Professors collaborate with National Humanities Center to bring first AI & Digital Literacy educators' institute to KU

LAWRENCE — Roughly 18 months after ChatGPT’s release, Kansas educators are still grappling with the implications of generative artificial intelligence for teaching and learning. To give area educators space to share concerns and think through solutions to meet the challenges posed by rapidly evolving AI-based technologies, KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities hosted the AI & Digital Literacy: Toward an Inclusive and Empowering Teaching Practice Institute from June 3 to 7.

KU English professors Sean Kamperman, at podium, and Kathryn Conrad.
KU English professors Sean Kamperman, at podium, and Kathryn Conrad.

The program, developed and delivered in partnership with the National Humanities Center and co-directed by KU Department of English faculty members Kathryn Conrad and Sean Kamperman, brought together 23 instructors and administrators from middle schools, secondary schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities from across the region for a week of critical discussions, presentations and instructional resource and policy development. 

Teachers and districts in the greater Kansas City area have taken a range of approaches to AI, from open adoption of platforms like Magic School and Khanmigo to outright bans. Among the many points of discussion, the institute provided attendees the opportunity to refine or create AI policies for their home institutions. 

“It’s really expanded my knowledge of the opportunities and pitfalls of AI and has motivated me to find my seat at that table and ask the questions I’ve been inspired to ask,” said participant Elizabeth Ault, English language and literature teacher at Shawnee Mission West High School.

NHC Director of Education Programs Mike Williams at the initial session of AIDL 2024.
Mike Williams, NHC director of Education Programs, at the initial session of AIDL 2024.

The NHC’s Mike Williams, director of education programs, and Raven Ferguson, education programs coordinator, played pivotal roles in organizing and coordinating the institute, along with Giselle Anatol, Hall Center director, and Ann Rowland, a professor in KU’s English department.

“The NHC education programs team has worked with Drs. Conrad, Kamperman and the Hall Center to provide an engaging space where Kansas teachers could explore innovative ways to integrate AI tools and digital literacy practices into their classrooms,” Williams said. “The Hall Center and NHC will continue to collaborate on programming around the ethics and uses of generative AI as the technologies, and our relationship evolve.”

Sponsorship for the event was provided by the Hall Family Foundation and William T. Kemper Foundation.

Fri, 06/07/2024


Dan Oetting

Media Contacts

Dan Oetting

Hall Center for the Humanities