OBT: AI Literacy Summit

The NJ AI Literacy Summit


One Best Thing
I posted about this in September (https://education.apple.com/story/250012642), and it’s absolutely awesome to see how this has grown in the months since.

As a quick recap: 

  • In July and August of 2023, I had the pleasure of joining the Apple EDU Team for NJ in two Webex webinars as a featured speaker on the impacts of AI on education. We discussed emerging AI technologies, their integrations into Apple tech, and their implications for teaching and learning (i.e. the growing importance of process over product, of authentic assessment, and of CBL).
  • Throughout the rest of summer 2023, I had the pleasure of facilitating AI Literacy PD for nearly 100 of our faculty members during summer PD days, largely focused on the uses, misuses, and risks associated with AI. Some of the most fun, practical, and memorable portions were, of course, the most practical -- like using Shortcuts to connect Siri to ChatGPT, and using AI generated media (like synthetic voices, images, and video) in the Apple creative suite (like iMovie and GarageBand).
  • In September of 2023, the BIG idea emerged: organizing a statewide conference on artificial intelligence in education – The NJ AI Literacy Summit

I’m absolutely delighted to share that since that initial post, the event GREW into something incredible… and on December 11, 2023, it was a resounding success! 


Marc on stage, pointing to the projector screen showing an old photograph, presenting at the New Jersey AI Literacy Summit.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • We hosted the event in one of our high school buildings, and opened registration to ALL educators in the NJ region.


  • By hosting the event in our facilities, we were able to keep registration FREE.


  • We welcomed approximately 500 educators from over 100 different districts across the state.


  • We were joined by a few incredible featured speakers who delivered keynotes on the main stage: Shiren Vijiasingam (Instructure’s Chief Product Officer), Shouvik Paul (Copyleaks’ Chief Operating Officer), and Amanda Bickerstaff (Founder of AI for Education).


  • We were able to offer OVER 30 CONCURRENT SESSIONS AT A TIME, THREE TIMES throughout the day! These sessions were facilitated by educators and emerging ed tech companies that are already using AI in innovative ways. 


  • Shout out to 2023 ADE (best class ever) Mike Clear who offered a great session on AI generated imagery), and to members of the Apple EDU Team for NJ for participating in the day!


You can check out the full schedule, featured speakers' presentations, as well as all of the event details, at ailiteracysummit.com (http://ailiteracysummit.com).


As I reflect on the process of organizing this event, my most significant takeaway is that great people are always the secret ingredient. There is no way that the NJ AI Literacy Summit could have materialized without the simultaneous and significant efforts of so many individuals:

  • An awesome administrative team and supportive board of education that saw significant value in the day, and contributed to its development in major ways... including the decision to make Monday, December 11th an asynchronous remote learning day for students -- freeing up teachers' schedules so they could participate, and freeing up the facilities so that we could host the event in one of our high school buildings.
  • Passionate colleagues who are willing to brainstorm, go the extra mile, and turn good ideas into great ones. (Our Local Professional Development Committees are remarkable forces for good throughout the district.)
  • Tech Mentors, Instructional Coaches, and innovative faculty members who are willing to explore to new ideas AND to lead the way. (A significant portion of the concurrent sessions that were on the schedule were facilitated by educators from our district.)
  • The awe inspiring leadership and enthusiasm from SO many educators across the ENTIRE STATE, who volunteered to present their ideas at the summit. (This was truly the lifeblood of the entire event.)
  • Thought-partners and relationships forged across other related interest groups and professional organizations. (I was able to borrow the expertise and experiences of colleagues throughout the state, which invariably contributed to the day running as smoothly as it did.)

If you are reading this and considering putting a similar event together, regardless of its size, the most nugget of advice I can share is to lean into your relationships with great people. (A little ironic, that the biggest takeaway from organizing a conference on AI is the importance of relationships and human connections... but that's the truth.)


If you've made it this far, I'd like to offer you TWO challenges. (Pick one, the other, or both!)

(#1.) In the spirit of AI literacy, leave a comment describing how you've incorporated AI into your classroom and/or your professional practice. This could be a new lesson, an innovative project, a novel integration of emerging AI tools with Apple tech, or anything else!

(#2.) In the spirit of forging meaningful connections with remarkable people, peruse the posts below and reply to at least ONE person that inspired you.

I can't wait to see what we come up with!

All Replies

Posted on December 26, 2023

I am so inspired to read this post. I am inspired to do the same here in Georgia and will reach out to you separately to get more information on how you organized your conference.

A1: On my quest towards providing AI Literacy to my students, I developed two projects. 1.) For my seniors - Identifying Indirect and Direct Characterization in Chaucer's Pilgrims of the Canterbury Tales (ELA Standards): Understanding Hallucinations in LLM's with Canva's Magic Media (AI Literacy Standards) . 2.) For my sophomores - Interpreting Unethical Behavior and Bias in Ender's Game (ELA Standards) - Interpreting and Identifying Unethical Behavior and Bias in Large Language Models: An examination of popular chatbots and social media apps (AI Literacy Standards).

For both grades, I had them complete a mini AI Literacy project on the top 25 most popular AI terms in Keynote.

A2: Donny Sorah (ADE2023) continues to inspire me. He continues to create scholarly content at an amazing pace since I attended institute during summer 2023. Paul Hamilton (ADE2013) continues to amaze me with his use of the iPad, Reality Composer and how he uses it with the iPhone and iPad.

Wishing you a wonderful 2024!

Posted on January 01, 2024

Yes! Super inspired by this post. Working on wrapping my head around how to do something like this in Missouri. AI reminds me of when iPad showed up on the education scene and Google and the whole cloud concept. I had a principal hand me a 1st Gen iPad and said - "Do some R&D. See what you discover." It is all about the creative process and new types of workflow. And how deep do we want to go with our thinking? How can we leverage AI for more?

A1: In my coaching/consultant role, I have found AI to be an amazing personal assistant. From writing scripts for animated teaching videos to ideation on real world learning experiences to digging deeper into learning standards to better understand what they entail. We are exploring as team how AI can help us be better educators, designers, and facilitators of learning.

A2: I follow the work of Sabba Quidwai for Designing Schools. She is a wealth of information and insight. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabba-quidwai/

Posted on January 02, 2024

Love those projects, Pam!! We'll have to trade notes. So curious to learn more about how you implement both of them. (Canva generates an image and the students analyze/unpack it for hallucinations and bias?)

They both sound like a lot of fun... and incredibly important in this new era of media literacy. One of our keynote speakers offered a statistic about 90%+ of content on the internet being AI-generated by 2026. Definitely creates a sense of urgency when thinking about the importance of teaching these kinds of AI literacy skills...!

Posted on January 10, 2024

Pam - I love your AI Literacy lesson ideas...I work in an elementary setting and am already thinking how we could adapt for our 4th-5th graders -- especially with identifying bias or misinformation.

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