Your Name and Title: Ashlee Russell, M.Ed., Special Education Teacher and AI Educator for Adult Learners

School, Library, or Organization Name: Cumberland County Schools and AI Learning Central

Co-Presenter Name(s): Tina Garrison

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: North Carolina, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Educators, AI Enthusiasts

Short Session Description (one line): Teaching Beyond the Tech: Exploring the Durable Power-Skills Students Will Need to Succeed in the Age of AI

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

As educators begin to explore the philosophical questions related to integrating AI responsibly, we need to consider the skills beyond the “tech skills” that students will need in order to be successful in an AI powered world. Although AI Literacy will be critical, there are a number of skills that will need to be taught explicitly to students in order for them to navigate this new world of Artificial Intelligence, beyond the technical skills needed for the adequate operation of technology. 

Specifically, our presentation will dive into durable power-skills that differentiate humans from machines, and allow for human-centered and human-led development and use of AI in the future. We have narrowed down this skill-set into 7 C’s and they are as follows: 

  1. Cognitive Awareness (including metacognition and understanding context)

  2. Character (including concepts such as ethics, integrity, and bias awareness)

  3. Critical Thinking (including higher-order thinking and questioning, understanding that they are using AI as a consumer of a commercial product)

  4. Connections (including social-emotional connections to self, others, and the world as well as healthy collaboration between humans and technology)

  5. Creativity (including imagination and the ability to create something new with or without the use of AI assistance; teaching students how to augment ideas rather than replace them; this also includes the arts and multiple intelligences)

  6. Communication (including reading, speaking, writing, and clarity of thoughts as an individual)

  7. Curiosity (maintaining a healthy desire for continuous experiential learning, beyond the tech)

We believe that in the age of AI, that students will need these skills more than ever. We foresee technology evolving at a rate that may be difficult to keep up with, but with these durable power-skills, we can equip students to evaluate tools and employ them responsibly, with an awareness of the purpose of AI (to augment and enhance the human experience, not to replace it), and prepare them to be responsible consumers of AI, understanding its implications and the responsibility they bear by using it. 

With these skills in place, students will be able to evaluate outputs from generative AI, and lead the direction of how they apply said outputs to solve problems. This presentation will share strategies for educators to teach AI, grounded in the science of learning, and through the context of the 7 C's of our "Beyond the Tech AI Skillset".

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