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Tech driven, yet with a human touch?

My conclusion after Day 2 of The Learning Ideas Conference #TLIC2024 in NYC: It takes advanced human skills to deal with the complexity of today's world. And while we might dream of a Holodeck learning experience, I am convinced that we won't get anywhere without what - strangely - are called "21st century skills".

I experienced two interesting conference encounters yesterday. First, my session chair, Klaus, researcher and lecturer who formerly worked with Fraunhofer Institute, got truly excited about my Advent Calendar concept, which presents learning as a gift. This thought never had crossed his mind, he said. A member of the audience asked an excellent question, along these lines: What is the biggest challenge when it comes to convincing people that they should accept that gift?

Later, in the session I chaired, I suddenly found myself in an unexpected interview situation with a university professor and head of department from war-ridden Ukraine. Due to a technical mishap we agreed to turn his presentation into an ad-hoc conversational format. He started sharing what it is like to provide safe learning conditions for students and teachers in a war-ridden country. And while we needed to stick to the topic of the talk, it was inevitable that deep emotions came to the surface. And there we were, connected via technology, talking about a very scary, life-threatening, highly political yet real and human learning environment. And while technology made this cross-cultural, cross-continental conversation possible, we could not have mastered it without good communication skills, language skills, critical thinking skills, empathy, emotional self-regulation, open-mindedness, flexibility, and imagination.

The focus at #TLIC2024 clearly is AI and the future of learning. The most intensive learning moments are human. I am getting ready for Day 3. We're getting started shortly.


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