Last week, our Vice President of Partnerships, Ingrid, and Senior Director of Content, Joanna, attended the ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego. This was CSA Education’s first time attending, and it certainly did not disappoint! The Summit has become an important space in EdTech for networking, idea-sharing, and learning. It provides an opportunity to collaborate, share knowledge, and develop resources to innovate, using actionable insights and providing attendees the tools to create change.
I caught up with Ingrid and Joanna to hear more about their highlights and key takeaways from the conference.
What were your highlights from ASU+GSV?
Ingrid: There were a couple highlights for me from ASU+GSV. The first was the keynote on the opening night from GSV founder and CEO, Michael Moe. He had a really great presentation on the state of the industry and where EdTech is going.
Another highlight was meeting Eran Megiddo while we were in line for dinner! Joanna and I received some wonderful, impromptu advice on AI after attending his session earlier in the day. She will tell you that story. 🙂
Joanna: As a first-time attendee, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I definitely wasn’t prepared for everything to kick off with a group singalong of “One Moment in Time” with the world’s leading voice coach, Roger Love!
As Ingrid also mentioned, I found Michael Moe’s keynote on the first day to be very interesting. That was definitely one of my highlights!
Now, for the coolest story. There were over 7,000 people at the summit this year, and Ingrid and I happened to be standing in line right in front of Eran Megiddo, one of the speakers of a ChatGPT and generative AI session we attended earlier in the day. We had both raved about how great the session was because of the knowledgeable and engaging speakers, and the fact that we learned a lot about generative AI. So, I decided to tell him that. He asked us what he missed and should have talked about, so I told him. The next thing we know, he pulls out his phone to give us our own personal AI tutorial. He explained the way he uses it, showed us what to input (more details than I thought!), and described how to help AI give us what we want. We even asked AI for parenting advice! As a hands-on learner, who benefits from small-group interactions, this 30-minute interaction was the best way for me to better understand AI and all its possibilities. Prior to that, AI seemed complicated, overwhelming, and if I’m honest, a bit scary.
What were your main takeaways from ASU+GSV?
Ingrid: My biggest takeaway is the realization that AI is moving faster than other new technologies. We should be learning to use it as a tool to help us all do our work better. It isn’t here to replace people—it can be important in the work that we do.
Joanna: Certain topics came up everywhere: Generative AI and ChatGPT, teacher turnover, and personalized learning.
Generative AI and ChatGPT were discussed in every session and conversation, whether it was the topic of the session or not. There really is no getting away from it. One speaker directly stated that we should be using AI every day in our jobs, and not just jobs in education. That statement stuck out and has had me thinking about how to do that and how AI can be used to make my job easier.
Teachers are top of mind and education leaders shared their desires to support teachers, retain teachers, train new teachers, and make their jobs easier by giving them back time to do what they excel at: Teaching!
We all know that there is no singular path in education. Many speakers discussed the need for personalized learning to allow all learners to get the most out of their education. Students need to be able to have a say in their own learning experience, show their knowledge in personalized ways, and learn at their own pace. Through personalized journeys, students can get applicable support in certain areas and personalization can show students that we all care about their success.
A lot of people are energized and passionate about embracing innovation in education and workforce skills and paving the way for necessary changes. So many people, in fact, that Ingrid and I waited in long lines, arrived early to sessions to get seats, and ultimately ended up sitting on the floor for a few.
As one attendee put it: ASU+GSV is different from other education conferences because it brings together entrepreneurs, educators, EdTech professionals, and investors to share ideas about all aspects of education, not just one focus. That basically sums it up! There was so much to learn in such a short time, but CSA had a great experience attending various sessions, and hearing different perspectives on the hot EdTech topics. We made some great new connections and are already sharing information with our internal teams and applying some of what we learned to our projects moving forward.