Special session - Invited contributions

Dr. James Spohrer

IBM Innovation Champion and Director of IBM University Programs worldwide (IBM UP), Jim works to align IBM and universities in regional innovation ecosystems globally.   Previously, Jim helped found IBM's first Service Research group, the global Service Science community, and was founding CTO of IBM's Venture Capital Relations Group in Silicon Valley.  During the 1990s while at Apple Computer, he was awarded Apple's Distinguished Engineer Scientist and Technology title for his work on next generation learning platforms.  Jim has a PhD in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence from Yale, and BS in Physics from MIT.  His current research priorities include applying service science to create smarter (less waste and more capabilities) universities and cities, also known as tightly-coupled holistic service systems that provide "whole service" to the people within them.  He has more than ninety publications and has been awarded nine patents 
Individuals and Institutions Learning Together: A Service Science Perspective 
In the age of smarter machines (e.g., IBM Watson, Apple Siri, WolframAlpha, etc.), what, how, and why we learn as individuals and institutions must be re-examined.  This talk offers some reflections on the progress over the last several decades in building intelligent tutoring systems and collaborative learning environments.  I will suggest some grand challenge problems for the future, including the challenge of helping individuals and institutions learn together better.  What skills do people need to be effective in new roles in new institutions, and what will be the best ways for individuals and institutions to learn together? The emerging transdiscipline of service science provides a framework for the study of service systems (individuals and institutions) and the co-evolution of technology (smarter infrastructure) and notions of quality-of-life (shared cultural information).    To improve quality-of-life and the innovativeness, equity, sustainability, and resiliency of regions around the world,  new ways must be found for  individuals and institutions to learn together.

Carina Wong

Carina Wong has worked in education at the national, state, and local levels for over twenty years.  She served as the Director of Youth Policy and Education at the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, DC where she focused on improving the educational outcomes for out-of-school youth.  She also served as the Director of the Assessment and Accountability for the Pennsylvania Department of Education during the No Child Left Behind reforms.  She worked in the Philadelphia School District on a major reform effort, as well as has dedicated her career to improving school lunches and creating edible schoolyards nationally as the Executive Director of the Chez Panisse Foundation in Berkeley, CA.  Carina served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa and trained Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana from 2000-2003.  She is a mother of three young children a200nd currently the Deputy Director of Education for the College Ready Work team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her portfolio includes investments in both teacher and student supports.
Technology, teachers and tensions
This session will describe some of the investments the Gates Foundation is making to support teachers and students as they implement the new Common Core State Standards and teacher effectiveness systems that have swept across the country.  What have we learned about getting teachers to go towards change rather than away from it?  How can we get teachers to go towards new technologies like ITS and games?  What will the impact of these new technologies be on their practice and next generation schooling? How might ITS play a role in teacher training and ongoing development? Join us in the conversation.