Laura Boccanfuso is founder and CEO of Van Robotics, a social robotics company that develops AI-enabled robots and robot kits to promote high impact learning opportunities. Laura received her PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of South Carolina and later accepted positions at Yale as a Postdoctoal Associate in the Child Study Center and later as Research Scientist in the Social Robotics Lab. In 2017, Laura left her position at the university to launch Van and was selected a few months later for the 2018 Techstars Accelerator in Austin, Texas. Soon after, the company launched the smart classroom tutor which actively adapts to student skill level and attention while delivering standards-aligned, math, reading and SEL instruction. Two years after launching the first K-5 classroom tutor onto the market, ABii is now in use across 38 states and 7 countries and was named one of TIME's Best Inventions of 2020.
15 November 2022 | 14:30 - 14:50 | English | New modalities for Early Years Learning
Many students will struggle with learning at some point in their lifetime. Those who develop the tools to persevere despite feeling frustrated or discouraged, will likely experience academic success and are even more likely to succeed in endeavours outside of school. However, it's often difficult to provide that level of one-on-one support every day for every student, especially given the demands on teacher time and rigorous academic standards. Using AI-enabled tools can help reach more students each day, by providing highly personalised, social supportive tutoring for students in their classrooms. Further, the use of AI technology in the classroom can give students the opportunity to learn directly about key concepts that are vital to being competitive in the job market today.