The 14th APEC-Khon Kaen International Conference 2019

Khon Kaen University holds the APEC Conference that accents ASEAN Education development with scholars from 10 countries looking at the future curricula based on AI and the Education Transformation strategy

     November 18-20, 2019 – Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences, Research and Innovation and Khon Kaen University by the Institute for Research and Development of Teacher Profession for ASEAN and Center for Mathematics Study organized the 14th APEC-Khon Kaen International Conference 2019 under the title, “APEC MEETING IN DIGITAL ERA: AI FOR EDUCATION” at the Institute for Research and Development of Teacher Profession for ASEAN (IRDTP), Khon Kaen University. Participants included specialists in curriculum and AI for Education from 21 APEC Economy Zone from 10 countries. The opening ceremony was held on November 18, 2019 with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Intaraprasith, Vice President for Education of Khon Kaen University conveying the reporting speech and Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D. Acting Khon Kaen University President made the opening address. Khun Laksamon Samansin, Director of the International Higher Education Resource Utilization Promotion Group, Office of International Higher education Strategy, Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences, Research and Innovation made the welcoming speech to participants.

     From the collaboration of Thai and Japanese governments in APEC Human Resource Development, a Working Group for HRDWG was formed in 2006. There were 4 projects joined by the members, emphasizing the thinking skills for the 21st Century: 1) APEC Lesson Study : Best Practice from Japan (2006 – 2009) 2) APEC Lesson Study: Emergency Preparedness Education (2010 – 2012)   3) APEC Lesson Study: Cross – border Education (2013 – 2018) 4) Inclusive Mathematics Education for Sustainability in Distal Era (2019 – 2021). Budget has been allocated from APEC Central Fund, MEXT, Japan CRICED, University of Tsukuba, Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences, Research and Innovation and Khon Kaen University. This conference was the first conference of the 4th project in education and was cooperated by Institute for Research and Development of Teacher Profession for ASEAN (IRDTP), and the Research Center for Mathematic Study was responsible for the meeting under the topic, “APEC-KKU Meeting in Digital Era: AI for Education”. 

     Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D. Acting Khon Kaen University President revealed in the interview with the media after the opening ceremony that artificial intelligence has become part of our lives and will even increase in the future. Therefore, we have to prepare human resources that know, understand and see the importance of education from all levels starting from kindergarten. The conference picked up this issue for exchanging of ideas and to find the conclusion for the education for our children so that they are prepared in terms of AI. This will be supported by University of Tsukuba, Japan, Khon Kaen University, Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences, Research and Innovation and Japan’s Ministry of Higher Education, Sports, Research and Sciences. The conference has been organized for the 14th time this year. Japan and Thailand take turn in being the host. 

     Khon Kaen University has the Faculty of Education that has for a long time developed many important innovation projects such as in mathematics study. This is carried out under the Research Center for Mathematics Study, that has upgraded the instruction of mathematics at schools at various grades. The foundation of Institute for Research and Development of Teacher Profession for ASEAN is done to more effectively propel the role of KKU in this regard. There are collaboration with international network and development of instructions in many topics for schools around the country. This conference well reflects the role of the institute in educational development,” Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul said. 

     The conference featured special talks by many world class specialists, i.e., “Studino-Robot Programing Edition” by Prof. Masami Isoda, University of Tsukuba, Japan  Prof. Hee-chan Lew, Korea National University of Education, Korea  Prof. Roberto Araya University of Chile, Chile; “Statistical thinking: aims and school practice” by Prof. Ivan Vysotskiy, Moscow Centre for Continuous Math Education, Russia. 

     Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Intaraprasith, Vice President for Education related that the project has been ongoing for 14 years with the Ministry in Japan cooperating with Khon Kaen University and University of Tsukuba, Japan, that act as implementers. The topics are divided into 4 phases, the first being locating innovations, followed by disaster management, education with no boundary and AI for education this time. From now on AI will live with us and schools have to be able to tackle this. 

     “I intend to design a new curriculum that responds to thinking skill just like the computer. This does not mean turning human to computer, but in order to live in the world of AI, we have to understand its potential and what we have to add to ourselves so that we can live with it. For example, we should have creativity, human relation, or imagination. We are concerned that the present education may not be able to answer the changing situation. Therefore, we asked the world curricular specialists to meet with AI specialists. This results in the project being ranked the first of APEC this year as a 3-year series. This year we talk about the curriculum of Grades 10-12, next year it will be Grades 7-9, then the primary level. This directly answers Khon Kaen University’s strategy in Education Transformation, especially the issue of AI for All. It is also the new Platform of Ministry of Higher Education, Sciences, Research and Innovation,” Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Intaraprasith ended. 

News / Photos: Udomchai Supannawong

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