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iLRN2024 Proceedings (iLEAD and selected academic contributions) are now available at our Digital Library. Springer proceedings for Academic Full and Short papers will be available in the Fall. ×
  • Keynote & Featured Speakers

    We are happy to announce our first keynote and featured speakers for iLRN 2024! More speakers will be announced soon.

  • Keynote Speakers


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    Harnessing Generative AI for Innovative Education: Leveraging ChatGPT to Transform Immersive Learning

    Helen Crompton
    Professor and Executive Director, Old Dominion University

    The rise of generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT, challenges educators to rethink traditional teaching methodologies. This presentation delves into the potential of generative AI to revolutionize curriculum delivery, foster personalized learning experiences, and enhance student engagement through the integration of immersive learning. It also critically addresses the limitations and risks associated with AI tools, including issues of cheating, plagiarism, and content bias. By examining these opportunities and challenges, the presentation aims to provide educators with practical strategies for the responsible and effective integration of GPTs and immersive learning into their teaching practices. This approach will help cultivate critical thinking skills and ensure students become discerning consumers and creators of information in the AI-driven educational landscape.

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    The Emerging Role of XR in Communal Ecosystems of Learning

    Chris Dede
    Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Associate Director for Research, National AI Institute for Adult Learning and Online Education

    Advances in XR and AI are enabling community-centered ecosystems for lifelong learning that have niches with immersive experiences. In particular, immersive simulations that empower practicing sophisticated interpersonal skills can offer anytime learning and authentic assessment. In realizing the full potential of these developments, iLRN’s Community of Scholars will play a vital role.

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    Strategic Foresight: Redefining the Future of Learning with the State of XR and Immersive Learning Report

    Maya Georgieva
    Senior Director, Innovation Center, XR, AI & Quantum Labs, The New School

    Join us for a compelling keynote presentation that explores the profound impact of extended reality (XR) technologies on the educational landscape. This session provides strategic foresight into the transformative capabilities of XR, highlighting how immersive technologies not only enhance learning environments but also redefine educational paradigms.

    Dive into the latest trends and developments as outlined in the State of XR and Immersive Learning Report 2024. Gain insights from the 18 categories identified by the iLRN’s renowned global Expert Panel, poised to revolutionize educational practices by enhancing interaction, accessibility, and engagement through immersive learning experiences. This presentation will highlight key findings from the Delphi process, discussing emerging opportunities, significant challenges, and catalysts for innovation that collectively offer a vision of the future of learning.

  • Scotland

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    Immersive Learning in the age of AI

    Sara de Freitas
    Visiting Professor, University of South Wales

    Learning in immersive contexts is becoming a more central teaching tool for educators in the light of generative AI and immersive and connected technology. This is transformative for education. This talk outlines how the ‘quiet education revolution’ over the last fifty years has provided for the educational   infrastructures that have delivered educational improvements and social change, including near universal primary and secondary education and are close to universal university education for many. The next phase of the revolution will be more rapid and has significant implications for how we organize our educational institutions including what is taught and how it is assessed. This talk considers how new models of education will include blended experiences that utilise immersion and engagement of learners. Giving examples from past projects, this talk will provide a clear vision for the future of learning within blended learning experiences, outlining what educators can do, how policy makers can plan and what benefits there will be for learners. How we envisage the future of education will shape technological and social changes. 

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    Living in the Digital Heritage Age: revisit the past, reflect the present, reclaim the future

    Jacquie Aitken
    Heritage and Digital Curator, Timespan

    A discussion about the curatorial practices that enable communities to work together as equal partners with museums and digital cultural innovators to reconstruct historical heritage landscapes and sites. The discussion will touch upon the challenges and opportunities of using immersive learning as a powerful tool for social and environmental change. This includes addressing issues such as inadequate legislation in archaeology, the impact of colonialism in the Highlands, and the pursuit of climate justice. The immersive learning toolkit can transform static collections into dynamic experiences that challenge perceptions and enhance critical thinking processes.

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    Immersive Learning That Works: Research Grounding and Paths Forward

    Leonel Morgado
    Associate Professor with Habilitation, Universidade Aberta & INESC TEC

    Dennis Beck
    Associate Professor of Educational Technology, University of Arkansas

    We will metaverse into the essence of immersive learning, into its three dimensions and conceptual models. This approach encompasses elements from teaching methodologies to social involvement, through organizational concerns and technologies. Challenging the perception of learning as knowledge transfer, we introduce a 'Uses, Practices & Strategies' model operationalized by the 'Immersive Learning Brain' and ‘Immersion Cube’ frameworks. This approach offers a comprehensive guide through the intricacies of immersive educational experiences and spotlighting research frontiers, along the immersion dimensions of system, narrative, and agency. Our discourse extends to stakeholders beyond the academic sphere, addressing the interests of technologists, instructional designers, and policymakers. We span various contexts, from formal education to organizational transformation to the new horizon of an AI-pervasive society. This keynote aims to unite the iLRN community in a collaborative journey towards a future where immersive learning research and practice coalesce, paving the way for innovative educational research and practice landscapes.

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    Making Meaning Through Artistic Embodied Experience

    Steve Benford
    Professor, University of Nottingham

    Humans are meaning making machines, driven to make sense of our life experiences, relationships, wider world, and through these, of ourselves. Art can provoke meaning making by engaging people in aesthetically powerful personal experiences whose ambiguities demand interpretation. Meaning making is also deeply embodied, involving our senses, embodied actions, preconscious emotions, and fluid actions alongside conscious reasoning. I will present examples of working with artists to apply immersive technologies and robots to create provocative artistic and embodied experiences. I will reflect on these to articulate strategies for ambiguously glitching the mind-body to provoke meaning making. 

  • Featured Speakers

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    An Introduction to the IEEE Neuroethics Framework - Education Focus

    Genevieve Smith-Nunes
    Lecturer at University of Roehampton/King's College London


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    From XR Pilots to Full-Scale Deployments: A Roadmap

    Randall Rode

    Mirjana Spasojevic

    The Extended Reality (XR) Implementation Strategy Workbook can help higher education institutions transition XR experiments from the pilot phase to broad institutional deployments by guiding them through five strategic dimensions that shape the expanded use of XR technology in educational environments.

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    Project Belonging: Building Local Resilience in U.S Schools

    Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
    Associate Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University and Executive Director, International Interfaith Research Lab

    Project Belonging is a free peer-to-peer learning opportunity for students across the United States to pioneer and develop their own local initiatives to promote belonging, social connectedness, and violence prevention in their communities. With the support of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Education, Teachers College, your students will develop the leadership skills and knowledge to design and implement local initiatives to foster empathy, connection, and belonging, and then showcase these projects using a secure Metaverse space. 

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    Advancing Inclusive Education Through Immersive Technologies: Key Accessibility Considerations and Recommendations

    Sarune Savickaite
    Teaching Assistant at the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, University of Glasgow

    Inclusion in education indicates that all learners have equal access to education and learning opportunities: good inclusive education takes into account physical, cognitive, academic, social, and emotional diversity among learners.  Inclusivity should be prioritised in every immersive learning research agenda and practice, since emerging immersive technologies present both potential and problems for inclusive education.  XR technologies are uniquely positioned to reduce barriers and create opportunities for marginalised groups because they are highly adaptable and customisable to individual users and specific use cases; however, more research is needed to better understand these technologies and utilize their potential for inclusivity. I will review key accessibility considerations and recommendations in immersive education, as discussed in a recent report ‘XRed: Preparing for Immersive Education’ (https://www.gla.ac.uk/research/arc/xr/xred/).

  • Scotland

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    Immersive technologies for engaging museum visitors online and onsite

    Maria Economou
    Professor in Digital Cultural Heritage, University of Glasgow

    Virtual and augmented reality has been used in cultural heritage for several years offering a range of opportunities for presenting collections and engaging with audiences. Combined with digital storytelling, these have opened up opportunities for reaching out in impactful ways, especially to those not traditionally interested in the collections, or to reach more deeply those with prior interest. However, despite the technological developments in this area, the use of immersive technologies remains challenging to integrate appropriate in exhibitions, support appropriately the informal learning opportunities these offer, and be available to cultural heritage organisations in an affordable and sustainable way. Another challenge is supporting and not breaking social interaction in the virtual environment, which research has shown is crucial for the quality of the experience. The talk will address these issues drawing from the experience of recent research projects, like the Innovate UK Museum in the Metaverse and the H2020 EMOTIVE.

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    Our Endless and Proper Work: Attention, Autonomy, and Equity '4Good'

    Ken Bigger
    Director of Thought Leadership, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy

    That immersive learning environments never truly remove us from the “real world” means we must explore immersive learning as the curation and stewardship of learner attention. This is both a foundational educational issue and a foundational ethical issue. Notions of “the Good” within pluralistic societies, however, often remain implicit or putatively non-negotiable in ways that impede true equity and human flourishing (individual and communal). Drawing on examples from literacy equity work, we will advance an alternative to moral frameworks descended from Kantian liberalism, and discuss how this alternative can inform salutary design principles for programmatic and educational strategies. We will discuss the concept of "civic fluency" as the appropriate, inclusive, and dialogically-constituted goal of efforts to build educational opportunity and access. We will further explore the explicit and implicit visions of individual and community flourishing embedded within anthropogogical strategies, techniques, and technologies, and seeing whether these can be further refined in light of the civic fluency ideal and a vision of justice as general emancipation. Finally, we will discuss specific, practical applications of this question and build momentum for broader and deeper discussions of these matters in Chicago in 2025.

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