Panel I.04 — Laboratory teaching and artificial intelligence as instruments for an inclusive school
Convenors Lorenzo Guasti (INDIRE, Italy); Alessandro Ferrini (INDIRE, Italy)
Keywords Laboratory teaching, artificial intelligence, inclusion
This panel brings together experts in educational technology, learning sciences, and inclusive practices to discuss how hands-on laboratory activities and artificial intelligence can be harnessed to promote inclusion and equity in schools. As educational approaches increasingly integrate digital tools and focus on real-world applications, it is important to consider how all students can engage and benefit from these innovations.
Laboratory teaching provides concrete, experiential learning opportunities that can make abstract concepts more accessible. When designed accessibly with multiple means of engagement and representation, labs have the potential to level the playing field for students with diverse needs and backgrounds. Artificial intelligence also opens up new possibilities through personalized learning pathways and adaptive scaffolding. However, without proper guidelines and oversight, AI risks further marginalizing those lacking access or familiarity with technology.
The panel will explore best practices for ensuring laboratory and AI-based methods are truly inclusive. Present case studies of initiatives that have successfully brought more students into STEM domains through hands-on projects tied to their interests and strengths. Insights will also be shared on how universal design principles and human-centered design processes can yield AI tools that proactively consider issues of bias, accessibility, privacy and ethics to benefit all learners.
Panelists will discuss strategies for teacher training, community partnerships, and ongoing evaluation to sustain inclusive approaches. Open discussion will address challenges such as the ‘digital divide’, varying teacher comfort levels with new technologies, and how to determine what kinds of support different students need to meaningfully engage with labs and AI. The goal is to map out concrete, evidence-based recommendations for leveraging next-gen educational methods to narrow opportunity gaps and cultivate futures of possibility for people of all backgrounds.
With sensitive implementation and rigorous focus on inclusion as the driving priority, the hands-on, personalized models of learning enabled by laboratory environments and artificial intelligence hold promise for empowering all students to succeed in school and beyond.