Overcoming Obstacles to Connection

A Humanities+Tech Approach

UPDATE 9/3/19: Read a recap of this event.

Technological innovation brings a cascade of implications for classrooms and informal learning spaces that we are only starting to understand. What are the promises and perils of virtual assistants and recommendation engines in today’s learning environments? Do we fully recognize the risks and rewards that come with access to digital media tools and instant sharing? Are today’s educators, librarians, parents, and youth prepared to make sense of the vast array of information and the increasing sophistication of today’s digital tools?

New insights about how to tackle these questions while also engaging today's youth are emerging from the writings and research of Nicole Mirra, author of Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning and Civic Engagement and Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Education at Rutgers University. Ensuring an inclusive and empowering education for the next generation will require a collective effort across a broad range of technology and education sectors – with an emphasis on hearing the voices of students and teachers. At our first event in the Connected Conversations series we welcome Professor Mirra and others, including special guests from YMCA Lighthouse, TeenBloc A+ Schools and Steeltown Entertainment to exchange learnings from the many projects across the Pittsburgh area that combine technology and humanities approaches to learning.

Please join New America, the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, and the CREATE Lab for a stimulating afternoon of sharing and conversation about the future of education. We'd love for you to attend to share your unique questions and concerns regarding artificial intelligence, personalized learning, and other automations in your teaching and learning context. Your ideas will help us grow our collective learning and find new questions to discuss in our region. All people and perspectives are welcome.


Kristina Ishmael @kmishmael
Senior Project Manager, Teaching, Learning, and Tech Program
New America

Nicole Mirra @Nicole_Mirra
Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Education, Rutgers University
Author, Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning and Civic Engagement

Laura Roop @LauraRoop
Director, Western Pennsylvania Writing Project

Examining the Future Of Education Amid Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
4:30 PM – Registration and Group Activity
5:00 PM - 6:15 PM – Facilitated Discussion
6:15 PM – Reception

Follow the conversation online using #ConnectedConversations and following @cmucreatelab, @writingproject, and @NewAmericaEd.

About the Humanities+Tech Connected Conversations Series:

Communities around the country are grappling with how to cope with the impact of new technologies and harness their power while preserving or rebuilding a sense of social connection and empowerment in their neighborhoods. In 2019, New America is embarking upon a first-of-its kind "connected conversations" series that explores how to use the tools of the humanities (including techniques used in the arts, history, and storytelling) to do this work, gaining a better understanding of both the implications of technology and of people's needs. Through events led by local partners that are focused on inclusivity and engagement, this series is designed to help forge new connections and help people envision positive pathways for human development and innovation across educational institutions, tech companies, libraries and museums, and the business community.

This series is produced by New America with communities in and around Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, in partnership with Remake Learning and other local organizations. Many thanks to the Grable Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for their support of the series.

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Other upcoming events:

October 5, 2019
Neighborhood Stories: Looking Into the Past to Map the Future
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Main)
4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
For more information and RSVP to this event here.