March 14-16, 2024

The Quadrivium

The Quadrivium is an ancient and noble tradition in education. To the ancient Greeks, the word meant “the four ways” or a place where four roads meet. The Quadrivium combines space, time, harmony, and science to develop applied critical and creative approaches to modern issues that require innovative thinking, solutions, and practical mechanisms to our ever changing world.

VWBPE’s Quadrivium is more than a networking event. It provides an opportunity to share and contribute to the scholarly pursuit of knowledge through interaction with a community of peers. Together, the community can develop real solutions to real problems. It is the first step in understanding the complex nature of these issues, leading towards a principled path for institutions, instructional designers, facilitators, and students alike.

Meet us at our quadrivium, where we hope to entice you into discussions of technology on the horizon. This is not only an exchange of ideas, but an opportunity to network. Bring us your ideas, your best practices, your theories, and your own wish list. What are some best practices? Research? Potential pitfalls? These are open discussions, which will be facilitated and guided. Please join us and be part of these conversations.

Quadrivium 1: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 3:00 pm
Personalized Learning with AI

John O’Connor – Facilitator
Elektra Panthar – Assistant

Location: VWBPE Quadrivium

AI is a disruptive technology which is causing both trepidation and excitement among educators. Much debate focuses on cheating, plagiarism and the potential for copyright violations. AI can also be used to assist an educator in creating personalized learning experiences. Students bring with them a variety of skills, strategies, and modalities for learning that can be intimidating for educators who cannot personalize for every student. This discussion will focus on the ways in which artificial intelligence like ChatGPT, Google Gemini, Claude and others could be leveraged to create multiple personalized learning opportunities that can still target the same learning objective.

Links for additional “light viewing”

  1. Are we day-dreaming our way to the future? (2023)
    In this paper John O’Connor explores the transformative impact of technology on society connecting technological advancements with environmental challenges. Philosophical perspectives on AI and VR prompt questions about their impact on human experience. The paper proposes an educational shift to cultivate human attributes alongside technological skills.
  2. Is reality real? These neuroscientists don’t think so.
    If ‘reality’ is not objective how can we expect AI to be objective? If AI develops consciousness which is subjective where does that leave humanity? A range of scientific views are presented in this video.
  3. Intro to Large Language Models (2023)
    This is a 1 hour general-audience introduction to Large Language Models by Andrej Karpathy: the core technical component behind systems like ChatGPT, Claude, and Bard. What they are, where they are headed, comparisons and analogies to present-day operating systems, and some of the security-related challenges of this new computing paradigm.
  4. What’s the future for generative AI? (2023)
    Mike Wooldridge presents the current state of AI and suggests the likely future for this technology in the Royal Institution lecture for the Alan Turing Series.

Quadrivium 2: Friday, March 15, 2024, 8:00 am
Immersive Learning: Technology and Best Practices

Marie Vans/Amvans Lapis – Facilitator
Aziza Mendominezu/Zia Rivera-Clarkson – Assistant

Location: VWBPE Quadrivium

Immersive learning is often described in the same sentence as virtual reality or three dimensional environments. However, immersive learning is engaging in experiences that provide the learner some autonomy, real world problems that could involve role play, simulation, and the ability to suspend disbelief. These immersive learning experiences can be designed with multimedia tools that can include video, audio, images, and three dimensional spaces. They are not exclusive to virtual environments. This discussion will focus on what practical and accessible technology can be merged with best practices for learning. Some virtual reality is not practical, easy, nor cheap, so educators must consider focusing on affordable solutions that are easy to use, while also engaging students in relatable, affordable immersed experiences.

Quadrivium 3: Saturday, March 16, 2024, 11:00 am
Essential Digital Skills for Living and Learning in the Age of Fake News and Unfettered Speech

Linda Sautereau/Peggy Daniels-Lee – Facilitator
Wisdomseeker – Assistant

Location: VWBPE Quadrivium

With the polarization of ideas posted in social media and personal blogs, it has become more difficult to use the Internet for teaching and learning. The International Society for Technology in Education has for years proposed dedicated curricula that focus on the digital citizen: skills that include being safe online, securing your digital footprint, and how to critically evaluate the content we read online. This discussion will focus on the skills and practical strategies that both students and educators can employ to engage in positive and productive discourse that moves beyond what is fake and what is polarizing.