1 марта 2021  |  
5:50 PM  November 28, 2020

Sharply into "digit": TSU experts on how pandemic change universities

© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийSharply into digit: TSU experts on how pandemic change universities

TOMSK, Nov 28 – RIA Tomsk. AI will probably be the student's main assistant in academic and professional navigation in the future. This topic to be central to the #EdCrunch international conference organized by Tomsk State University (TSU) on December 2-4. Experts discussed how universities are ready for the future the day before at the "Education in the era of AI" platform.

Earlier it was reported that the #EdCrunch conference will be held at TSU on December 2-4. Experts from Russia and other countries, in particular Australia, Indonesia and the USA, will discuss new technologies in education. The main focus will be on the use of artificial intelligence and big data in education. TSU already has a lot of groundwork in this area.

"The #EdCrunch conference on new educational technologies is being held for the third year, and every year the interest in it is growing: more than a thousand participants have already registered. Tomsk on the map of Siberia and Russia is, first of all, an educational center, the main task of which is to determine the agenda of tomorrow.

The university itself faces a number of challenges. For example, education is becoming widespread, the number of students is increasing. They do not need to be physically present in the classroom - now it's possible to bring new knowledge to the world without losing quality. For example, this year we have applicants from Europe, the USA, Asia, who asked to be included in online programs", - TSU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Evgeny Lukov said.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
"The conference is a way to quickly get expertise on experiments, samples. In the course of such a dense communication, new ideas emerge on how to reconfigure the educational process (in accordance with the challenges of the time)", - Evgeny Lukov says.

- Why did they (applicants from Europe, USA, Asia) choose Tomsk? After all, the online format allows learning anywhere in the world...

Evgeny Lukov:

- I think Tomsk has become noticeable thanks to the purposeful work of the last 5-7 years to promote its products to the world market. Before that, we had competitive new knowledge, but it was not always available - partly owing to geographic reasons. I think that our progress in the rankings did not go unnoticed either: the 250th place in QS out of 20 thousand universities is still an important indicator.

Finally, something that cannot be measured by any ratings is growing - the university's professional reputation. This together opened Tomsk to the world. And through holding such conferences, we need to show that this choice is not in vain.

- Please tell us more about the main topics of the conference.

Mikhail Shepel, Director of the TSU Institute of Distance Education:

- There will be four main tracks. The first is associated with pedagogical design and digital didactics, the second is about artificial intelligence (AI) and adaptive learning, the third is about new platform solutions for managing the educational process, and, finally, the fourth is associated with the training of personnel for the digital economy and the AI ​​sphere.

A large number of experts are invited to each of the tracks. These areas are relevant for the whole world, therefore experts from more than 15 countries responded to our proposal.

We tried to do a lot of sections and events of an applied nature, for example, one of the interesting sites will be a round table dedicated to platform solutions for learning foreign languages. How can you quickly and efficiently improve your competencies in this area with the help of modern technologies, including AI (artificial intelligence)? We invited leading platforms - Skyeng, Ebsco - Rosetta stone, English Patient, Pearson and others.

Another interesting platform is related to the discussion of the topic of micro-content. Today the online education market is developing extremely rapidly: despite the crisis, this area is one of the fastest growing. And in it, in turn, the most growing segment is microlearning. These are small training courses of 40 minutes or more that pose a very specific competence without going into the history of the issue.

We should discuss the issue of developing such content, sharing it between disciplines and between universities, so that the teacher can effectively design his course of disciplines, and the student has the opportunity, even within one discipline, to create his own individual trajectory.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
"Already today many platform solutions present products not only for conducting synchronous classes in theory - laboratory classes in physics, chemistry, in principle, can already be done online", - Mikhail Shepel said.

Elena Drugova, Director of the Institute for Advanced Learning Technologies:

- It was important for us to attract good experts who will set the necessary degree of complexity of the discussion.

For example, Karen Nelson Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at University of Southern Queensland, confirmed her participation, she will talk about the transformation of the university in the context of the pandemic. Malcolm Brown, Director of the Educause Learning Initiative, which annually publishes analytical reports on the main technological trends in education, will make a presentation.

We are very interested in the section on pedagogical design and digital didactics. This is a fairly new activity. Recognized specialist in this field Chukwudi Ogoh from Australia will talk about how pedagogical design teams are created and work. All events will take place online.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Elena Drugova
- The thematic core of the conference is artificial intelligence. How is this area developing at leading universities? What are the main trends?

Sergey Orlov, Director of the TSU Supercomputing Center:

- The transition to "distant" made it possible to form a complete digital profile of listeners, because the amount of data has increased very much. This includes analytics from zoom conferences, and the ability to unload a person's movement along an educational trajectory from LMS systems. In general, the tendency in the world is that these digital profiles will form the competence profile of the graduate.

At the #EdCrunch conference we will tell about experience of TSU in how to profile entrants, students on the basis of their social networks data.

Many people know that TSU has launched a student employment platform, now we have integrated this system, internal LMS systems and HeadHunter, which allows us to recommend certain vacancies to students based on an analysis of their profiles.

- What perspectives of AI do you see in education?

- I think in the future AI will allow us to design an individual navigator of a lifelong trajectory. Today nobody knows how to live. We would like to ask for advice - from parents, friends, a psychologist ... Why don't we ask it from the machine?

Such a navigator, it seems to me, will allow a person to build his life trajectory with a sufficiently high degree of forecasting. Some of the tools of this system have already been launched at TSU, and we will be doing such add-ons constantly, piece by piece.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Sergey Orlov
- Young people easily perceive technology. How do teachers treat them?

Svetlana Veledinskaya, Director of the TSU Center for Advanced Studies and Retraining:

- Now there is no teacher who believes that after the pandemic everything will be the same. "Digit" is rapidly changing our lives, and the task today is to make a high-quality educational process using digital technologies. The idea of ​​digital didactics is now relevant. These are the principles, methods, techniques of teaching using digital tools and in digital environments.

This seriously changes the teacher's competence model. Because a teacher in higher education and especially in mathematics and physics does not have a basic pedagogical education. The teaching model is always a word of mouth: "I teach as I was taught". Today it breaks down. There is no one to look at: how to teach (in modern conditions)? This requires didactics as a kind of complex comprehension.

The whole world is now building the competence models of a modern teacher. He should be able to own digital tools, not just Zoom, but all digital resources. The educational process is likely to be fundamentally restructured in universities: there will be a mix of classroom, independent, synchronous learning; learning in the university environment and going beyond it to different platforms - for example, the platform of the English language.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
"During the pandemic, we saw that our usual technologies, transferred to Zoom, do not give an effect. They give rise to frustration for both the teacher and the student. Therefore, new formats are needed", - Svetlana Veledinskaya told.
- How to retrain teachers in these conditions?

- I can give you an example of the professional development program of our center: all summer we ran schools for teachers - schools of blended learning, pedagogical design and so on. We reached such a level that we conduct programs for hundreds of people. And these are not lectures - these are technologies of group work, group master classes, special types of frontal work that engages each listener...

It is important to understand that the university today competes with all digital educational products. If we do not react to the fact that English can be taught in an interesting, individualized way, using an interactive platform for this; that the gaps in math can be filled with an AI-based digital tutor, we will die out as an education system.

Therefore, the university today is trying to build ecosystem solutions, connecting with advanced companies to redefine the educational environment.

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