Why children with disabilities are missing school and losing skills — from npr.org by Cory Turner

The fact that a district could struggle so mightily with special education staffing that students are missing school – that’s not just a Del Norte problem. A recent federal survey of school districts across the U.S. found special education jobs were among the hardest to staff – and vacancies were widespread. But what’s happening in Del Norte is extreme. Which is why the Lenovers and five other families are suing the school district, as well as state education leadership, with help from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

The district sits hidden away like a secret between Oregon, the frigid Pacific and some of the largest redwood trees in the world. It’s too isolated and the pay is not competitive enough, Harris says, to attract workers from outside Del Norte. Locally, these aides – like the one Emma requires – earn about as much as they would working at McDonald’s.

 

From DSC:
My wife does a lot of work with foster families and CASA kids, and she recommends these resources for helping children who have experienced adversity, early harm, toxic stress, and/or trauma. 


TBRI: Trust Based Relational Intervention — from child.tcu.edu by Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development

TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

The Connected Child by Karen Purvis

The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion. Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:

  • Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
  • Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
  • Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened
 

The State of the American High School in 2024 — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Over the past 120 days, we’ve conducted tours of over 50 high schools in more than 1,000 classrooms across various cities including Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Northern Colorado, Kansas City, Twin Cities, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. These schools were purposefully selected for their dedication to real world learning, positioning them at the forefront of innovative education. These visits showed schools leading the way into new pathways, active learning methods, and work-based learning initiatives. From our observations at these leading schools, we’ve identified 8 key insights about the state of American high schools.


We are on the brink of a significant transformation in how education qualifications are perceived and valued, thanks to a strategic move by ETS to make Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) a subsidiary. This pivotal development marks a shift from traditional metrics of educational success—courses and grades—to a more nuanced representation of student abilities through skills transcripts.

The partnership between ETS and MTC is not just a merger of organizations, but a fusion of visions that aim to recalibrate educational assessment. The collaboration is set to advance “Skills for the Future,” focusing on authentic, dynamic assessment methods that provide clear, actionable insights into student capabilities. This shift away from the century-old Carnegie Unit model, which measures educational attainment by time rather than skill mastery, aims to foster learning environments that prioritize personal growth over time spent in a classroom.

As we move forward, this approach could redefine success in education, making learning experiences more adaptive, equitable, and aligned with the demands of the modern world.

See:
Skills Transcripts at Scale: Why The ETS & MTC Partnership is a Big Deal — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • One of the core problems is that education is based on time rather than learning.
  • We finally have a chance to move courses and grades into the background and foreground powerful personalized learning experiences and capture and communicate the resulting capabilities in much more descriptive ways—and do it at scale

How to Help Older Students Who Struggle to Read — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Many students above third grade need help deciphering words with multiple syllables

Kockler hypothesizes that the reading struggles of many older students are due in large part to two issues. One has to do with “linguistic difference.” If a child’s family and community speak a variant of English that differs from the kind generally used in books and by teachers—for example, African-American English—it could be harder for them to decode words and connect those words to their meanings.

The Decoding Threshold
The other issue has to do with difficulties in decoding multisyllabic words. Kockler points to a couple of large-scale research studies that have identified a “decoding threshold.”

In theory, students’ reading comprehension ability should improve as they advance to higher grade levels—and it often does. But the researchers found that if students are above fourth grade—past the point where they’re likely to get decoding instruction—and their decoding ability is below a certain level, they’re “extremely unlikely [to] make significant progress in reading comprehension in the following years.” The studies, which were conducted in a high-poverty, largely African-American district, found that almost 40% of fifth-graders and 20% of tenth-graders included in the sample fell below the decoding threshold.


What Is Doxxing, and How Can Educators Protect Their Privacy Online? — from edweek.org by Sarah D. Sparks

The education profession relies on teachers being accessible to their students and families and open to sharing with colleagues. But a little information can be a dangerous thing.


 

 

Rise Of Homeschooling Is Making A Transformative Impact On Education — from forbes.com by Sarah Hernholm

In 2019, prior to remote learning, approximately 2.5 million students were homeschooled in the United States. This number has risen significantly, with estimates indicating that almost 4 million students are being homeschooled nationwide.

The homeschooling educational approach allows parents or guardians to educate their children at home rather than sending them to a traditional public or private school. Homeschooling families typically design their own curriculum or use pre-designed curricula tailored to their children’s needs and interests. In many cases, homeschooling is a choice made by families seeking more flexibility, personalized instruction, or alignment with their values and beliefs about education

 

 

Hello GPT-4o — from openai.com
We’re announcing GPT-4o, our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.

GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”) is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs. It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation. It matches GPT-4 Turbo performance on text in English and code, with significant improvement on text in non-English languages, while also being much faster and 50% cheaper in the API. GPT-4o is especially better at vision and audio understanding compared to existing models.

Example topics covered here:

  • Two GPT-4os interacting and singing
  • Languages/translation
  • Personalized math tutor
  • Meeting AI
  • Harmonizing and creating music
  • Providing inflection, emotions, and a human-like voice
  • Understanding what the camera is looking at and integrating it into the AI’s responses
  • Providing customer service

With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network. Because GPT-4o is our first model combining all of these modalities, we are still just scratching the surface of exploring what the model can do and its limitations.





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

Learning to Work, Or Working to Learn? — from insidehighered.com by Erin Crisp; via Melanie Booth, Ed.D. on LinkedIn
We need a systems approach to making work-to-learn models just as accessible as traditional learn-to-work pathways, Erin Crisp writes.

Over the past two years, I have had the unique experience of scaling support for a statewide registered teacher-apprenticeship program while also parenting three college-aged sons. The declining appeal of postsecondary education, especially among young men, is evident at my dinner table, in my office, and in my dreams (literally).

Scaling a statewide apprenticeship program for the preparation of teachers has meant that I am consistently hearing from four stakeholder groups—K-12 school district leaders, college and university leaders, aspiring young educators, and local workforce development leaders.

A theme has emerged from my professional life, one that echoes the dinner table conversations happening in my personal life: Society needs systematic work-to-learn pathways in addition to the current learn-to-work ecosystem. This is not an either/or. What we need is a systematic expansion of effort.

In a work-to-learn model, the traditional college sequence is flipped. Instead of starting with general education coursework or survey courses, the working learner is actively engaged in practicing the skills they are interested in acquiring. A workplace supervisor often helps him make connections between the coursework and the job. The learner’s attention is piqued. The learning is relevant. The learner gains confidence, and seeing their influence in the workplace (and paycheck) is satisfying. All of the ARCS model elements are easily achieved.

 

Learning On Purpose | What problem do you want to solve? — from michelleweise.substack.com by Dr. Michelle R. Weise

I quickly decided to take a different tack with my students, and instead asked each of them, “What problem in the world do you think you want to solve? If you could go to a school of hunger, poverty, Alzheimer’s disease, mental health … what kind of school would you want to attend?” This is when they started nodding vigorously.

What each of them identified was a grand challenge, or what Stanford d.school Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg has called: purpose learning. In a great talk for Wired, Greenberg asks,

What if students declared missions not majors? Or even better, what if they applied to the School of Hunger or the School of Renewable Energy? These are real problems that society doesn’t have answers to yet. Wouldn’t that fuel their studies with some degree of urgency and meaning and real purpose that they don’t yet have today?

 

Before The Year Ends, Audit Your Own Choices as a Teacher — from thebrokencopier.substack.com/ by Marcus Luther
Included: a reflection form you can use, if you want!

However, in my experience, far too often there is too little time actually spent considering and reflecting upon the choices we make as teachers.

So that’s what I wanted to write about today—along with a tool that I’m using refocus my own reflections around the choices I’ve made in my classroom this year.
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A couple other items re: teaching:


Positive behavior strategies: A guide for teachers — from understood.org by Amanda Morin

What you’ll learn

  • Why use positive behavior strategies?
  • What do positive behavior strategies look like?
  • How do I put positive behavior strategies into practice?
  • How can families support this at home?
  • Additional resources and research

Empathetic sentence starters for teachers — from understood.org by Amanda Morin
Learn how sentence starters can help you respond to your students with empathy. Get a one-page printable of empathetic sentence starters to help you get started.

Before jumping into fix-it mode, ask some open-ended questions and give kids time to answer. Try not to make assumptions or impose your viewpoint. Use sentence starters like these:

  • Could you tell me a little more?
  • Can you tell me what you need right now?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share?
  • Would you like my help in figuring this out?

Average Teacher Pay Passes $70K. How Much Is It in Your State? — from edweek.org by Mark Lieberman

For the first time ever, the average teacher salary in America has topped $70,000 this school year.

Teacher salaries are growing faster than at any previous point since the Great Recession—but with inflation factored in, teachers still take home less on average than they did a decade ago, according to the nation’s largest teachers’ union.

The nationwide average teacher salary during the 2023-24 school year is $71,699, the National Education Association estimates in its annual report that ranks and analyzes teacher pay by state.

 


Information Age vs Generation Age Technologies for Learning — from opencontent.org by David Wiley

Remember (emphasis DSC)

  • the internet eliminated time and place as barriers to education, and
  • generative AI eliminates access to expertise as a barrier to education.

Just as instructional designs had to be updated to account for all the changes in affordances of online learning, they will need to be dramatically updated again to account for the new affordances of generative AI.


The Curious Educator’s Guide to AI | Strategies and Exercises for Meaningful Use in Higher Ed  — from ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub by Kyle Mackie and Erin Aspenlieder; via Stephen Downes

This guide is designed to help educators and researchers better understand the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education. This openly-licensed resource contains strategies and exercises to help foster an understanding of AI’s potential benefits and challenges. We start with a foundational approach, providing you with prompts on aligning AI with your curiosities and goals.

The middle section of this guide encourages you to explore AI tools and offers some insights into potential applications in teaching and research. Along with exposure to the tools, we’ll discuss when and how to effectively build AI into your practice.

The final section of this guide includes strategies for evaluating and reflecting on your use of AI. Throughout, we aim to promote use that is effective, responsible, and aligned with your educational objectives. We hope this resource will be a helpful guide in making informed and strategic decisions about using AI-powered tools to enhance teaching and learning and research.


Annual Provosts’ Survey Shows Need for AI Policies, Worries Over Campus Speech — from insidehighered.com by Ryan Quinn
Many institutions are not yet prepared to help their faculty members and students navigate artificial intelligence. That’s just one of multiple findings from Inside Higher Ed’s annual survey of chief academic officers.

Only about one in seven provosts said their colleges or universities had reviewed the curriculum to ensure it will prepare students for AI in their careers. Thuswaldner said that number needs to rise. “AI is here to stay, and we cannot put our heads in the sand,” he said. “Our world will be completely dominated by AI and, at this point, we ain’t seen nothing yet.”


Is GenAI in education more of a Blackberry or iPhone? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s been a rush to incorporate generative AI into every aspect of education, from K-12 to university courses. But is the technology mature enough to support the tools that rely on it?

In other words, it’s going to mean investing in concepts, not products.

This, to me, is at the heart of an “iPhone mindset” as opposed to a “Blackberry mindset” when it comes to AI in education — an approach that avoids hard wiring in constantly changing technologies, and that builds experimentation and innovation into the very DNA of learning.

For all my concerns here though, maybe there is something to being inspired by the Blackberry/iPhone analogy — not as a playbook for developing and using AI in education, but as a mindset that embraces innovation while avoiding becoming locked in to apps that are detrimentally unreliable and that ultimately lead to dead ends.


Do teachers spot AI? Evaluating the detectability of AI-generated texts among student essays — from sciencedirect.com by Johanna Fleckenstein, Jennifer Meyer, Thorben Jansen, Stefan D. Keller, Olaf Köller, and Jens Möller

Highlights

  • Randomized-controlled experiments investigating novice and experienced teachers’ ability to identify AI-generated texts.
  • Generative AI can simulate student essay writing in a way that is undetectable for teachers.
  • Teachers are overconfident in their source identification.
  • AI-generated essays tend to be assessed more positively than student-written texts.

Can Using a Grammar Checker Set Off AI-Detection Software? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
A college student says she was falsely accused of cheating, and her story has gone viral. Where is the line between acceptable help and cheating with AI?


Use artificial intelligence to get your students thinking critically — from timeshighereducation.com by Urbi Ghosh
When crafting online courses, teaching critical thinking skills is crucial. Urbi Ghosh shows how generative AI can shape how educators can approach this


ChatGPT shaming is a thing – and it shouldn’t be — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s a growing tension between early and creative adopters of text based generative AI and those who equate its use with cheating. And when this leads to shaming, it’s a problem.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This will sound familiar to anyone who’s incorporating generative AI into their professional workflows. But there are still many people who haven’t used apps like ChatGPT, are largely unaware of what they do, and are suspicious of them. And yet they’ve nevertheless developed strong opinions around how they should and should not be used.

From DSC:
Yes…that sounds like how many faculty members viewed online learning, even though they had never taught online before.

 

Educators help children and teens learn how to identify fake news — from WMUK.org by Kalloli Bhatt and Sue Ellen Christian

Last year at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, kids could learn about how misinformation is made and how to avoid it. Now the media scholar behind the exhibit is adapting it for libraries.

A new exhibit for libraries

That concern also drove the “Wonder Media” exhibit that ran through last year at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Sue Ellen Christian is a communications professor at Western Michigan University. The exhibit was her idea. Full disclosure: I’m a former student of Christian’s. We met in her office on campus.

“It’s really important for our entire society to think about the importance of facts and truth to a democracy,” said Christian. “And without an informed citizenry, we cannot have a healthy democracy.”

Christian recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, based in Washington D.C., to adapt the Wonder Media exhibit for public libraries. It’s designed to reach middle-school-age children.

Mainly, with her grant, Christian wants to develop something for students whose schools do not have librarians anymore. The website associated with the exhibit has resources for students, teachers, and libraries.

 

ChatGPT remembers who you are — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com |Brainyacts #191

OpenAI rolls out Memory feature for ChatGPT
OpenAI has introduced a cool update for ChatGPT (rolling out to paid and free users – but not in the EU or Korea), enabling the AI to remember user-specific details across sessions. This memory feature enhances personalization and efficiency, making your interactions with ChatGPT more relevant and engaging.

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Key Features

  1. Automatic Memory Tracking
    • ChatGPT now automatically records information from your interactions such as preferences, interests, and plans. This allows the AI to refine its responses over time, making each conversation increasingly tailored to you.
  2. Enhanced Personalization
    • The more you interact with ChatGPT, the better it understands your needs and adapts its responses accordingly. This personalization improves the relevance and efficiency of your interactions, whether you’re asking for daily tasks or discussing complex topics.
  3. Memory Management Options
    • You have full control over this feature. You can view what information is stored, toggle the memory on or off, and delete specific data or all memory entries, ensuring your privacy and preferences are respected.




From DSC:
The ability of AI-based applications to remember things about us will have major and positive ramifications for us when we think about learning-related applications of AI.


 

Are two teachers better than one? More schools say yes to team teaching — from hechingerreport.org by Neal Morton
Early research shows it cuts turnover and improves teachers’ job satisfaction

The model, known as team teaching, isn’t new. It dates back to the 1960s. But Arizona State University resurrected the approach, in which teachers share large groups of students, as a way to rebrand the teaching profession and make it more appealing to prospective educators.

In Mesa, teachers working on a team leave their profession at lower rates, receive higher evaluations and are more likely to recommend teaching to a friend.

Early research also indicates students assigned to educator teams made more growth in reading and passed Algebra I at higher rates than their peers.


Question: What Early Advice Had a Lasting Impact on Your Teaching? — from edutopia.org
Share the pivotal advice that shaped your teaching and learn from others in our community.


What Districts With the Worst Attendance Have in Common — from edweek.org by Sarah D. Sparks

It is tough to bring students back to the classroom once chronic absenteeism rates begin to climb. As more districts struggle with historically high absenteeism, new research suggests they may need a more systemic approach to reengaging students.

A new working paper on Michigan schools released by the Annenberg Center found most school districts with severe attendance problems did not directly address absenteeism when planning school improvement strategies. Among those that did focus on improving attendance, few coordinated their interventions across schools and aligned interventions to combat the specific barriers keeping students from school.

“If you think about the reasons that families are missing school, informing families about their children’s attendance is certainly important, but it’s not like the primary driver of absenteeism,” Singer said, “so there’s a disconnect.”


3 Strategies for Successfully Starting Your Career as a School Leader — from edutopia.org by Alexandra Auriemma
An assistant principal near the end of her second year in the job shares her advice for those moving into leadership roles.

However, I’ve learned that effective leadership isn’t about having all of the answers; it’s about knowing which questions to ask. Effective leaders listen deeply and ask questions that shape people’s thinking, moving the organization from where it is to where it needs to go. 


Building Better Schools: The art of leading change in education — from gettingsmart.com by Tyler Thigpen

Today’s K12 students are spending the vast majority of their time in classrooms listening to answers to questions they did not ask and following rules they did not have a hand in making. Given that this dynamic goes on for years, what is it doing to students’ minds and spirits? To their agency and empowerment? Are we unintentionally graduating dependent young adults?

But what if the opposite were true? What if schools empowered children to flourish? What if schools were the places where they could explore, identify, express, and develop their thoughts, feelings, and goals? There’s power in the uniqueness of every child. It’s time that school designs honor students’ unique calling, preferences, and goals, and encourage them to pursue those. It’s time to move fully into a new era for learning where learners can develop greater self-leadership than ever before.

 

 

 

Description:

I recently created an AI version of myself—REID AI—and recorded a Q&A to see how this digital twin might challenge me in new ways. The video avatar is generated by Hour One, its voice was created by Eleven Labs, and its persona—the way that REID AI formulates responses—is generated from a custom chatbot built on GPT-4 that was trained on my books, speeches, podcasts and other content that I’ve produced over the last few decades. I decided to interview it to test its capability and how closely its responses match—and test—my thinking. Then, REID AI asked me some questions on AI and technology. I thought I would hate this, but I’ve actually ended up finding the whole experience interesting and thought-provoking.


From DSC:
This ability to ask questions of a digital twin is very interesting when you think about it in terms of “interviewing” a historical figure. I believe character.ai provides this kind of thing, but I haven’t used it much.


 

The AI Tools in Education Database — from aitoolsdirectory.notion.site; via George Siemens

Since AI in education has been moving at the speed of light, we built this AI Tools in Education database to keep track of the most recent AI tools in education and the changes that are happening every day. This database is intended to be a community resource for educators, researchers, students, and other edtech specialists looking to stay up to date. This is a living document, so be sure to come back for regular updates.


Another Workshop for Faculty and Staff — from aiedusimplified.substack.com by Lance Eaton
A recent workshop with some adjustments.

The day started out with a short talk about AI (slides). Some of it is my usual schtick where I do a bit of Q&A with folks around myths and misunderstandings of generative AI in order to establish some common ground. These are often useful both in setting the tone and giving folks a sense of how I come to explore generative AI: with a mixture of humor, concern, curiosity, and of course, cat pics.

From there, we launched into a series of mini-workshops where folks had time to first play around with some previously created prompts around teaching and learning before moving onto prompts for administrative work. The prompts and other support materials are in this Workshop Resource Document. The goal was to just get them into using one or more AI tools with some useful prompts so they can learn more about its capabilities.


The Edtech Insiders Rundown of ASU+GSV 2024 — from edtechinsiders.substack.com by by Sarah Morin, Alex Sarlin, and Ben Kornell
And more on Edtech Insiders+, upcoming events, Gauth, AI Reading Tutors, The Artificial Intelligence Interdisciplinary Institute, and TeachAI Policy Resources

Alex Sarlin

4. Everyone is Edtech Now
This year, in addition to investors, entrepreneurs, educators, school leaders, university admins, non-profits, publishers, and operators from countless edtech startups and incumbents, there were some serious big tech companies in attendance like Meta, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, Tiktok, and Canva. Additionally, a horde of management consultancies, workforce organizations, mental health orgs, and filmmakers were in attendance.

Edtech continues to expand as an industry category and everyone is getting involved.


Ep 18 | Rethinking Education, Lessons to Unlearn, Become a Generalist, & More — Ana Lorena Fábrega — from mishadavinci.substack.com by Misha da Vinci

It was such a delight to chat with Ana. She’s brilliant and passionate, a talented educator, and an advocate for better ways of learning for children and adults. We cover ways to transform schools so that students get real-world skills, learn resilience and how to embrace challenges, and are prepared for an unpredictable future. And we go hard on why we must keep learning no matter our age, become generalists, and leverage technology in order to adapt to the fast-changing world.

Misha also featured an item re: the future of schooling and it contained this graphic:


Texas is replacing thousands of human exam graders with AI — from theverge.com by Jess Weatherbed

The Texas Tribune reports an “automated scoring engine” that utilizes natural language processing — the technology that enables chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to understand and communicate with users — is being rolled out by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to grade open-ended questions on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. The agency is expecting the system to save $15–20 million per year by reducing the need for temporary human scorers, with plans to hire under 2,000 graders this year compared to the 6,000 required in 2023.


Debating About AI: An Easy Path to AI Awareness and Basic Literacy — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
If you are an organization committed to AI literacy, consider sponsoring some debate topics and/or debates next year and expose thousands of students to AI literacy.

Resolved: Teachers should integrate generative AI in their teaching and learning.

The topic is simple but raises an issue that students can connect with.

While helping my students prepare and judging debates, I saw students demonstrate an understanding of many key issues and controversies.

These included—

*AI writing assessment/grading
*Bias
*Bullying
*Cognitive load
*Costs of AI systems
*Declining test scores
*Deep fakes
*Differentiation
*Energy consumption
*Hallucinations
*Human-to-human connection
*Inequality and inequity in access
*Neurodiversity
*Personalized learning
*Privacy
*Regulation (lack thereof)
*The future of work and unemployment
*Saving teachers time
*Soft skills
*Standardized testing
*Student engagement
*Teacher awareness and AI training; training resource trade-offs
*Teacher crowd-out
*Transparency and explainability
*Writing detectors (students had an exaggerated sense of the workability of these tools).

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian