Monday, June 17, 2024 - 10:14 am

Gov. Doug Burgum this morning kicked off the eighth annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education at the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College, highlighting progress made during his administration to support and encourage innovative education practices and policies to improve student outcomes and prepare students to be choice-ready for college, careers or the military.

The theme of this year’s event is "Navigating the Future: AI's Role in Education." Keynote speakers and breakout sessions are focusing on empowering educators to use AI as a tool to transform the classroom and addressing the challenges that accompany the technology.

In his keynote address, Burgum outlined the innovative policies and programs adopted during the past eight years to provide school districts with flexibility to enhance student-centered, personalized learning, including innovative education waivers, Graduation Pathways and a first-in-the-nation choice ready framework; significant investments in career academies, early childhood education including Best in Class grant awards, and behavioral health; and the creation of the K-12 Coordination Council as recommended by the Innovative Education Task Force created by Burgum in 2017. 

“With great support from our legislators, we have driven a lot of change to help our students be choice ready,” Burgum said, encouraging more school districts to utilize the innovative education tools available. “What we’ve done is try to cut the red tape so that innovation can thrive. We’ve laid a foundation for fostering this innovation, and we should be really celebrating how this working as one has created positive change, because we believe in innovation over regulation.”

The summit is being livestreamed on the Governor’s Office website. Keynote speakers today include:

  • Pat Yongpradit (yung-PRAH-dit), the chief academic officer for who is now leading TeachAI, a global initiative to provide guidance on integrating AI in education. 
  • Matt Kirchner (KIRK-ner), host of the weekly TechEd Podcast and president of ATS/LAB Midwest, a leading distributor of world-class curriculum, eLearning and training equipment.
  • Melody Schopp (shop), director of education industry consulting at North Carolina-based data and AI provider SAS and a former classroom teacher and South Dakota Secretary of Education from 2011 to 2017. 

The governor also will be announcing recipients of the #InnovativeND Awards throughout the day.