TL;DR: Women prefer text contributions over talk in remote classes — from highereddive.com by Laura Spitalniak (BTW, TL;DR: is short for “too long; didn’t read”)

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Female students show a stronger preference for contributing to remote classes via text chat than their male counterparts, according to peer-reviewed research published in PLOS One, an open-access journal.
  • Researchers also found all students were more likely to use the chat function to support or amplify their peers’ comments than to diminish them.
  • Given these findings, the researchers suggested incorporating text chats into class discussions could boost female participation in large introductory science classrooms, where women are less likely to participate than men.
 

Making a Digital Window Wall from TVs — from theawesomer.com

Drew Builds Stuff has an office in the basement of his parents’ house. Because of its subterranean location, it doesn’t get much light. To brighten things up, he built a window wall out of three 75? 4K TVs, resulting in a 12-foot diagonal image. Since he can load up any video footage, he can pretend to be anywhere on Earth.

From DSC:
Perhaps some ideas here for learning spaces!

 

A bot that watched 70,000 hours of Minecraft could unlock AI’s next big thing — from technologyreview.com by Will Douglas Heaven
Online videos are a vast and untapped source of training data—and OpenAI says it has a new way to use it.

Excerpt:

OpenAI has built the best Minecraft-playing bot yet by making it watch 70,000 hours of video of people playing the popular computer game. It showcases a powerful new technique that could be used to train machines to carry out a wide range of tasks by binging on sites like YouTube, a vast and untapped source of training data.

The Minecraft AI learned to perform complicated sequences of keyboard and mouse clicks to complete tasks in the game, such as chopping down trees and crafting tools. It’s the first bot that can craft so-called diamond tools, a task that typically takes good human players 20 minutes of high-speed clicking—or around 24,000 actions.

The result is a breakthrough for a technique known as imitation learning, in which neural networks are trained to perform tasks by watching humans do them.

The team’s approach, called Video Pre-Training (VPT), gets around the bottleneck in imitation learning by training another neural network to label videos automatically.

Speak lands investment from OpenAI to expand its language learning platform — from techcrunch.com by Kyle Wiggers

Excerpts:

“Most language learning software can help with the beginning part of learning basic vocabulary and grammar, but gaining any degree of fluency requires speaking out loud in an interactive environment,” Zwick told TechCrunch in an email interview. “To date, the only way people can get that sort of practice is through human tutors, which can also be expensive, difficult and intimidating.”

Speak’s solution is a collection of interactive speaking experiences that allow learners to practice conversing in English. Through the platform, users can hold open-ended conversations with an “AI tutor” on a range of topics while receiving feedback on their pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.

It’s one of the top education apps in Korea on the iOS App Store, with over 15 million lessons started annually, 100,000 active subscribers and “double-digit million” annual recurring revenue.

 

 

Is AI Generated Art Really Coming for Your Job? — from edugeekjournal.com by Matt Crosslin

Excerpt:

So, is this a cool development that will become a fun tool for many of us to play around with in the future? Sure. Will people use this in their work? Possibly. Will it disrupt artists across the board? Unlikely. There might be a few places where really generic artwork is the norm and the people that were paid very little to crank them out will be paid very little to input prompts. Look, PhotoShop and asset libraries made creating company logos very, very easy a long time ago. But people still don’t want to take the 30 minutes it takes to put one together, because thinking through all the options is not their thing. You still have to think through those options to enter an AI prompt. And people just want to leave that part to the artists. The same thing was true about the printing press. Hundreds of years of innovation has taught us that the hard part of the creation of art is the human coming up with the ideas, not the tools that create the art.

A quick comment from DSC:
Possibly, at least in some cases. But I’ve seen enough home-grown, poorly-designed graphics and logos to make me wonder if that will be the case.

 

How to Teach With Deep Fake Technology — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Despite the scary headlines, deep fake technology can be a powerful teaching tool

Excerpt:

The very concept of teaching with deep fake technology may be unsettling to some. After all, deep fake technology, which utilizes AI and machine learning and can alter videos and animate photographs in a manner that appears realistic, has frequently been covered in a negative light. The technology can be used to violate privacy and create fake videos of real people.

However, while these potential abuses of the technology are real and concerning that doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to the technology’s potential when using it responsibly, says Jaime Donally, a well-known immersive learning expert.

From DSC:
I’m still not sure about this one…but I’ll try to be open to the possibilities here.

 

Educators Are Taking Action in AI Education to Make Future-Ready Communities — from edsurge.com by Annie Ning

Excerpt:

AI Explorations and Their Practical Use in School Environments is an ISTE initiative funded by General Motors. The program provides professional learning opportunities for educators, with the goal of preparing all students for careers with AI.

Recently, we spoke with three more participants of the AI Explorations program to learn about its ongoing impact in K-12 classrooms. Here, they share how the program is helping their districts implement AI curriculum with an eye toward equity in the classroom.

 

Stealth Legal AI Startup Harvey Raises $5M in Round Led By OpenAI — from lawnext.com by Bob Ambrogi

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A hitherto stealth legal AI startup emerged from the shadows today with news via TechCrunch that it has raised $5 million in funding led by the startup fund of OpenAI, the company that developed advanced neural network AI systems such as GPT-3 and DALL-E 2.

The startup, called Harvey, will build on the GPT-3 technology to enable lawyers to create legal documents or perform legal research by providing simple instructions using natural language.

The company was founded by Winston Weinberg, formerly an associate at law firm O’Melveny & Myers, and Gabriel Pereyra, formerly a research scientist at DeepMind and most recently a machine learning engineer at Meta AI.

 
 

This Copyright Lawsuit Could Shape the Future of Generative AI — from wired.com by Will Knight
Algorithms that create art, text, and code are spreading fast—but legal challenges could throw a wrench in the works.

Excerpts:

A class-action lawsuit filed in a federal court in California this month takes aim at GitHub Copilot, a powerful tool that automatically writes working code when a programmer starts typing. The coder behind the suit argues that GitHub is infringing copyright because it does not provide attribution when Copilot reproduces open-source code covered by a license requiring it.

Programmers have, of course, always studied, learned from, and copied each other’s code. But not everyone is sure it is fair for AI to do the same, especially if AI can then churn out tons of valuable code itself, without respecting the source material’s license requirements. “As a technologist, I’m a huge fan of AI ,” Butterick says. “I’m looking forward to all the possibilities of these tools. But they have to be fair to everybody.”

Whatever the outcome of the Copilot case, Villa says it could shape the destiny of other areas of generative AI. If the outcome of the Copilot case hinges on how similar AI-generated code is to its training material, there could be implications for systems that reproduce images or music that matches the style of material in their training data. 

Also legal-related, see:


Also related to AI and art/creativity from Wired.com, see:


 

Table of Experts: Trends in Higher Education — from bizjournals.com by Holly Dolezalek. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal held a panel discussion recently about trends in higher education.

Excerpts (which focus on law schools/the legal profession):

Anthony Niedwiecki: The legal profession and legal education are very conservative. Covid showed they can, and we as institutions can, change. At Mitchell Hamline, we were the first law school in the country to offer a partially online JD degree. We’ve had that experience since 2015, which has really helped us through Covid. But I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from our students through this process is the need for flexibility. We thought students would want to go back into the classroom at some point and be around people. No! They voted by the classes they signed up for: They signed up for the classes that were online. Some students want to be on campus, some online. So we’ve had to develop our program around different types of modalities we may not have given any thought to before. The students in the online program range in age all the way up to 73 years old. They’ve been in careers, they’re accountants, they’re doctors, they’re health care professionals, elected officials. The other thing is office hours — students like online office hours because it’s convenient, and they can be in an office where other people are talking and learn from it.

 The lesson I take from that, in some ways, even applying it to the law school, is having that partnership with people who want to hire students to make sure that they’re actually involved with the students. We’re finding they help mentor those students, help us make sure we have the right courses in place, and give them opportunities to do internships and externships. So we’ve been starting to partner with some national professional organizations that are attached to the law.
 

Your iPhone Has 26 New Accessibility Tools You Shouldn’t Ignore — from ios.gadgethacks.com by Jovana Naumovski

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Magnifier has a new Door Detection option on iOS 16, which helps blind and low-vision users locate entryways when they arrive at their destination. The tool can tell you how far away the door is, if the door is open or closed, how to open it (push it, turn the knob, pull the handle, etc.), what any signs say (like room numbers), what any symbols mean (like people icons for restrooms), and more.

From DSC:
By the way, this kind of feature would be great to work in tandem with devices such as the Double Robotics Telepresence Robot — i.e., using Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications to let the robot and automatic doors communicate with each other so that remote students can “get around on campus.”

 

It would be great to have M2M communications with mobile robots to get through doors and to open elevator doors as well

 


Along the lines of accessibility-related items, also relevant/see:

Microsoft introduces sign language for Teams — from inavateonthenet.net

Excerpt:

Microsoft has announced a sign language view for Teams to help signers and others who use sign language. The information on screen will be prioritised on centre stage, in a consistent location, throughout every meeting.

When sign language view is enabled, the prioritised video streams automatically appear at the right aspect ratio and at the highest available quality. Like pinning and captioning, sign language view is personal to each user and will not impact what others see in the meeting.


 

 

Homeschooling High School With Interest-Led Learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Also relevant/see:

This approach allows you to help them develop their interests, communicate that you see their interests as valuable, and it gives your child the chance to follow their own paths of interest. It’s an outstanding way to facilitate a self-motivated, self-directed learner and thinker. 

 

Stephen Downes’ reflection on “Every Student Needs a Learning Coach” — from by Nate McClennen

Excerpt (from Stephen):

The key to making this happen, I think, is to reorganize local schooling to take advantage of online (and increasingly, AI-generated) learning services, allowing in-person educators to adopt this coaching function.

Key points from Nate’s article:

  • As learning becomes more personalized, learning opportunities expanded and unbounded, and learning science research more robust, an updated and revised advisory role is more important than ever.
  • Redefining the coaching/mentor/advisor role as the educational landscape shifts is critical to ensure success for every learner.

Also relevant to using AI in education/see:

 

 

Can a Group of MIT Professors Turn a White Paper Into a New Kind of College? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt:

A group of professors at Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropped a provocative white paper in September that proposed a new kind of college that would address some of the growing public skepticism of higher education. This week, they took the next step toward bringing their vision from idea to reality.

That next step was holding a virtual forum that brought together a who’s who of college innovation leaders, including presidents of experimental colleges, professors known for novel teaching practices and critical observers of the higher education space.

The MIT professors who authored the white paper tried to make clear that even though they’re from an elite university, they do not have all the answers. Their white paper takes pains to describe itself as a draft framework and to invite input from players across the education ecosystem so they can revise and improve the plan.

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

IDEAS FOR DESIGNING An Affordable New Educational Institution

The goal of this document is simply to propose some principles and ideas that we hope will lay the groundwork for the future, for an education that will be both more affordable and more effective.

Promotions and titles will be much more closely tied to educational performance—quality, commitment, outcomes, and innovation—than to research outcomes. 

 

10 Ways to Give a Better Lecture — from cultofpedagogy.com by Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpt:

It would be an understatement to say that lecturing is frowned upon in modern teaching. At this point it’s almost become a cliché: Don’t be the sage on the stage; be the guide on the side. Ideally, we should stick to supporting students through inquiry learning, cooperative learning, project-based learning, and so on. I have personally advocated for ALL of these approaches, over and over again. And I do believe that students need to be active in their learning.

But does that mean we dump lectures altogether? At a time when TED Talks and online courses are incredibly popular, when our students get at least some portion of their instruction through video-based, blended learning platforms, and when most people reading this have probably learned something useful or interesting in the last month from YouTube, aren’t we all learning from lectures all the time?

I’d argue that two factors have given lectures a bad name: overuse and poor execution. Let’s look at these issues one at a time.

 

Taking stock as the world population hits 8 billion — from mckinsey.com

Excerpt:

November 13, 2022 Projections show the global population will surpass 8 billion people on November 15, and in 2023, India is expected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous nation. It was only 11 years ago that the world reached the last billion; these milestones generate considerations of resource allocation, food security, climate change, and more. Already, one in nine people can’t get enough to eat every day, even while 33 to 40 percent of our food is lost or wasted each year, according to research from senior partners Clarisse Magnin and Björn Timelin. As we continue to grow, how can we support an unprecedented population while raising the quality of life for all? Explore our insights to learn more about how to avoid a food crisis, common misconceptions around global migration, the future of an aging population, and more.

Also see:

EIEIO’s e-newsletter of 11/13/22  where it says:

This week on Tuesday, it’s projected that a baby will be born somewhere on Planet Earth that brings the population to 8 billion people. Notably, the global population reached 7 billion people just eleven years ago. When I was born, in 1962, there was 3 billion people, and the United States had a population of 180 million versus roughly 335 million today.

.

What we know from Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman out of the University of Chicago is that $1 invested in early childhood education produces a $7 return in economic gain. Moreover, while investment in education produces a compelling return at all stages, the earlier you invest in education, the higher the return.

 

The Digital Divide 2.0: Navigating Digital Equity and Health Equity in Education — from edsurge.com by Mordecai I. Brownlee

Excerpt:

Luckily, we don’t have to do this work alone. Mainstream awareness of the access gap is growing, which has encouraged corporations like AT&T and Comcast and organizations like United Way to respond by creating employee and community campaigns to bring forth solutions.

Such awareness has also inspired a surge in federal, state and local governments discussing solutions and infrastructure upgrades. For example, nationally, the Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program aimed at providing affordable broadband access for work, school, health care and more. It is important to note that participants must meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines eligibility standards to receive such benefits.

Also relevant/see:

Can Colleges Reach Beyond Campus to Foster ‘Digital Equity’ in Communities? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

So his organization is working with the city of Orangeburg and Claflin University to extend the university’s broadband out into the surrounding community at affordable rates. And because research from McKinsey suggests that more than 80 percent of HBCUs are located in “broadband deserts,” it’s a strategy that may work elsewhere in the country, too.

“That makes HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, and universities more broadly, really interesting and powerful partners in bridging the digital divide,” Ben-Avie said.

 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

From DSC:
This article contains some interesting ideas for professional development.

 
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