It’s a critical time for the future of technology in education. Education leaders have a responsibility to help guide the equitable development and use of edtech systems and tools, including emerging artificial intelligence (AI). With every part of the education sector impacted by technology, there must be greater collective understanding of what emerging technologies can do to advance educational goals for all learners, while evaluating and limiting their risks.
With this in mind, we have created a new Edtech and Emerging Technologies initiative at Digital Promise. While edtech will continue to be woven through our work across the organization, this initiative has a clear directive to transform how educational leaders and practitioners use technology to equitably improve learning.
“The education sector needs a forward-looking vision for what the integration of educational technology and emerging technologies should look like,” said Digital Promise President and CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “Aligning with Digital Promise’s own mission and Impact Goals, we are excited to collaborate with educators, developers, leaders, policymakers, and learners themselves to help shape the future of learning with technology.”
To lead this work, Digital Promise has named Pati Ruiz as Senior Director of Edtech and Emerging Technologies. In this new role, Pati will be charged with leading and managing a team working on our overarching education technology strategy, including work in partnership with others in the U.S. and globally. Pati’s expertise also includes work on emerging technologies, like machine learning and artificial intelligence. As such, she will partner with other teams at Digital Promise, including Learning Sciences Research, Learning Experience Design, Digital Equity, and the Center for Inclusive Innovation, as they work to actively transform large-scale applications of edtech and emerging technologies to enhance learning outcomes and advance digital equity for all learners.
“I am grateful for the time I’ve had to learn with brilliant colleagues on our Learning Sciences Research team,” said Pati. “I look forward to continuing collaborations with Digital Promise colleagues and external partner organizations as we advance our mission of increasing opportunities for every learner and advancing equity in education.”
Prior to her new role, Pati has worked on the Learning Sciences Research team at Digital Promise since 2019 as a Senior Research Scientist, focusing on such topics as emerging learning technologies, critical AI, justice-centered computer science education, public interest technology, design justice, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and professional learning. As part of her work, she will continue to collaborate across the organization on efforts like a recently awarded grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Responsible, Ethical, and Effective Acceptable Use Policies for the Integration of Generative AI in U.S. School Districts and Beyond.
Jeremy Roschelle, Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research at Digital Promise, shared, “Digital Promise and the researchers on our team have a long history of engagement in the research related to understanding, evaluating, and implementing emerging technologies like AI. We are thrilled to continue to work with Pati Ruiz, who will strengthen our ability to actively guide educators to build upon our research-based knowledge.”
Pati will continue collaborations with teams across Digital Promise to ensure education leaders, educators, learners, and their families are prepared to leverage emerging technology tools like generative AI.
In support of this work in recent weeks, Pati joined a discussion on “How AI Will Reshape the Teaching Profession” as a panelist at the Teaching Roles Coalition Convening, and attended meetings in London for the Global Edtech Testbed Network, which included representation from the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Spain, Kenya, and other nations. The discussions included important concepts such as our collective ethical responsibility to guide emerging AI systems and tools for learning; the resources needed for global communities to engage in research and development (R&D) networks; and how evidence gathering processes might be grounded in the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology nationally and globally to better evaluate products.
In the coming weeks and months, the Edtech and Emerging Technologies team will continue to work with edtech developers and our expert partners to support educators and education leaders in making competency-based and research-driven technology adoption decisions aimed at improving student learning outcomes.
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