Effective Transitions for Preschool Students — from edutopia.org by Connie Morris
Teachers can use fun activities to help young learners ease into daily classroom routines.

We can help students deal with change by using transitions between activities as an opportunity to strengthen their executive functioning, resilience, and independence. Executive functioning development grows cognitive flexibility, working memory, and self-control. These are skills that require guidance and practice, as they do not come naturally.

By using positive language, modeling and co-regulation, we encourage children to be actively involved in planning and making choices. These important life-long skills also increase their social emotional well-being. Our support and intervention can be adjusted based on a child’s skill set and progress.


Tips for Promoting Calm in Preschool — from edutopia.org by Sasha Michaud
These strategies help students regulate their emotions, both individually and as a group

Here are some strategies for helping groups regain their focus during transitions:

  • Whisper: “If you can hear my voice, put your fingers on your nose,” and then wait to see how many children hear and join. Repeat with another body part, sometimes quieter or slightly louder to gain interest.
  • Ask: ”I’m thinking of an animal (or food, plant, teacher, child, etc.),” and then give three clues. The children listen closely and wait for three fingers to go up (one with each clue) and then guess. You could have them practice wiggling their fingers, or raising their hands to guess.
  • Sing: “I’ll put my tippy tappy fingers on myyyy… forehead!“ As you sing this body parts song, tap your fingers along different body parts and sing, sort of like another common children’s song, but do random body parts to engage the children as well as ground them in their bodies.

These games have saved me from getting overwhelmed countless times.


Using AI to Support Vocabulary Lessons — from edutopia.org by Monica Burns
Seeing AI-generated images of the words they’re learning can help boost elementary students’ engagement.

You can use a chatbot like Gemini or ChatGPT to gather a list of ideas for an upcoming lesson, but let’s take a look at how you can use generative AI tools to create images that help bring vocabulary to life. It’s a topic I’ve covered on my blog and podcast, and I recently had the chance to work with elementary educators in New York to put these ideas into action in their classrooms.
.

 

A New Digital Divide: Student AI Use Surges, Leaving Faculty Behind— from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
While both students and faculty have concerns with generative artificial intelligence, two new reports show a divergence in AI adoption. 

Meanwhile, a separate survey of faculty released Thursday by Ithaka S+R, a higher education consulting firm, showcased that faculty—while increasingly familiar with AI—often do not know how to use it in classrooms. Two out of five faculty members are familiar with AI, the Ithaka report found, but only 14 percent said they are confident in their ability to use AI in their teaching. Just slightly more (18 percent) said they understand the teaching implications of generative AI.

“Serious concerns about academic integrity, ethics, accessibility, and educational effectiveness are contributing to this uncertainty and hostility,” the Ithaka report said.

The diverging views about AI are causing friction. Nearly a third of students said they have been warned to not use generative AI by professors, and more than half (59 percent) are concerned they will be accused of cheating with generative AI, according to the Pearson report, which was conducted with Morning Consult and surveyed 800 students.


What teachers want from AI — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
When teachers designed their own AI tools, they built math assistants, tools for improving student writing, and more

An AI chatbot that walks students through how to solve math problems. An AI instructional coach designed to help English teachers create lesson plans and project ideas. An AI tutor that helps middle and high schoolers become better writers.

These aren’t tools created by education technology companies. They were designed by teachers tasked with using AI to solve a problem their students were experiencing.

Over five weeks this spring, about 300 people – teachers, school and district leaders, higher ed faculty, education consultants and AI researchers – came together to learn how to use AI and develop their own basic AI tools and resources. The professional development opportunity was designed by technology nonprofit Playlab.ai and faculty at the Relay Graduate School of Education.


The Comprehensive List of Talks & Resources for 2024 — from aiedusimplified.substack.com by Lance Eaton
Resources, talks, podcasts, etc that I’ve been a part of in the first half of 2024

Resources from things such as:

  • Lightning Talks
  • Talks & Keynotes
  • Workshops
  • Podcasts & Panels
  • Honorable Mentions

Next-Gen Classroom Observations, Powered by AI — from educationnext.org by Michael J. Petrilli
The use of video recordings in classrooms to improve teacher performance is nothing new. But the advent of artificial intelligence could add a helpful evaluative tool for teachers, measuring instructional practice relative to common professional goals with chatbot feedback.

Multiple companies are pairing AI with inexpensive, ubiquitous video technology to provide feedback to educators through asynchronous, offsite observation. It’s an appealing idea, especially given the promise and popularity of instructional coaching, as well as the challenge of scaling it effectively (see “Taking Teacher Coaching To Scale,” research, Fall 2018).

Enter AI. Edthena is now offering an “AI Coach” chatbot that offers teachers specific prompts as they privately watch recordings of their lessons. The chatbot is designed to help teachers view their practice relative to common professional goals and to develop action plans to improve.

To be sure, an AI coach is no replacement for human coaching.


Personalized AI Tutoring as a Social Activity: Paradox or Possibility? — from er.educause.edu by Ron Owston
Can the paradox between individual tutoring and social learning be reconciled though the possibility of AI?

We need to shift our thinking about GenAI tutors serving only as personal learning tools. The above activities illustrate how these tools can be integrated into contemporary classroom instruction. The activities should not be seen as prescriptive but merely suggestive of how GenAI can be used to promote social learning. Although I specifically mention only one online activity (“Blended Learning”), all can be adapted to work well in online or blended classes to promote social interaction.


Stealth AI — from higherai.substack.com by Jason Gulya (a Professor of English at Berkeley College) talks to Zack Kinzler
What happens when students use AI all the time, but aren’t allowed to talk about it?

In many ways, this comes back to one of my general rules: You cannot ban AI in the classroom. You can only issue a gag rule.

And if you do issue a gag rule, then it deprives students of the space they often need to make heads and tails of this technology.

We need to listen to actual students talking about actual uses, and reflecting on their actual feelings. No more abstraction.

In this conversation, Jason Gulya (a Professor of English at Berkeley College) talks to Zack Kinzler about what students are saying about Artificial Intelligence and education.


What’s New in Microsoft EDU | ISTE Edition June 2024 — from techcommunity.microsoft.com

Welcome to our monthly update for Teams for Education and thank you so much for being part of our growing community! We’re thrilled to share over 20 updates and resources and show them in action next week at ISTELive 24 in Denver, Colorado, US.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Educator features
Guided Content Creation
Coming soon to Copilot for Microsoft 365 is a guided content generation experience to help educators get started with creating materials like assignments, lesson plans, lecture slides, and more. The content will be created based on the educator’s requirements with easy ways to customize the content to their exact needs.
Standards alignment and creation
Quiz generation through Copilot in Forms
Suggested AI Feedback for Educators
Teaching extension
To better support educators with their daily tasks, we’ll be launching a built-in Teaching extension to help guide them through relevant activities and provide contextual, educator-based support in Copilot.
Education data integration

Copilot for Microsoft 365 – Student features
Interactive practice experiences
Flashcards activity
Guided chat activity
Learning extension in Copilot for Microsoft 365


New AI tools for Google Workspace for Education — from blog.google by Akshay Kirtikar and Brian Hendricks
We’re bringing Gemini to teen students using their school accounts to help them learn responsibly and confidently in an AI-first future, and empowering educators with new tools to help create great learning experiences.

 

Anthropic Introduces Claude 3.5 Sonnet — from anthropic.com

Anthropic Introduces Claude 3.5 Sonnet

What’s new? 
  • Frontier intelligence
    Claude 3.5 Sonnet sets new industry benchmarks for graduate-level reasoning (GPQA), undergraduate-level knowledge (MMLU), and coding proficiency (HumanEval). It shows marked improvement in grasping nuance, humor, and complex instructions and is exceptional at writing high-quality content with a natural, relatable tone.
  • 2x speed
  • State-of-the-art vision
  • Introducing Artifacts—a new way to use Claude
    We’re also introducing Artifacts on claude.ai, a new feature that expands how you can interact with Claude. When you ask Claude to generate content like code snippets, text documents, or website designs, these Artifacts appear in a dedicated window alongside your conversation. This creates a dynamic workspace where you can see, edit, and build upon Claude’s creations in real-time, seamlessly integrating AI-generated content into your projects and workflows.

Train Students on AI with Claude 3.5 — from automatedteach.com by Graham Clay
I show how and compare it to GPT-4o.

  • If you teach computer science, user interface design, or anything involving web development, you can have students prompt Claude to produce web pages’ source code, see this code produced on the right side, preview it after it has compiled, and iterate through code+preview combinations.
  • If you teach economics, financial analysis, or accounting, you can have students prompt Claude to create analyses of markets or businesses, including interactive infographics, charts, or reports via React. Since it shows its work with Artifacts, your students can see how different prompts result in different statistical analyses, different representations of this information, and more.
  • If you teach subjects that produce purely textual outputs without a code intermediary, like philosophy, creative writing, or journalism, your students can compare prompting techniques, easily review their work, note common issues, and iterate drafts by comparing versions.

I see this as the first serious step towards improving the otherwise terrible user interfaces of LLMs for broad use. It may turn out to be a small change in the grand scheme of things, but it sure feels like a big improvement — especially in the pedagogical context.


And speaking of training students on AI, also see:

AI Literacy Needs to Include Preparing Students for an Unknown World — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
Preparing students for it is easier than educators think

Schools could enhance their curricula by incorporating debate, Model UN and mock government programs, business plan competitions, internships and apprenticeships, interdisciplinary and project-based learning initiatives, makerspaces and innovation labs, community service-learning projects, student-run businesses or non-profits, interdisciplinary problem-solving challenges, public speaking, and presentation skills courses, and design thinking workshop.

These programs foster essential skills such as recognizing and addressing complex challenges, collaboration, sound judgment, and decision-making. They also enhance students’ ability to communicate with clarity and precision, while nurturing creativity and critical thinking. By providing hands-on, real-world experiences, these initiatives bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, preparing students more effectively for the multifaceted challenges they will face in their future academic and professional lives.

 



Addendum on 6/28/24:

Collaborate with Claude on Projects — from anthropic.com

Our vision for Claude has always been to create AI systems that work alongside people and meaningfully enhance their workflows. As a step in this direction, Claude.ai Pro and Team users can now organize their chats into Projects, bringing together curated sets of knowledge and chat activity in one place—with the ability to make their best chats with Claude viewable by teammates. With this new functionality, Claude can enable idea generation, more strategic decision-making, and exceptional results.

Projects are available on Claude.ai for all Pro and Team customers, and can be powered by Claude 3.5 Sonnet, our latest release which outperforms its peers on a wide variety of benchmarks. Each project includes a 200K context window, the equivalent of a 500-page book, so users can add all of the relevant documents, code, and insights to enhance Claude’s effectiveness.

 

Microschooling Movement’s Latest Wave of Major National Media Coverage — from microschoolingcenter.org by Don Soifer

Today’s microschooling movement continues to attract major coverage in national and local media outlets around the country. This week saw important new feature articles highlighting microschools in two of the most influential.

The New York Times ran this piece by its lead national education reporter Dana Goldstein, who visited several Georgia microschools and conducted research and interviews with leaders there and around the country. “…The appeal goes beyond the Republican base and includes many working- or middle-class Black and Latino parents — especially those whose children are disabled, and who feel public schools are not meeting their needs,” the article found. The National Microschooling Center was pleased to see several of the Times’ explanations and background about our exciting movement cited in our own published research.

Also this week, The Hill, Congress’ own daily newspaper, published its own article, “What Are Microschools? The Small Classrooms Growing Large in the School Choice Movement.”


Also relevant, see:

Maine’s Microschooling Movement: As New Wave of Schools Launch, Many Old Ones Are Redefining Themselves — from the74million.org by Kerry McDonald; via GSV
McDonald: Founders across the state see a growing movement toward smaller, simpler, more holistic educational models.

It’s part of a growing trend, both in Maine and nationally, of new schools and spaces offering smaller, more individualized, more flexible learning options that parents and teachers desire. Many of these programs, including School Around Us, are part of the VELA Founder Network that supports alternative education environments across the U.S. with grants and entrepreneurial resources.

According to the new Johns Hopkins UniversityHomeschool Hub, homeschooling numbers now hover around six percent of the total K-12 school-age population, a dramatic increase from pre-pandemic estimates. Maine has seen its homeschooling numbersremainhigh since 2020. 


Public Schools Violate Their Sacred Mission When They Turn Students Away — from the74million.org by Tim DeRoche
DeRoche: There needs to be more legal oversight of school and district enrollment policies to ensure that public education is truly open to all.

Some readers may be surprised to learn that many U.S. high schools deny entry to legally eligible students. It is, after all, conventional wisdom that public schools are open to all families and that they eagerly seek to serve all potential students.

Available to All launched in early 2023 as a nonpartisan watchdog defending equal access to public schools. We have documented many cases in which schools turn away students, either unfairly or illegally, based on discriminatory criteria…

Families should have the legal right to apply to any public school, and the school should be required to publish a formal letter of denial if a child is rejected, explaining the legal basis for the decision. Every public school should be required to publish application and enrollment data, and every American family should have the right to appeal denial of enrollment to a neutral third party (as families already do in a handful of states, including California and Arkansas).


And speaking of homeschooling…

Outschool Launches Courses to Support Increased Interest in Homeschooling and Alternative Education — from prnewswire.com by Outschool

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19, 2024/PRNewswire/ — Leading online learning platform, Outschool announced today the launch of Courses, new classes and features designed specifically for homeschool and alternative education families. Outschool’s Courses is designed to empower homeschooling families and power-users of Outschool to craft their own individualized education with expert teachers, unique and engaging classes, easy scheduling, and progress tracking. Outschool Courses has been created to help families put their learner’s unique educational needs first.


A Record Number of Kids Are in Special Education—and It’s Getting Harder to Help Them All — from wsj.com by Sara Randazzo and Matt Barnum (behind a paywall)
What’s driving a rise in special education: pandemic disruptions, a shrinking stigma

More American children than ever are qualifying for special education, but schools are struggling to find enough teachers to meet their needs.

A record 7.5 million students accessed special-education services in U.S. schools as of 2022-2023, including children with autism, speech impairments and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. That is 15.2% of the public-school student population…

From DSC:
For anyone who really believes that teaching is easy, try attending a few Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. You’ll be blown away about how intricate and challenging teaching can be.

 

The Musician’s Rule and GenAI in Education — from opencontent.org by David Wiley

We have to provide instructors the support they need to leverage educational technologies like generative AI effectively in the service of learning. Given the amount of benefit that could accrue to students if powerful tools like generative AI were used effectively by instructors, it seems unethical not to provide instructors with professional development that helps them better understand how learning occurs and what effective teaching looks like. Without more training and support for instructors, the amount of student learning higher education will collectively “leave on the table” will only increase as generative AI gets more and more capable. And that’s a problem.

From DSC:
As is often the case, David put together a solid posting here. A few comments/reflections on it:

  • I agree that more training/professional development is needed, especially regarding generative AI. This would help achieve a far greater ROI and impact.
  • The pace of change makes it difficult to see where the sand is settling…and thus what to focus on
  • The Teaching & Learning Groups out there are also trying to learn and grow in their knowledge (so that they can train others)
  • The administrators out there are also trying to figure out what all of this generative AI stuff is all about; and so are the faculty members. It takes time for educational technologies’ impact to roll out and be integrated into how people teach.
  • As we’re talking about multiple disciplines here, I think we need more team-based content creation and delivery.
  • There needs to be more research on how best to use AI — again, it would be helpful if the sand settled a bit first, so as not to waste time and $$. But then that research needs to be piped into the classrooms far better.
    .

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

 

How Learning Designers Are Using AI for Analysis — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
A practical guide on how to 10X your analysis process using free AI tools, based on real use cases

There are three key areas where AI tools make a significant impact on how we tackle the analysis part of the learning design process:

  1. Understanding the why: what is the problem this learning experience solves? What’s the change we want to see as a result?
  2. Defining the who: who do we need to target in order to solve the problem and achieve the intended goal?
  3. Clarifying the what: given who our learners are and the goal we want to achieve, what concepts and skills do we need to teach?

PROOF POINTS: Teens are looking to AI for information and answers, two surveys show — from hechingerreport.org by Jill Barshay
Rapidly evolving usage patterns show Black, Hispanic and Asian American youth are often quick to adopt the new technology

Two new surveys, both released this month, show how high school and college-age students are embracing artificial intelligence. There are some inconsistencies and many unanswered questions, but what stands out is how much teens are turning to AI for information and to ask questions, not just to do their homework for them. And they’re using it for personal reasons as well as for school. Another big takeaway is that there are different patterns by race and ethnicity with Black, Hispanic and Asian American students often adopting AI faster than white students.


AI Instructional Design Must Be More Than a Time Saver — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

We’ve ceded so much trust to digital systems already that most simply assume a tool is safe to use with students because a company published it. We don’t check to see if it is compliant with any existing regulations. We don’t ask what powers it. We do not question what happens to our data or our student’s data once we upload it. We likewise don’t know where its information came from or how it came to generate human-like responses. The trust we put into these systems is entirely unearned and uncritical.

The allure of these AI tools for teachers is understandable—who doesn’t want to save time on the laborious process of designing lesson plans and materials? But we have to ask ourselves what is lost when we cede the instructional design process to an automated system without critical scrutiny.

From DSC:
I post this to be a balanced publisher of information. I don’t agree with everything Marc says here, but he brings up several solids points.


What does Disruptive Innovation Theory have to say about AI? — from christenseninstitute.org by Michael B. Horn

As news about generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) continually splashes across social media feeds, including how  ChatGPT 4o can help you play Rock, Paper, Scissors with a friend, breathtaking pronouncements about GenAI’s “disruptive” impact aren’t hard to find.

It turns out that it doesn’t make much sense to talk about GenAI as being “disruptive” in and of itself.

Can it be part of a disruptive innovation? You bet.

But much more important than just the AI technology in determining whether something is disruptive is the business model in which the AI is used—and its competitive impact on existing products and services in different markets.


On a somewhat note, also see:

National summit explores how digital education can promote deeper learning — from digitaleducation.stanford.edu by Jenny Robinson; via Eric Kunnen on Linkedin.com
The conference, held at Stanford, was organized to help universities imagine how digital innovation can expand their reach, improve learning, and better serve the public good.

The summit was organized around several key questions: “What might learning design, learning technologies, and educational media look like in three, five, or ten years at our institutions? How will blended and digital education be poised to advance equitable, just, and accessible education systems and contribute to the public good? What structures will we need in place for our teams and offices?”

 

NYC High School Reimagines Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century — from the74million.org by Andrew Bauld
Thomas A. Edison High School is providing students with the skills to succeed in both college and career in an unusually creative way.

From DSC:
Very interesting to see the mention of an R&D department here! Very cool.

Baker said ninth graders in the R&D department designed the essential skills rubric for their grade so that regardless of what content classes students take, they all get the same immersion into critical career skills. Student voice is now so integrated into Edison’s core that teachers work with student designers to plan their units. And he said teachers are becoming comfortable with the language of career-centered learning and essential skills while students appreciate the engagement and develop a new level of confidence.

The R&D department has grown to include teachers from every department working with students to figure out how to integrate essential skills into core academic classes. In this way, they’re applying one of the XQ Institute’s crucial Design Principles for innovative high schools: Youth Voice and Choice.
.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian


Student Enterprise: Invite Learners to Launch a Media Agency or Publication — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • Client-connected projects have become a focal point of the Real World Learning initiative, offering students opportunities to solve real-world problems in collaboration with industry professionals.
  • Organizations like CAPS, NFTE, and Journalistic Learning facilitate community connections and professional learning opportunities, making it easier to implement client projects and entrepreneurship education.

Important trend: client projects. Work-based learning has been growing with career academies and renewed interest in CTE. Six years ago, a subset of WBL called client-connected projects became a focal point of the Real World Learning initiative in Kansas City where they are defined as authentic problems that students solve in collaboration with professionals from industry, not-for-profit, and community-based organizations….and allow students to: engage directly with employers, address real-world problems, and develop essential skills.


Portrait of a Community to Empower Learning Transformation — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles and Mason Pashia

Key Points

  • The Community Portrait approach encourages diverse voices to shape the future of education, ensuring it reflects the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders.
  • Active, representative community engagement is essential for creating meaningful and inclusive educational environments.

The Portrait of a Graduate—a collaborative effort to define what learners should know and be able to do upon graduation—has likely generated enthusiasm in your community. However, the challenge of future-ready graduates persists: How can we turn this vision into a reality within our diverse and dynamic schools, especially amid the current national political tensions and contentious curriculum debates?

The answer lies in active, inclusive community engagement. It’s about crafting a Community Portrait that reflects the rich diversity of our neighborhoods. This approach, grounded in the same principles used to design effective learning systems, seeks to cultivate deep, reciprocal relationships within the community. When young people are actively involved, the potential for meaningful change increases exponentially.


Q&A: Why Schools Must Redesign Learning to Include All Students — from edtechmagazine.com by Taashi Rowe
Systems are broken, not children, says K–12 disability advocate Lindsay E. Jones.

Although Lindsay E. Jones came from a family of educators, she didn’t expect that going to law school would steer her back into the family business. Over the years she became a staunch advocate for children with disabilities. And as mom to a son with learning disabilities and ADHD who is in high school and doing great, her advocacy is personal.

Jones previously served as president and CEO of the National Center for Learning Disabilities and was senior director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children. Today, she is the CEO at CAST, an organization focused on creating inclusive learning environments in K–12. EdTech: Focus on K–12 spoke with Jones about how digital transformation, artificial intelligence and visionary leaders can support inclusive learning environments.

Our brains are all as different as our fingerprints, and throughout its 40-year history, CAST has been focused on one core value: People are not broken, systems are poorly designed. And those systems are creating a barrier that holds back human innovation and learning.

 

Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

AI Policy 101: a Beginners’ Framework — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
How to make a case for AI experimentation & testing in learning & development


6 AI Tools Recommended By Teachers That Aren’t ChatGPT — from forbes.com by Dan Fitzpatrick

Here are six AI tools making waves in classrooms worldwide:

  • Brisk Teaching
  • SchoolAI
  • Diffit
  • Curipod
  • Skybox by Blockade Labs in ThingLink
  • Ideogram

With insights from educators who are leveraging their potential, let’s explore them in more detail.


AI Is Speeding Up L&D But Are We Losing the Learning? — from learningguild.com by Danielle Wallace

The role of learning & development
Given these risks, what can L&D professionals do to ensure generative AI contributes to effective learning? The solution lies in embracing the role of trusted learning advisors, guiding the use of AI tools in a way that prioritizes achieving learning outcomes over only speed. Here are three key steps to achieve this:

1. Playtest and Learn About AI
2. Set the Direction for AI to Be Learner-Centered…
3. Become Trusted Learning Advisors…


Some other tools to explore:

Descript: If you can edit text, you can edit videos. — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov
Descript is the AI-powered, fully featured, end-to-end video editor that you already know how to use.

A video editor that works like docs and slides
No need to learn a new tool — Descript works like the tools you’ve already learned.

Audeze | Filter — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov


AI Chatbots in Schools Findings from a Poll of K-12 Teachers, Students, Parents, and College Undergraduates — from Impact Research; via Michael Spencer and Lily Lee

Key Findings

  • In the last year, AI has become even more intertwined with our education system. More teachers, parents, and students are aware of it and have used it themselves on a regular basis. It is all over our education system today.
  • While negative views of AI have crept up over the last year, students, teachers, and parents feel very positive about it in general. On balance they see positive uses for the technology in school, especially if they have used it themselves.
  • Most K-12 teachers, parents, and students don’t think their school is doing much about AI, despite its widespread use. Most say their school has no policy on it, is doing nothing to offer desired teacher training, and isn’t meeting the demand of students who’d like a career in a job that will need AI.
  • The AI vacuum in school policy means it is currently used “unauthorized,” while instead people want policies that encourage AI. Kids, parents, and teachers are figuring it out on their own/without express permission, whereas all stakeholders would rather have a policy that explicitly encourages AI from a thoughtful foundation.

The Value of AI in Today’s Classrooms — from waltonfamilyfoundation.org

There is much discourse about the rise and prevalence of AI in education and beyond. These debates often lack the perspectives of key stakeholders – parents, students and teachers.

In 2023, the Walton Family Foundation commissioned the first national survey of teacher and student attitudes toward ChatGPT. The findings showed that educators and students embrace innovation and are optimistic that AI can meaningfully support traditional instruction.

A new survey conducted May 7-15, 2024, showed that knowledge of and support for AI in education is growing among parents, students and teachers. More than 80% of each group says it has had a positive impact on education.

 

 

Doing Stuff with AI: Opinionated Midyear Edition — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick

Every six months or so, I write a guide to doing stuff with AI. A lot has changed since the last guide, while a few important things have stayed the same. It is time for an update.

To learn to do serious stuff with AI, choose a Large Language Model and just use it to do serious stuff – get advice, summarize meetings, generate ideas, write, produce reports, fill out forms, discuss strategy – whatever you do at work, ask the AI to help. A lot of people I talk to seem to get the most benefit from engaging the AI in conversation, often because it gives good advice, but also because just talking through an issue yourself can be very helpful. I know this may not seem particularly profound, but “always invite AI to the table” is the principle in my book that people tell me had the biggest impact on them. You won’t know what AI can (and can’t) do for you until you try to use it for everything you do. And don’t sweat prompting too much, though here are some useful tips, just start a conversation with AI and see where it goes.

You do need to use one of the most advanced frontier models, however.

 

Hybrid learning through podcasts: a practical approach — from timeshighereducation.com by Catherine Chambers
Adapting practice-based learning to a blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery gives learners more control and creates opportunities for real-world learning of skills such as podcast production, writes Catherine Chambers

Hybrid learning provides students with greater control over their learning and enables the development of employability skills, supporting practice-based group work through in situ activities.

Aligned with Keele’s curriculum expectations framework, the module was designed around podcasts to support inclusivity, active learning, digital capability and external engagement.

 

How Humans Do (and Don’t) Learn— from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
One of the biggest ever reviews of human behaviour change has been published, with some eye-opening implications for how we design & deliver learning experiences

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

This month, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania published one of the biggest ever reviews of behaviour change efforts – i.e. interventions which do (and don’t) lead to behavioural change in humans.

Research into human behaviour change suggests that, in order to impact capability in real, measurable terms, we need to rethink how we typically design and deliver training.

The interventions which we use most frequently to behaviour change – such as video + quiz approaches and one off workshops – have a negligible impact on measurable changes in human behaviour.

For learning professionals who want to change how their learners think and behave, this research shows conclusively the central importance of:

    1. Shifting attention away from the design of content to the design of context.
    2. Delivering sustained cycles of contextualised practice, support & feedback.

 

 

Microsoft teams with Khan Academy to make its AI tutor free for K-12 educators and will develop a Phi-3 math model — from venturebeat.com by Ken Yeung

Microsoft is partnering with Khan Academy in a multifaceted deal to demonstrate how AI can transform the way we learn. The cornerstone of today’s announcement centers on Khan Academy’s Khanmigo AI agent. Microsoft says it will migrate the bot to its Azure OpenAI Service, enabling the nonprofit educational organization to provide all U.S. K-12 educators free access to Khanmigo.

In addition, Microsoft plans to use its Phi-3 model to help Khan Academy improve math tutoring and collaborate to generate more high-quality learning content while making more courses available within Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft Teams for Education.


One-Third of Teachers Have Already Tried AI, Survey Finds — from the74million.org by Kevin Mahnken
A RAND poll released last month finds English and social studies teachers embracing tools like ChatGPT.

One in three American teachers have used artificial intelligence tools in their teaching at least once, with English and social studies teachers leading the way, according to a RAND Corporation survey released last month. While the new technology isn’t yet transforming how kids learn, both teachers and district leaders expect that it will become an increasingly common feature of school life.


Professors Try ‘Restrained AI’ Approach to Help Teach Writing — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
Can ChatGPT make human writing more efficient, or is writing an inherently time-consuming process best handled without AI tools?

This article is part of the guide: For Education, ChatGPT Holds Promise — and Creates Problems.

When ChatGPT emerged a year and half ago, many professors immediately worried that their students would use it as a substitute for doing their own written assignments — that they’d click a button on a chatbot instead of doing the thinking involved in responding to an essay prompt themselves.

But two English professors at Carnegie Mellon University had a different first reaction: They saw in this new technology a way to show students how to improve their writing skills.

“They start really polishing way too early,” Kaufer says. “And so what we’re trying to do is with AI, now you have a tool to rapidly prototype your language when you are prototyping the quality of your thinking.”

He says the concept is based on writing research from the 1980s that shows that experienced writers spend about 80 percent of their early writing time thinking about whole-text plans and organization and not about sentences.


On Building AI Models for Education — from aieducation.substack.com by Claire Zau
Google’s LearnLM, Khan Academy/MSFT’s Phi-3 Models, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu

This piece primarily breaks down how Google’s LearnLM was built, and takes a quick look at Microsoft/Khan Academy’s Phi-3 and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu as alternative approaches to building an “education model” (not necessarily a new model in the latter case, but we’ll explain). Thanks to the public release of their 86-page research paper, we have the most comprehensive view into LearnLM. Our understanding of Microsoft/Khan Academy small language models and ChatGPT Edu is limited to the information provided through announcements, leaving us with less “under the hood” visibility into their development.


AI tutors are quietly changing how kids in the US study, and the leading apps are from China — from techcrunch.com by Rita Liao

Answer AI is among a handful of popular apps that are leveraging the advent of ChatGPT and other large language models to help students with everything from writing history papers to solving physics problems. Of the top 20 education apps in the U.S. App Store, five are AI agents that help students with their school assignments, including Answer AI, according to data from Data.ai on May 21.


Is your school behind on AI? If so, there are practical steps you can take for the next 12 months — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

If your school (district) or university has not yet made significant efforts to think about how you will prepare your students for a World of AI, I suggest the following steps:

July 24 – Administrator PD & AI Guidance
In July, administrators should receive professional development on AI, if they haven’t already. This should include…

August 24 –Professional Development for Teachers and Staff…
Fall 24 — Parents; Co-curricular; Classroom experiments…
December 24 — Revision to Policy…


New ChatGPT Version Aiming at Higher Ed — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
ChatGPT Edu, emerging after initial partnerships with several universities, is prompting both cautious optimism and worries.

OpenAI unveiled a new version of ChatGPT focused on universities on Thursday, building on work with a handful of higher education institutions that partnered with the tech giant.

The ChatGPT Edu product, expected to start rolling out this summer, is a platform for institutions intended to give students free access. OpenAI said the artificial intelligence (AI) toolset could be used for an array of education applications, including tutoring, writing grant applications and reviewing résumés.

 

The Magic of Storytelling: Lessons from Penn Jillette — from learningguild.com by David Kelly
This fall we’re celebrating 20 Years of DevLearn. As part of that celebration, I’m reflecting on the insights I’ve gained from some of my favorite DevLearn keynote speakers over the years. I kick off this series by revisiting The Magic of Storytelling and Learning from Penn Jillette, from DevLearn 2016.

At the heart of Jillette’s message is the power of storytelling. He demonstrates that, much like a magician’s performance, effective learning experiences are crafted from engaging narratives. These stories, although selectively told, can ethically captivate and teach, making the learning process more impactful. Jillette’s career itself is a story of transformation and adaptation, one that resonates deeply with the ongoing journey of a learning professional.


Also from The Learning Guild, see:

AI’s Fusion with Hands-On Workshops Is Transforming Learning — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt

Complementing these conversational approaches are learning experiences enhanced with AI. I highlighted the fast-growing role of immersive scenarios and simulations, produced in tandem with AI and powered through AI in their delivery.

Moreover, the integration of voice interactions, advanced image processing, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies provides additional tools to enrich learning experiences.

The rapid adoption of AI signifies a real shift for our industry, and we are able to see sparks of what is coming our way throughout 2024 and beyond.

Practicing difficult conversations
One of the most compelling applications I’ve seen lies in managerial and leadership training, specifically in navigating complex interpersonal dynamics: practicing difficult conversations. Through interactions with sophisticated avatars capable of mimicking a diverse range of employee personalities and behaviors, learners can engage in realistic scenarios that challenge their communication skills.

Beyond AI: Why Technical Skill Development is Your Next Strategic Advantage — from learningguild.com by Bill Brandon

Table 1. Most Important Transferable Skills 2024–2028

Transferable Skill Description 
Problem-solving The ability to identify, analyze, and solve complex problems.
Critical thinking The ability to think objectively, analyze information, and form sound judgments.
Communication (written & verbal) The ability to effectively convey ideas and information to others, both in writing and verbally.
Collaboration The ability to work effectively with others to achieve a common goal.
Creativity & innovation The ability to think creatively and come up with new ideas and solutions.
Digital literacy & competency The ability of everyone from CEO to workers to use digital tools and technologies effectively.
Data analysis & interpretation The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data to draw meaningful conclusions.
Self-directed learning & adaptability The ability to take initiative to learn new things and adapt to change.
Time management & organization The ability to manage time effectively and stay organized.
Emotional intelligence & empathy The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and the emotions of others.

Also for the L&D world, see:

When Business Is Just a Game — from bloomberg.com by Robb Mandelbaum
Corporate trainer Abilitie uses simulations to teach lessons in management.

When is the high-stakes, high-pressure world of the C-suite just a game? When executives at emerging companies Compuline and Nanotel met on a Wednesday evening in May to manage existing products and roll out new ones, that’s exactly what it was. The “executives” were students in…

 

Khan Academy and Microsoft partner to expand access to AI tools that personalize teaching and help make learning fun — from news.microsoft.com

[On 5/21/24] at Microsoft Build, Microsoft and Khan Academy announced a new partnership that aims to bring these time-saving and lesson-enhancing AI tools to millions of educators. By donating access to Azure AI-optimized infrastructure, Microsoft is enabling Khan Academy to offer all K-12 educators in the U.S. free access to the pilot of Khanmigo for Teachers, which will now be powered by Azure OpenAI Service.

The two companies will also collaborate to explore opportunities to improve AI tools for math tutoring in an affordable, scalable and adaptable way with a new version of Phi-3, a family of small language models (SLMs) developed by Microsoft.

 

Also see/referenced:

Khanmigo -- a free, AI-powered teaching assistant


Also relevant/see:

Khan Academy and Microsoft are teaming up to give teachers a free AI assistant — from fastcompany.com by Steven Melendez
AI assistant Khanmigo can help time-strapped teachers come up with lesson ideas and test questions, the companies say.

Khan Academy’s AI assistant, Khanmigo, has earned praise for helping students to understand and practice everything from math to English, but it can also help teachers devise lesson plans, formulate questions about assigned readings, and even generate reading passages appropriate for students at different levels. More than just a chatbot, the software offers specific AI-powered tools for generating quizzes and assignment instructions, drafting lesson plans, and formulating letters of recommendation.

Having a virtual teaching assistant is especially valuable in light of recent research from the RAND Corporation that found teachers work longer hours than most working adults, which includes administrative and prep work outside the classroom.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian