South East Technological University’s (SETU’s) inaugural Digital Education Conference (DEC) 2023 is set to bring educators, researchers, and industry professionals together to stimulate debate on innovative uses of technology in an ever-changing education landscape. 

Over two days – Tuesday and Wednesday 12-13 December - delegates will dive into new collaborative ideation with practical and theoretical contributions and discuss emergent developments of ChatGPT, to illuminate the transformative opportunities of education in society. 

This conference also provides an excellent opportunity to present research or practice-related projects and create a collaborative network of digital educators.

Among the topics to be discussed are digital education, digital pedagogies, teaching and learning online, instructional design, inclusive digital education, leading digital education, expected trends and dialogue on generative AI, and challenges and potential long-term implications of emerging technology for education, research, and industry.

Some top names in the educational and political fields are included among the keynote speakers. 
First up is Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in the Assisting Living & Learning Institute, Department of Psychology, Maynooth University. The author of the bestselling Irish non-fiction book ‘Poor’ is the Principal Investigator on the STEM Passport for Inclusion project, which was featured recently on the RTÉ Changemaker series. 

The next keynote speaker is Dr Orna Farrell, Associate Professor of Education at the Institute of Education at Dublin City University (DCU). Dr Farrell is a fellow of EDEN Digital Learning Europe. Orna's research interests centre around digital innovative pedagogy and include online pedagogy, learning design, digital assessment, eportfolio, and open education. 

International consultant and expert advisor in education, AI, sustainability citizenship, disruptive technologies, Dr Daithí Ó Murchú is expected to also deliver an interesting keynote address.
Dr Ó Murchú holds the diplomatic position of Honorary Consul for Côte d'Ivoire to Ireland. His journey with education, emerging trends in AI, Robotics, 4IR, Industry-5, VR, AR, XR, Blockchain and Cloud technologies has led him to a deeper understanding of global consciousness, sustainable transformation, and climate action. 

Green Party MEP, Grace O’Sullivan is expected to share a fascinating insight into her work as an environmental and peace activist, an environmental education specialist, and an ecologist.
Grace continues her work as a peace and environment activist within the political sphere. After serving for three years as a Senator in the Irish Parliament, the Tramore woman was elected to the European Parliament in 2019.

Panel sessions are also set to be delivered by Sean Aylward, Chair of the National Training Agency- SOLAS and of Waterford Community Safety Partnership, Ciara Ni Fhloinn, SOLAS Flexible Learning Manager, Dr Michael Hallissy, founding partner of H2 Learning, Dr Tom Farrelly of GASTA and Senior Lecturer Academic Developer with the N-TUTORR at MTU, Claire McGee, Head of Education and Innovation Policy with Ibec and Pierre Peiclier - VP, IT Architecture, Data & Strategy at Sun Life. 
Speaking in advance of the conference, Dr Zeta Dooly, Lecturer, Course Lead, and Researcher at SETU, highlighted that reimagining technology in higher education both ignites the creativity of educators and learners and transmits people outside of their comfort zone. 

“Whilst cognisant of the transformative nature of education we are posed to access knowledge easier now than ever before. However, we are also gatekeepers of emerging technology, thus responsible for the ethical standards maintained in our society.

“As we move from augmented intelligence to augmented wisdom in pursuit of phronesis I am confident that this conference will enable much dialogue and future planning on how emerging technology such as AI needs to develop in a human-centric, transparent, and trustworthy way.”

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