Reg’l confab weighs boon, bane of AI in education


The UNP College of Communication and Information Technology hosted the Regional Convention of the Philippine Society of Information Technology Educators (PSITE) held at the UNP Tadena Hall on May 10, 2024. The conference focused on the benefits and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education.

The event, tagged as “Revolutionizing Education in Region 1 through AI,” gathered over 140 IT educators from various universities in Region 1.

The UNP President, Dr. Erwin F. Cadorna, stressed in his opening message the importance of using AI with a human-centered perspective. He emphasized once more the need to not rely too much on AI.

“Let’s adopt a human-centered approach to AI. Artificial intelligence should not control us. Rather, we are the ones who use AI to improve and develop what we have conceptualized. It’s not AI directing us, manipulating us, and us being entirely dependent on AI,” said Dr. Cadorna.

Dr. Christine N. Ferrer, regional director of CHED Regional Office 1, was represented by Engr. Leonora F. Quarte, educational supervisor. She assured that the CHED fully supports the PSITE organization’s initiatives.

“Of course, you always have CHED as your support in terms of this endeavor because we are with you in capacitating our IT educators in the region,” stated Engr. Quarte.

Dr. Alvin Malicdem, chapter president, extended a warm welcome to the participants and urged them to join PSITE, emphasizing the numerous opportunities awaiting members of the organization.

The keynote speaker of this year’s convention was Dr. Gabriel A. Sampedro, founder and CEO of the Philippine Coding Camp and assistant professor at the University of the Philippines. His talk focused on “Reinventing Hello World: Perspectives on an AI-driven Approach to Programming.”

“What is artificial intelligence exactly? How can we take advantage of it? What are the various opportunities and challenges that await you on your journey?” Dr. Sampedro asked.

He detailed various issues such as data quality, liability, ethics, privacy, and job loss.

“Yes, AI is just a tool, it can be used for cheating, and it can also be used for good. So as educators, I believe it’s our job to teach our students how to use it well, how to use it to our advantage,” Dr. Sampedro challenged.

The first TechTalk speaker, Mr. Jemar Jude Maranga, founder and CEO of CodeChum, delivered his topic “Keeping up with AI” with a live demonstration on how to create AI in just five minutes.

Additionally, Maranga provided key insights on enhancing students’ problem-solving skills, emphasizing, “If we want to help our students keep up with AI, we need to focus on helping them develop their problem-solving skills.”

“Framework for the Future: Upskilling Micro-credentialling and Certifying” was discussed by the second TechTalk speaker, Mr. Felix Christopher Alegre III, country manager of Innovative Training Works Incorporation.

Alegre provided a list of certification exams covering prominent IT disciplines including database management, networking, and multiple programming languages that are geared toward IT educators and students.

Mr. Dann Angelo de Guzman, founder and CEO of CloudSwyft Global Systems, Inc., served as the third TechTalk speaker, elaborating on the topic, “EdTech 4.0: AI-Driven Virtual Computing Labs and Future Ready Technology Skills Credentialing for the Global Education Sector.”

De Guzman emphasized that EdTech 4.0 has emerged as a response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 with AI playing a revolutionary role. He highlighted the importance of integrating AI technologies into education and emphasized the need for accessibility to these technologies.

“It is a huge challenge for universities to fully embrace artificial intelligence, especially in consistently tracking verification, honesty, and compliance among users or students. This is essential for us to prevent cheating and the abusive use of AI,” he added.

Part of the event was the election of the new set of PSITE officers for the year 2024-2025.

Chapter auditor Dr. Reynald Jay F. Hidalgo concluded the event by thanking the CHED, speakers, participants, and the host university, UNP, for their invaluable efforts and dedication to the convention’s success.

Article by Ade John Gestole. Photo by Joel Fabillaran.


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