Thursday, January 15 2015 9:30 – 10:00 am
Lost Pines 1-2-3
Machine learning refers to computers that are able to act and react without being explicitly programmed to do so. Practical speech recognition, semantic applications, and even self-driving cars all leverage machine learning via data systems that not only intake, retrieve, and interpret data, but also learn from it. To do this, the machine must make a generalisation, using algorithms to respond to new inputs after being “trained” on a different learning data set — much like a human learns from experiences and uses that knowledge to respond appropriately in a different encounter. In this sense, machine learning is widely considered by many researchers and thought leaders as a step towards human-like artificial intelligence. Recent incarnations of machine learning include a university-developed telescope that can automatically detect significant changes pointing to supernova occurrences. The software Xapagy improvises dialogue and plot moves in stories fed to it by users. The potential of machine learning for education is still some years away, but the potential of learning systems that can adapt and learn on their own is driving research around the world.
Bryan Alexander is a futurist, researcher, writer, speaker, consultant, and teacher, working in the field of how technology transforms education. He completed his English language and literature PhD at the University of Michigan in 1997, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry.teaching at Centenary CollegeThen Bryan taught literature, writing, multimedia, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. There he also pioneered multi-campus interdisciplinary classes, while organizing an information literacy initiative.From 2002 to 2014 Bryan worked with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit working to help small colleges and universities best integrate digital technologies. With NITLE he held several roles, including co-director of a regional education and technology center, director of emerging technologies, and senior fellow. Over those years Bryan helped develop and support the nonprofit, grew peer networks, consulted, and conducted a sustained research agenda.In 2013 Bryan launched a business, Bryan Alexander Consulting, LLC. Through BAC he consults throughout higher education in the United States and abroad. Bryan also speaks widely and publishes frequently.
Dr. Ruben Puentedura is the Founder and President of Hippasus, a consulting practice based in Western Massachusetts, focusing on transformative applications of information technologies to education. He has implemented these approaches for over twenty-five years at a range of K-20 educational institutions, as well as health and arts organizations. He is the creator of the SAMR model for selecting, using, and evaluating technology in education, which currently guides the work of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, as well as multiple other projects throughout the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia. He is also the author of the EdTech Quintet, a categorization of the core technology toolset required for education derived from the Horizon Report. His current work explores new directions in mobile computing, digital storytelling, learning analytics, and educational gaming, focusing on applications in areas where they have not been traditionally employed.