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The second National Conference on Generative Artificial Intelligence in Education (GenAIEdu) was hosted by the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems and held on the Derry~Londonderry campus last month.

The event brought together key stakeholders from education and industry to discuss the transformative potential of these emerging technologies to understand how cutting-edge generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) will challenge the way we learn, teach and assess.

The focus of the conference was how universities, industry and teachers can work together to prepare the region for the transformational change that AI is going to drive rapidly over the next few years

The programme featured a series of keynotes, talks, discussion panels and hands on workshops, demonstrations and networking events with leading academics, researchers and industry experts in this area. New activities included a hackathon exploring AI and Assessment and a practitioner showcase where local teachers and educators showcased best practice in the use of AI in the classroom to improve AI literacy and future proof employability prospects for the region.

This highly successful event was made possible through the invaluable support of Visit Derry and funded by the Garfield Weston Trust.

Professor Colin Turner, Pro Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean of Faculty of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment, Ulster University added:

“The first GenAIEdu conference brought to the fore the real and immediate impact of generative AI and how it is going to fundamentally change what schools and Universities (and other industries) currently do. It kickstarted the conversation and had a region wide impact as John outlines above. The pace of new technology development and adoption is ramping up and AI offers extraordinary – and somewhat unexplored - opportunities and challenges for transformation in education. Hosting this event, we are facilitating conversations which will help educators to understand the possibilities and pitfalls and navigate them carefully.”

Sue Attewell, Co-lead of the JISC National Centre for AI in Tertiary Education, said:

"Generative AI is more than just a tool: it's a catalyst for transformative change, bringing innovative practices to the forefront and urging us to rethink and update our educational approaches. As AI continues to reshape education and the workplace, adapting to its rapid evolution is crucial in preparing students for an AI-integrated future and GenAIEdu is a great platform where we in the industry, can share ideas and best practice."

Visiting Professor John Anderson, Independent Chair of the Innovation Forum, said of the inaugural conference:

“The first GenAIEdu inspired attendees: as a direct result of this event, the Innovation Forum (which promotes and evaluates the innovative use of digital technologies in school classrooms) joined with the Education Authority’s EdIS (Education Information Solutions) Programme and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment to plan a similar event for school leaders: a really successful AI in Education conference. Given the astonishing speed of change with GenAI more events are planned for school leaders; entirely due to the initial stimulus provided by GenAIEdu.”

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