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Evangelization and Artificial Intelligence: professors, principals and Augustinians address one of the great challenges of the 21st Century

Updated: Apr 6

The University of San Agustin in Iloilo, Philippines, will host from 22-26 July this year an International Congress on Education under the title "AI-vangelization. New technologies, learning and evangelisation". 




The Congress will address the implications of Artificial Intelligence from the anthropological, ethical, pedagogical, administrative, didactic and evangelising points of view. 


Fr Javier Pérez Barba, General Councillor and Coordinator of the Order's International Commission for Apostolate and Evangelisation, on whom the organisation of this week depends, tells us about the opportunities that the congress offers to the directors and teachers of our schools - to whom the Congress is addressed - in terms of knowing how to identify the challenges of this new tool, which is transforming by leaps and bounds our way of working and relating to our environment.  


"I believe that the Congress can be a good starting point to realise what Artificial Intelligence can mean in the immediate future in so many areas of our lives and, especially, in the educational task, to learn to identify the challenges it poses, to know its limits and risks and, of course, to know how to take advantage of its potential". 





Five days to train teachers and headmasters in AI


The programme, which was set up together with the local team of the University of San Agustin de Iloilo, will consist of the following thematic modules:


During the first day, after the keynote address, which will seek to provide an overview of the theological implications of AI in education and evangelisation, Prof. Mike Woolridge of the Royal Institute of England will address the historical development of AI, its nature and characteristics.  

 

Daniel Gonzales of Don Bosco Schools, will then present the ethical principles that should guide the design, development and application of AI, as well as the emotional implications of aligning Artificial Intelligence with human values. 


On the second day, Dr Jasper Alontaga, Director of the Office of Online Distance Education and Associate Professor at De La Salle University Manila, will discuss the relationship between instructional design models and AI. He will analyse the role of instructional design in guiding the intentional use of AI in educational practice, on the one hand, and examine how AI transforms instructional models, on the other. 

 

In the afternoon, with the collaboration of those present, the limitations and risks, possibilities and potentials of incorporating AI into the field of evangelisation will be discussed. Mauricio Saavedra OSA, academic vice-rector of the Unicervantes University of Bogotá and dean of its Faculty of Theology, will approach AI from the point of view of Augustinian anthropology and pedagogy.




On the third day, the President of the Elizabeth Seton School, Dr. Roberto Borromeo, will delve into shaping strategic management to facilitate the systematic and deliberate application and optimal use of AI in setting policy, making decisions for operational efficiency, and designing dynamic teaching-learning environments.


On the fourth day, Dr. Nenita V. Habulan, President of CELPI (Continuing Education for the Learning Professionals), will discuss the revolutionary and transformative change in the educational landscape with the advent of Artificial Intelligence and the need to find a balance between pedagogy and technology. 


In the afternoon session, Dr. Miguel Q. Rapatan, associate professor at La Salle University Manila, will explore how artificial intelligence (AI) tools can help educators provide personalised support in critical areas. It will delve into the design, facilitation and assessment phases, where participants will gain hands-on experiences and insights to discover how AI tools enable teachers to go beyond the traditional one-size-fits-all approach and create adaptive pathways for student learning.


In addition to the lectures, the teachers and directors of our schools will have the opportunity to meet and exchange impressions in the various workshops and moments of dialogue, meet colleagues from other parts of the world and share knowledge and experiences with them. 


For the international participants it will also be, without a doubt, a week of cultural immersion that will provide the opportunity to get to know customs and traditions, typical dances and songs, to visit the most significant places in the host city and its surroundings and, of course, to enjoy the very rich and abundant local gastronomy.

 

If you belong to the educational community of the Augustinians and wish to obtain more information or to formalize your enrolment, please visit the following link:




About the University of San Agustin:


The leading Catholic institution of higher learning in the West Visayas region was established in 1904 with the support of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. 


Throughout its 120 years of existence, USA has earned a prominent place among the leading universities in the Philippines. 


The university maintains a level III accreditation status granted by PAASC, the Philippine quality ranking body for higher education institutions in the country, which places it among the top universities. 


Its marine biological research laboratories make the USA prominent in the search for alternative remedies for cancer cures and in the research of marine sediments for pharmacological and personal care products. 




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