Open debates

PANEL 1 

Competence based learning as an essential foundation for European citizenship, wellbeing and democracy.

July 5th – h: 15:00 – 17:00 CET  (16:00 – 18:00 EEST Bucharest Local Time)

The transition to Content Based Learning and Curricula to the Competence Based ones is a challenge and, at the same time, an opportunity for the entire world to promote sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles together with “human rights, gender equality, the culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity”. This is a priority also for Europe.
The COVID-19 pandemic, among the rest, has also shown how unfair European education can be, President von der Leyen announced in her 2021 State of the Union address that digital education and skills “need leaders’ attention and a structured dialogue at top-level”. Responding to this call, in October 2021 a project group of nine Commissioners announced the launch of the Structured Dialogue with Member States on digital education and skills that will deliver on Action 1 of the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027. Moreover the European Commission presented a Digital Compass for 2030 including two ambitious digital skill-building goals: equipping 80% of adults in the EU with basic digital skills, and more than doubling the number of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals to 20 million.
It is a lot but not enough because the digital skills are only a part of the needed competences to promote all over Europe citizenship, wellbeing, democracy and the achievements of the SDGs.
Panelists of this open debate will discuss and reflect on visions, frameworks and key enabling factors to make competence based education effective and inclusive to achieve the aforementioned goals. How can the implementation of competence based education supported? How should competences be recognized and certified? How can targeted research and exchange of knowledge contribute to advance competence based education?

Panelists 

Yves Punie – EC-JRC
Carlo Giovannella – ASLERD & University of Roma Tor Vergata
Oscar Mealha – University of Aveiro
Elin MCCallum – Bantani Education
Arianna Sala – EC-JRC
Stefano Tirati – Learning Digital

Chair: Stefania Bocconi (ITD-CNR Genoa)

 

PANEL 2

 AI and education: ethical challenges and opportunities

July 6th – h: 14:30 – 16:30 CET  (15:30 – 17:30 EEST Bucharest Local Time)

After the transition from the industrial era to the post-industrial era – the era of dematerialization – and to the organic era – that is, the era of the capillary and rhizomatic diffusivity of information through telematic networks – we are now facing another rapid transition. We are entering a new era in which it is no longer the individual model of the world that is replaced by intangible content but, rather, his/her decision-making capacity to be shaped by the algorithm (hence the possible definition of the “algorithmic era”).
 Algorithms, together with data storage, marked the transition from the mechanical to the post-industrial machine and have spread ubiquitously in environments and objects – to the point that we can speak of the disappearance of the physical machine in favor of the mere perception of its computational power. Algorithms are increasingly assuming the plasticity typical of the human brain and increasing independence from the designer. Indeed, the latter is a result of probabilistic or machine learning/deep learning approaches, whereas the algorithm’s increasing complexity may not predict its evolutionary path. The seed of the non-neutrality of the technology, thus, is no longer in its use but in its potentially autonomous evolution. This is a peculiar characteristic that AI shares with biotechnology.
 Regardless of the impact that AI has had so far on society and individuals, some well-known incidents (morally objectionable biases in data analysis, accidents in self-driven cars, killing power in warfare, etc.) and future projections on the potential evolution of the algorithm has raised ethical and philosophical issues that have generated a wide debate in many areas: political, social, jurisprudential, industrial, and, unavoidably, educational.
 At the root of the critical issues in education we find the characteristics of the data from which the machine learns before inducing decisions and learning in individuals; to continue, we can list the potential standardization of the learning paths and the influence it could have on collaborative and social approaches, the development of skills such as critical thinking, autonomy, and creativity that underlie our cultural evolution, as well as the conventions and ethical behaviors that underlie respect for others, the environment, and peaceful coexistence. Within such a framework, how might the role of teachers be transformed? What are the opportunities for collaboration between humans and algorithms? Could algorithms be a candidate for moral status? What, if identifiable, are the boundaries that should not be crossed? What makes us human and what specific education do humans require?

Panelists 

Kaśka Porayska-Pomsta – EC-JRC
Erica Briscoe – University of Mariland
Scott Crossley – Georgia State University
Oronzo Parlangeli – University of Siena
Milo Phillips-Brown – University of Oxford
Ilkka Tuomi – Meaning Processing Ltd

Chair: Adina Magda Florea (UBP)