schools typically teach the same content to all students at the same time at the same age; however, age does not determine skills and abilities. That is, the same content cannot match the readiness and needs of all students. Technology and the results in the field of learning sciences can help to address this issue and personalise education and boost the effectiveness of learning and teaching. As a result of this development, efforts to have prioritized flexible learning and smart education over the “fitting for all” approach, low-stakes diagnostic assessment over high-stakes summative testing and teacher competencies over frontal teaching methods. AI-based diagnostic assessment has the potential to transform traditional assessment by processing a large amount of data and providing learners with personalized feedback, thereby enhancing the efficacy of the learning process and improving teaching quality through a re-examination of assessment activities. However, without authentic, reliable and valid data, any assessment- and data-based improvement would be doomed to failure. Using artificial intelligence in education is not merely a technological or infrastructural matter; it is first and foremost a pedagogical and methodological challenge. Teachers need to be equipped with the necessary methodological skills so that they can refine assessment activities to improve student engagement and motivation.

 

Prof. Yutaro Ohashi

Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan

Yutaro Ohashi graduated from the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University. Later, he was awarded the Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (PD) and worked for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and served as a visiting scholar at the University of Helsinki. He currently holds professorship in the Department of Information and Communications Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Shibaura Institute of Technology. Throughout his career, Yutaro Ohashi has been actively involved in English and information media education. He is particularly interested in learning environments designed by learners, and he has received numerous awards for his work in non-traditional learning environments (e.g., zoos, aquariums, and architectural schools for children). His wide-ranging interests span from pedagogical aspects of the information society to information and game design and how education continues to evolve in an advanced information society. Recently, he has authored several papers addressing the evaluation of creative learning processes in university education, with an emphasis on engineering education. These research accomplishments have earned him recognition and awards, such as the encouragement and research presentation awards from the Japanese Society for Engineering Education.

Speech Topic: “Education of meaning” and “Education of symbols”: how will ICT and AI change the way of education?

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the expansion of ICT in education worldwide. AI-supported learning through smartphone applications is becoming increasingly common in schools and at home. Moreover, programming and computing education is being integrated into the curricula for younger age groups as compulsory or elective subjects in many countries. Thus, ICT and AI are making their way into educational settings at an unprecedented rate. These technologies offer significant benefits, including supporting remote learning, facilitating communication, enhancing learning efficiency, visualizing learning histories, and promoting personalized learning experiences.
However, are we fully aware of the potential drawbacks that these technologies may introduce? One such drawback is that technology might serve as a distraction rather than an inspiration for learning. Another concern is that children’s underdeveloped reading skills might become less apparent in AI-driven educational environments. Recent research has revealed that many children struggle to comprehend textbook-level language, and because AI-based practice questions often rely on multiple-choice formats, students are assumed to understand the question if their reflexive answer is correct, but it is difficult to see how much they actually understand. Furthermore, search-based learning can create illusion that there is always a definitive answer to a question, even when the learning process is intended to be exploratory. AI lacks the human capacity to understand the meaning, raising the question of whether “education of meaning” is possible with AI or whether AI-driven education will only process symbols (education of symbols).

 

Assoc. Prof. Anuchai Theeraroungchaisri
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Dr. Anuchai Theeraroungchaisri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Administrative Pharmacy at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University. Additionally, he serves as the Deputy Director of Thailand Cyber University at the Office of Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education. Moreover, he holds the position of Deputy Director at the College of Pharmacy Administration of Thailand. He gots a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and pursued further education at Chulalongkorn University, where he earned a master's degree in Computer Sciences and a Ph.D. in Educational and Communication Technology. With his role as the deputy director of the Thailand Cyber University Project, he has overseen several significant initiatives, such as Thai MOOC (Thailand Massive Open Online Courses), The Higher Education Credit Bank System, TCU-Globe (Interoperability among the learning object repository network, enabling search through a single query), e-Learning Professional Development (the pioneering fully online training certificate program). In 2022, he was recognized as the "Most Valuable Person in Educational Technology 2022" by the Thai Association of Education and Communication Technology, as announced during the 35th Annual Conference of Thailand Educational and Communication Technology. Furthermore, in 2019 he received the "Outstanding Pharmacist in Pharmacy Education 2019" award from The Pharmacy Council of Thailand. His research interests encompass a wide range of topics, including MOOC Policy, Academic credit bank and credit transfer, Learning Design, Online Pedagogy, e-Portfolio, Technology-Enhanced Learning, Learning analytics, and Health Informatics.

Speech Topic: National Strategies to Cultivate the Lifelong Learner Utilizing National Digital Learning Platform and Academic Credit Bank System: Case of Thailand

Abstract: In the current era, defined by rapid technological advancements and societal changes, lifelong learning has become indispensable. Lifelong learning represents a persistent, self-motivated pursuit of knowledge and skills across various modalities, encompassing formal, non-formal, and informal methods. The constant challenges introduced by emerging innovations require individuals to not just adapt, but to continuously refresh their knowledge to remain relevant in their respective professions. Given this backdrop, the importance of national strategies that promote a culture of ongoing learning cannot be overstated. This presentation explores Thailand's comprehensive strategy to encourage lifelong learning, emphasizing its use of a national digital learning platform, known as Thai MOOCs, and mechanisms like academic credit banks and credit transfer systems. Additionally, Thailand is cementing strategic partnerships with higher education institutions and a diverse range of public and private organizations. This approach is designed to build a resilient, adaptable learning ecosystem, emphasizing short, modular, outcome-based MOOCs. These MOOCs allow learners to accumulate and store learning outcomes in academic credit banks, facilitating easy credit transfers and enabling continuous higher education. Ultimately, this ecosystem seeks to broaden access to varied educational resources and flexible learning pathways, ensuring that individuals are equipped to meet the ever-evolving demands of today's world.