CEI and aiEDU Launch New AI in Education Statewide Steering Committee for Colorado

December 6, 2023

Local and national leaders to focus on AI advancements and opportunities and explore the future of education in Colorado.

DENVER – As generative artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly reshapes how we learn and work, students and leaders across the education-to-career ecosystem are considering and adapting to the profound impact this has on nearly all aspects of education. Education leaders are seeking trusted partners and advisors to provide guidance on AI advancements and opportunities for learning that center equity for learners and workers who have historically faced barriers to advancement. 

In response, Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and the AI Education Project (aiEDU) are expanding their partnership and previous collaborations to form a new, statewide AI in Colorado Education Steering Committee. CEI is grateful to the Gill Foundation for supporting the launch of this new work.

CEI and aiEDU believe that equitably developed, implemented, and utilized AI can dramatically accelerate progress toward equitable economic advancement by transforming the quality of learning, jobs, and life. Through the work of the steering committee, CEI and aiEDU hope to expand the conversation around the potential and impacts of AI in schools, support collaborative and shared learning, and test and scale new approaches to using AI to shape the future of learning.

The steering committee will identify urgent policy and practice priorities and pathways to create conditions that foster promising solutions for AI in education in Colorado, specifically in spaces and communities that have historically lacked access to economic advancement. Members will also design, test, and share best practices and recommendations to position Colorado at the forefront of providing guidelines and best practices for education communities.

To support the work of the steering committee, CEI is also launching five working groups to explore priorities and elevate recommendations related to curriculum development, evaluating AI teacher tools, policy recommendations, advancing equity using AI, and improving the role of teaching. As a result of their work, the steering committee and the working groups will produce a statewide roadmap for AI in Colorado education.

The steering committee and the five working groups represent voices across K-12 education, including teachers, principals, superintendents, and school board members, as well as content specialists and individuals working in professional development, assessment, special education, career and technical education, turnaround programs, and library and media. Members also represent community and parent groups, higher education, industry, AI experts, philanthropy, and workforce state agencies, and the Colorado Department of Education. 

A group of cross-sector thought leaders including aiEDU, Cisco, IBM, MagicSchool, and SparkFun will lend expertise and insights into national trends, industry perspectives, and technology updates to support these groups.

Steering Committee Members:

  • Vinny Badolato, Education Program Director, Voqal
  • Joanna Bruno, Executive Director Teaching and Learning, Colorado Department of Education
  • Marsha Cody, Superintendent, Haxton School District RE-J2
  • Natasha Dillenburg, Art and Technology Teacher, Julesburg School District
  • Lisa Escárcega, Vice-Chair, Colorado School Board of Education
  • Graham Forman, Founder and Managing Director, Edovate Capital
  • Diana Jones, Superintendent, Alamosa School District RE-11J
  • Evan Kennedy, Senior Director Social Impact, Public Education and Business Coalition
  • Bill Knous, Director Charter School Growth, Colorado League of Charter Schools
  • Becky Langlois, Executive Director Assessment and Innovation, Weld RE-3J School District
  • Diane Lauer, Chief Academic Officer, St. Vrain Valley School District
  • Frannie Matthews, President and CEO, Colorado Technology Association
  • Sami Mooney, Educational Consultant, Colorado Workforce Development Council
  • Jessica North, Director, Clear Creek School District Board of Education
  • Ivan Portilla, Robotics and Data Scientist, Ricoh USA
  • Ronica Rooks, Professor and Director of Online Education, University of Colorado Denver
  • Beth Rudden, CEO and Cognitive Scientist, Bast AI
  • Krista Spurgin, Colorado Executive Director, Stand for Children
  • Tammy Sumner, Director Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Jennifer VanIwarden, ELA Teacher, Cañon City Schools
  • Antonio Vigil, Director Innovative Classroom Technology, Aurora Public Schools
  • Mai Vu, AI Program Manager, Innovation Center at St. Vrain Valley School District

Thought Leaders:

  • Adeel Khan, Founder and CEO, MagicSchool 
  • Alex Kotran, Co-Founder and CEO, aiEDU
  • Jahnell Pereira, Chief Business Development Officer, SparkFun
  • Christian Pinedo, Engagement Lead, aiEDU
  • Mary Schlegelmilch, Business Development Manager, Cisco
  • Shaun Wilson, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, IBM

“CEI has long played this convening role in Colorado — bringing together educators, industry leaders, students, and innovators on a topic we all know can be positively transformational to education. It’s hard to imagine a topic that needs this collaboration more than AI, because the potential to leverage technology to prepare students and reimagine some of the work of educators is significant. Colorado is a technology and innovation hub; this work can ensure that Colorado’s young people are ready to not only work in AI-impacted fields but lead in them.said Rebecca Holmes, President and CEO of CEI. 

Learn more about this work and view recordings of past AI in Colorado Education webinars here