Highlights from the 2024 1EdTech Learning Impact Conference
June 17 2024
Learning Impact
Sharla Schuller

From June 3-6, educators, tech experts, and innovators gathered for the 1EdTech Learning Impact Conference. The conference was brimming with insights and discussions on the future of education technology and AI.

The Future of AI in Education

The opening session set an ambitious tone, discussing the exponential growth of computing power, which is really mind-boggling. Today, $1,000 worth of computing can match the cognitive power of one human brain. By 2050, it's projected that the same amount will equal the combined brain power of all humans! However, multiple sessions emphasized that while AI can excel in fostering specific skills, it cannot replicate human judgment and wisdom. The expected progression of AI integration in education was discussed and outlined as follows:

  1. Learning ABOUT AI
  2. Learning FROM AI
  3. Learning WITH AI

The consensus at the event was clear that we are in Stage 1 and the current K-12 infrastructure is lagging in AI adoption. Many pointed back to the fear of the emerging technology, while others felt we are just in the beginning stages of understanding how to use AI effectively. Instead of thinking of it as a tool that can be used for cheating, educators need to begin to think about Stage 2, and how we can learn from AI. This means working alongside students to understand how it can be used effectively and how it can spark imagination. From there we can move on to Stage 3 of learning with AI.

The Expiry of ESSER Funds

With the expiration of ESSER funds at the end of this year, many sessions focused on the implications and future planning for schools that have relied on these resources. This is a critical issue, impacting budgets and funding allocations across various educational institutions.

Our discussion from our last webinar with Maria Slabaugh from MMS Education covers the ESSER Funding Cliff deadline, watch for more details.


AI Innovations: Virtual Tutors and Mentors

Georgia Tech's virtual tutor project and PowerSchool's AI mentors, Power Buddies, were notable highlights. These innovations aim to provide personalized guidance to students, enhancing their learning experiences. This suggests a promising future where AI supports rather than replaces educators.

Resource Discussions and Future Sessions

Several valuable resources were discussed, including the 1000BRAINS study and Harvard Business Review’s "Thinking Like a Futurist." Additionally, the Utah Department of Education inquired about the use of Rabbit Research for large language models, but none of the participants were currently utilizing it.

EdGate's Role in Supporting 1EdTech CASE Standards

Many participants found discussions about alignments and crosswalking perplexing. EdGate, however, simplifies this process as a 1EdTech Trusted App and member. By ingesting the 1EdTech CASE Network standards, utilizing our advanced alignment process to crosswalk CASE GUIDs with precision, EdGate enables clients to generate detailed reports for crosswalking CASE GUIDs between states. This helps ensure seamless standards alignment and compliance.

Networking and Future Initiatives

The conference was a valuable networking opportunity, with discussions about future collaborations and initiatives. For example, a session in November will focus on building a CASE framework, targeting state Departments of Education.

The 2024 1EdTech Learning Impact Conference underscored the dynamic interplay between technology and education, highlighting both the potential and the challenges of integrating AI into learning environments. The emphasis on durable skills, the impending end of ESSER funds, and the innovative approaches to AI governance and application all point to an exciting and complex future for education