The era of AI is not a story waiting to be written in the distant future. It is here and now—a reality that is unfolding at a remarkable pace right before us. To meet the competencies that are needed to thrive in the AI era of tomorrow, we must re-imagine, re-examine, and re-define what and how students are learning today. The vision of High Touch High Tech (HTHT) acknowledges this changing educational landscape and the skills that it demands; it also stems from the understanding that there can and should be a role for AI in education (AIEd) that does not diminish, but rather reinforces the importance of teachers. In order to provide students with a holistic learning experience that simulates the future world of work, content knowledge is taught by the AI-assisted technology (high tech) so that teachers can focus on providing active and relational educational experiences that cultivate students’ higher-order and socio-emotional skills (high touch). Only then will students be truly prepared to communicate, collaborate, and create with others in technology- and AI-infused working environments.
The time is now to incite a learning revolution that effectively meets the needs of more—and more diverse— students. The traditional classroom and the traditional way of learning—as we know it—has already failed far too many. Without a radical shift in the way that we design and deliver education, the standardized mode of teaching and learning en masse will only continue to persist. Learning must be more individually-tailored; at the same time, it must be scalable to reach many more students than it does now. Directly addressing these challenges, the HTHT approach features a mutually beneficial and efficient division of roles between the AI-technology and teachers so that highly personalized, adaptive learning can become a reality for all students.
Jointly hosted by Education Commission Asia, TV Chosun, and Riiid, HTHT 2021: Leveraging AIEd to Narrow the Achievement Gap in Education (HTHT 2021) is the first annual High Touch High Tech Conference held in Seoul from 29 June to 2 July 2021. HTHT 2021 convenes the typically-scattered actors across the edtech ecosystem—international organizations, governments, academia, foundations, edtech innovators, schools, parents, and students—to deliberate how to harness the potential of AI in addressing the global learning crisis further exacerbated by COVID-19. To this end, the conference strives to create a forum for dialogue and exchange that highlights the lessons learned from experiences with AIEd and HTHT, and that which ultimately contributes to fostering effective partnerships across the various sectors, levels, and dimensions of the ecosystem: education and edtech; public and private; local and global.
Recognizing that with greater communication comes greater understanding, it is my hope that HTHT 2021 be a place of learning from, with, and for the various actors of the ecosystem unified in the mission of innovative and inclusive HTHT for all.
Thank you for your interest in HTHT 2021, and we look forward to your participation.