Interactive sessions on AI-powered technologies: blended learning, metaverse, GPTZero


The synergy of UNESCO IITE and Shanghai Open University (SOU) contributes to the digital transformation of educational approaches through ICT- and AI-enhanced models. In order to complement project accomplishments and ensure the sustainability of the initiative, the partners united to deliver a series of webinars within the joint project “Promoting ICT Capacity Building and Open Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies”. The webinars were held from 15-23 February 2023 and covered several topics, in particular, blended learning experience and design, immersive learning in a metaverse, and an AI platform for teachers.

Webinar № 1 “Creating an Excellent Blended Learning Experience: Implementing Learning that is Digital by Design”

Keynote speaker: Sarah Knight, Head of learning and teaching transformation within the higher education directorate at Jisc.

The webinar covered the following topics: 

  • Moving from remote online teaching due to the pandemic to a designed and developed digital learning experience: what have we learned?
  • Tips for making the online learning experience engaging and enriching for students
  • Taking advantage of the opportunities that asynchronous learning can offer to enhance the student experience
  • Sharing examples of successful blended and digital learning models in higher and further education
  • Measuring the impact of online learning and benchmarking against other institutions
  • What are the opportunities that new and emerging technologies offer?

Webinar № 2 “Shaping the Future of Immersive Learning in a Metaverse and AI World”

Keynote speaker: Maya Georgieva is the Senior Director of the Innovation Center and XR, AI, and Quantum Labs at The New School.

The main theme covered:

This talk explored the rapidly changing landscape of education in the age of the metaverse and artificial intelligence. From virtual environments, immersive simulations, and AI-powered applications such as ChatGPT and Dall-E to the metaverse, the speaker highlighted examples of how the convergence of these technologies creates innovative learning experiences and environments. The audience also reviewed the challenges and ethical considerations that arise with the rapid development of generative AI and open social worlds in the emerging concept of the metaverse.

Webinar № 3 “GPTZero, an AI detection platform built for teachers”

Keynote speaker: Edward Tian is the creator of GPTZero, an AI detection platform built for teachers.

The webinar focused on the following questions:

  • What does generative AI mean for education?
  • How should teachers adopt or respond to generative AI entering their classrooms?
  • How should students responsibly learn about and apply generative AI in their lives?
  • How is GPTZero evolving from a ‘detector’ to a solution for educators, as we enter this new era of AI advancement?


Three online interactive sessions have drawn the attention of educators and education stakeholders across different fields and learning settings. They are expected to benefit a wide range of audiences as open education resources. The webinars can be used for training higher education professionals, presenting them with basic concepts of blended and digital learning models, metaverse in education, and generative AI. Finally, the sessions allow a better understanding of how to teach in an era of AI, what challenges and threats to foresee, and how to mitigate risks.