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State of Outreach 2024

State of Outreach 2024

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

We are thrilled to share the highlights from our recent event, "Outreach in the Age of AI: Navigating and Adapting to a New Educational Landscape," held on February 19, 2024, at the Thurman J. White Forum Building. At the heart of our event was the visionary leadership of Dr. Belinda Biscoe, Senior Associate Vice- President for University Outreach/CCE. This dynamic gathering brought together nearly 500 staff members (in-person and virtually) from across the College for a day of learning, collaboration, and inspiration.

Purpose and Context

 The event aimed to promote a deeper understanding of AI's role in education and encourage thoughtful exploration of its possibilities. Expected outcomes included increased awareness of AI's implications for education, informed decision-making regarding its integration into Outreach programs, and practical knowledge about leveraging AI technologies effectively. As Dr. Biscoe emphasized in her opening remarks, “‘Outreach in the Age of AI’" is not just a theme but a call to action, urging attendees to embrace change and commit to lifelong learning to keep pace with technological advances.” 

Dr. Biscoe's Vision for the Future

During her presentation, Dr. Biscoe shared that the purpose of the event was to promote a deeper understanding of AI's role in education and encourage thoughtful exploration of its possibilities and challenges. Her visionary outlook highlighted the imperative of embracing change and adapting to the evolving educational landscape. She emphasized the importance of leveraging AI technologies effectively to enhance educational outreach efforts, ensuring that Outreach remains at the forefront of technological innovation. 

Keynote Presentation: Ken Parker

Ken Parker, Co-founder and CEO of NextThought, an education technology and creative media company that deeply values education, delivered an inspiring keynote address titled "AI and Outreach: Shining Light on the Exciting Journey Ahead." Ken Parker is an innovative leader and forward thinker. With over three decades of experience in artificial intelligence, Ken is a respected AI thought leader in Oklahoma. His exploration of the transformative potential of AI in education, coupled with his emphasis on maintaining a human-centered approach, provided attendees with valuable insights and inspiration. Ken shared the benefits and value of integrating artificial intelligence in higher education, while also highlighting the inherent risks. His insights into the transformative potential of AI left a lasting impact on attendees.

Breakout Sessions and Hands-on Learning

After lunch, attendees participated in a series of interactive breakout sessions focused on AI and its innovative and practical applications in education. Led by industry experts and thought leaders, these sessions provided hands-on learning experiences and fostered meaningful discussions about the opportunities and challenges posed by AI.

Celebrating Excellence

The event also served as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of Outreach staff. From Years of Service awards honoring dedication and commitment to Innovation and Collaborations Awards highlighting exemplary programs and processes, we celebrated the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines Outreach. 

Outcomes and Reflections

Feedback from participants overwhelmingly affirmed the event's success, with many expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn, connect, and collaborate with colleagues. As Outreach continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of education, events like these serve as vital platforms for professional growth, collaboration, and innovation. 

Conclusion and Looking Ahead

"Outreach in the Age of AI" was inspirational and encouraged the audience to continue to embrace change, foster innovation, strive for excellence in education, and to navigate the challenges ahead with a view towards shaping a future where every learner can thrive in the age of AI. 

Stay tuned for more exciting events and initiatives from University of Oklahoma Outreach. Together, we are shaping the future!  

In the spirit of the “State of Outreach 2024,” this report was prepared using ChatGPT 3.5