Healthcare High Schools — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
Bloomberg and hospitals back dual-enrollment path from K-12 to high-demand jobs.

More career exploration in high school is needed to help Americans make better-informed choices about their education and job options, experts agree. And serious, employer-backed efforts to tighten connections between school and work are likely to emerge first in healthcare, given the industry’s severe staffing woes.

A new $250M investment by Bloomberg Philanthropies could be an important step in this direction. The money will seed the creation of healthcare-focused high schools in 10 U.S. locations, with a plan to enroll 6K students who will graduate directly from the early-college high schools into high-demand healthcare jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.


Microschools Take Center Stage with New Opportunities for Learning for 2024 — from the74million.org by Andrew Campanella
Campanella: More than 27,000 schools and organizations are celebrating National School Choice Week. Yours can, too

Last year, the landscape of K-12 education transformed as a record-breaking 20 states expanded school choice options. However, that is not the only school choice story to come out of 2023. As the nation steps into 2024, a fresh emphasis on innovation has emerged, along with new options for families. This is particularly true within the realm of microschooling.

Microschooling is an education model that is small by design — typically with 15 or fewer students of varying ages per class. It fosters a personalized and community-centric approach to learning that is especially effective in addressing the unique educational needs of diverse student populations. Programs like Education Savings Accounts are helping to fuel these microschools.


My Students Can’t Meet Academic Standards Because the School Model No Longer Fits Them — from edsurge.com by Sachin Pandya

Large classes create more distractions for students who struggle to focus, and they inevitably get less attention and support as there are more students for teachers to work with. High numbers of students make it more difficult to plan for individual needs and force teachers to teach to an imaginary middle. A rigid schedule makes it easy to schedule adults and services, but it is a challenge for kids who need time to get engaged and prefer to keep working at a challenge once they are locked in.

Now that I know what can engage and motivate these students, I can imagine creating more opportunities that allow them to harness their talents and grow their skills and knowledge. But we’re already a third of the way through the school year, and my curriculum requires me to teach certain topics for certain lengths of time, which doesn’t leave room for many of the types of experiences these kids need. Soon, June will come and I’ll pass them along to the next teacher, who won’t know what I know and will need another four months to learn it, wasting valuable time in these students’ educations.

From DSC:
We need teachers and professors to be able to contribute to learners’ records. Each student can review and decide whether they want to allow access to other teachers– or even to employers. Educators could insert what they’ve found to work with a particular student, what passions/interests that student has, or what to avoid (if possible). For example, has this student undergone some trauma, and therefore trauma-informed teaching should be employed. 

IEPs could be a part of learners’ records/profiles. The teams working on implementing these IEP’s could share important, searchable information.


The State of Washington Embraces AI for Public Schools — from synthedia.substack.com by Bret Kinsella; via Tom Barrett
Educational institutions may be warming up to generative AI

Washington state issued new guidelines for K-12 public schools last week based on the principle of “embracing a human-centered approach to AI,” which also embraces the use of AI in the education process. The state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, commented in a letter accompanying the new guidelines:

 

Why Entrepreneurship Might Save Our Kids—and the Rest of Us. — from gettingsmart.com by Katie Kimbrell

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • We need to be asking our students “How did you put your ideas into the world today?”.
  • To be human is to be entrepreneurial.

One of my favorite mom friends asks her young school-aged kids every day, “What did you make today?”

I love how subtly subversive this question is. Not, “How was school today?” “Were you good today?” or, “How’s [insert school subject] going?” But, How did you put your ideas out into the world today?” 

That simple question understands this fundamental truth: to be human is to create, to employ our imaginations and partake in forming the world we want to live in.


Microschool in a Box: Programs Enabling the Microschool Movement — from gettingsmart.com by Nate McClennen

Key Points

  • Microschools are not new. In fact, they are as old as learning itself.
  • Funding and operations can be difficult within a microschool model. Programs and other organizations can support planning, design and implementation.

Microschools are meeting strong market demand for more personalized, more contextualized and more relevant learning for every student. Programs like ASU Prep’s Microschool in a Box make it possible for more learners to become future-ready with access to affordable, relational microschool learning.

Nate McClennen


The Science of Classroom Design — from edutopia.org by Youki Terada and Stephen Merrill
Our comprehensive, all-in, research-based look at the design of effective learning spaces.

Topics include:

  • Light
  • Ventilation and air quality
  • Complexity and color
  • Data walls
  • Nature, plants, and greenery
  • Representation
    • Students can experience representation in classrooms by seeing their own or peers’ artifacts on walls and in shared virtual spaces, or by being exposed to images and references that mirror their interests, passions, and backgrounds.
  • Flexibility
  • Learning differences and neurodivergence
  • Heat
  • Acoustics/noise
  • Seating arrangements
  • Learning Zones

Addendum on 12/1/23:

 
 

Mark Zuckerberg: First Interview in the Metaverse | Lex Fridman Podcast #398


Photo-realistic avatars show future of Metaverse communication — from inavateonthenet.net

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Meta, took part in the first-ever Metaverse interview using photo-realistic virtual avatars, demonstrating the Metaverse’s capability for virtual communication.

Zuckerberg appeared on the Lex Fridman podcast, using scans of both Fridman and Zuckerberg to create realistic avatars instead of using a live video feed. A computer model of the avatar’s faces and bodies are put into a Codec, using a headset to send an encoded version of the avatar.

The interview explored the future of AI in the metaverse, as well as the Quest 3 headset and the future of humanity.


 

In Iowa, a “Billy Madison Project” Yields a Different Way to do School — from by Sam Chaltain
A great flood reveals a new path . . .

The idea was simple: ask sixty community leaders to fan across the city’s public schools, follow in the footsteps of its youngest citizens, and report back on what they saw.

Fifty-nine said yes. What they found, Pickering says, “were kids with dead eyes. Kids not engaged. And kids who knew that school was a game – and the game was rigged.”

So the Billy Madison team used its findings to design a prospective high school that would actually produce what its participants said they wanted to see: 

Let kids pursue their passions. Give them real work to do.  And get them out of the school building, and in the community. 

Passion. Projects. People.


How 9 of the World’s Most Innovative Schools Ignite Children’s Love for Learning — from learntrepreneurs.com by Eva Keffenheim
And equip the next generation to become changemakers.


This thought-provoking discussion delves into the topic of system replacement in education. Is school transformation possible without replacing the existing education system? Joining [Michael] to discuss the question are Thomas Arnett of the Christensen Institute and Kelly Young of Education Reimagined.

In an educational landscape that constantly seeks marginal improvements, [Michael’s] guests speak to the importance of embracing new value networks that support innovative approaches to learning. They bring to light the issue of programs that remain niche solutions, rather than robust, learner-centered alternatives. In exploring the concept of value networks, [Michael’s] guests challenge the notion of transforming individual schools or districts alone. They argue for the creation of a new value network to truly revolutionize the education system. Of course, they admit that achieving this is no small feat, as it requires a paradigm shift in mindset and a careful balance between innovation and existing structures. In this conversation, we wrestle with the full implications of their findings and more.

From DSC:
This reminds me of the importance of TrimTab Groups who invent or test out something new apart from the mothership.


Technology in education — from unesco.org by ; via Eva Keffenheim
A tool on whose terms?

The 2023 GEM Report on technology and education explores these debates, examining education challenges to which appropriate use of technology can offer solutions (access, equity and inclusion; quality; technology advancement; system management), while recognizing that many solutions proposed may also be detrimental.

The report also explores three system-wide conditions (access to technology, governance regulation, and teacher preparation) that need to be met for any technology in education to reach its full potential.



Campus Road Trip Diary: 8 Things We Learned This Year About America’s Most Innovative High Schools — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo & Emmeline Zhao

Since last spring, journalists at The 74 have been crossing the U.S. as part of our 2023 High School Road Trip. It has embraced both emerging and established high school models, taking us to 13 schools from Rhode Island to California, Arizona to South Carolina, and in between.

It has brought us face-to-face with innovation, with programs that promote everything from nursing to aerospace to maritime-themed careers.

At each school, educators seem to be asking one key question: What if we could start over and try something totally new?

What we’ve found represents just a small sample of the incredible diversity that U.S. high schools now offer, but we’re noticing a few striking similarities that educators in these schools, free to experiment with new models, now share. Here are the top eight:
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Campus Road Trip Diary: 8 Things We Learned This Year About America’s Most Innovative High Schools

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

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Empowering Parents: School Choice and Technology — from obviouslythefuture.substack.com
Ep 2 | Joe Connor, Odyssey Education, ESAs, Streamlined Technology Platform, Informed Choices

What does it take to empower parents and decentralize schooling? Why is a diversity of school models important to parents? Are we at a tipping point?
.


PROOF POINTS: Lowering test anxiety in the classroom — from hechingerreport.org/ by Jill Barshay
Review of 24 studies finds quizzes boost achievement and alleviate stress over exams

Several meta-analyses, which summarize the evidence from many studies, have found higher achievement when students take quizzes instead of, say, reviewing notes or rereading a book chapter. “There’s decades and decades of research showing that taking practice tests will actually improve your learning,” said David Shanks, a professor of psychology and deputy dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences at University College London.

Still, many students get overwhelmed during tests. Shanks and a team of four researchers wanted to find out whether quizzes exacerbate test anxiety.  The team collected 24 studies that measured students’ test anxiety and found that, on average, practice tests and quizzes not only improved academic achievement, but also ended up reducing test anxiety. Their meta-analysis was published in Educational Psychology Review in August 2023.


The End of Scantron Tests — from theatlantic.com by Matteo Wong
Machine-graded bubble sheets are the defining feature of American schools. Today’s kindergartners may never have to fill one out.


Benefits of Pretesting in the Classroom — from learningscientists.org by Cindy Nebel

There are several possible reasons why pretesting worked in this study.

  1. Students paid more attention to the pretested material during the lecture.
  2. The pretest activated prior knowledge (some of them are clearly doing a lot of prework), and allowed them to encode the new information more deeply.
  3. They were doing a lot of studying of the pretested information outside of class.
  4. There are some great spaced retrieval effects going on. That is, students saw the material before lecture, they took a quiz on it during the pretest, then later they reviewed or quizzed themselves on that same material again during self-study.

 

Are your students prepared for active learning? You can help them! — from The Educationalist at educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

What does active learning require from students?
There is no secret that PBL and all other active learning approaches are much more demanding from students compared to traditional methods, mainly in terms of skills and attitudes towards learning. Here are some of the aspects where students, especially when first faced to active learning, seem to struggle:

  • Formulating own learning goals and following through with independent study. While in traditional teaching the learning goals are given to students, in PBL (or at least in some of its purest variants), they need to come up with their own, for each problem they are solving. This requires understanding the problem well but also a certain frame of mind where one can assess what is necessary to solve it and make a plan of how to go about it (independently and as a group). All these seemingly easy steps are often new to students and something they intrinsically expect from us as educators.

From DSC:
The above excerpt re: formulating one’s own learning goals reminded me of project management and learning how to be a project manager.

It reminded me of a project that I was assigned back at Kraft (actually Kraft General Foods at the time).  It was an online-based directory of everyone in the company at the time. When it was given to me, several questions arose in my mind:
  • Where do I start?
  • How do I even organize this project?
  • What is the list of to-do’s?
  • Who will I need to work with?

Luckily I had a mentor/guide who helped me get going and an excellent contact with the vendor who educated me and helped me get the ball rolling. 

I’ll end with another quote and a brief comment:

Not being afraid of mistakes and learning from them.
The education system, at all stages, still penalises mistakes, often with long term consequences. So it’s no wonder students are afraid of making mistakes…
From DSC:
How true.
 

For many home-schoolers, parents are no longer doing the teaching — from washingtonpost.com by Laura Meckler; via Matthew Tower

Her program is part of a company called Prenda, which last year served about 2,000 students across several states. It connects home-school families with microschool leaders who host students, often in their homes. It’s like Airbnb for education, says Prenda’s CEO, because its website allows customers – in this case, parents – to enter their criteria, search and make a match.

An explosion of new options, including Prenda, has transformed home schooling in America. Demand is surging: Hundreds of thousands of children have begun home schooling in the last three years, an unprecedented spike that generated a huge new market. In New Hampshire, for instance, the number of home-schoolers doubled during the pandemic, and even today it remains 40 percent above pre-covid totals.

From DSC:
This is another great example of the morphing going on in the PreK-12 learning ecosystem.

 

Will one of our future learning ecosystems look like a Discord server type of service? [Christian]

 

What value do you offer? — from linkedin.com by Dan Fitzpatrick — The AI Educator

Excerpt (emphasis DSC): 

So, as educators, mentors, and guides to our future generations, we must ask ourselves three pivotal questions:

  1. What value do we offer to our students?
  2. What value will they need to offer to the world?
  3. How are we preparing them to offer that value?

The answers to these questions are crucial, and they will redefine the trajectory of our education system.

We need to create an environment that encourages curiosity, embraces failure as a learning opportunity, and celebrates diversity. We need to teach our students how to learn, how to ask the right questions, and how to think for themselves.


AI 101 for Teachers



5 Little-Known ChatGPT Prompts to Learn Anything Faster — from medium.com by Eva Keiffenheim
Including templates, you can copy.

Leveraging ChatGPT for learning is the most meaningful skill this year for lifelong learners. But it’s too hard to find resources to master it.

As a learning science nerd, I’ve explored hundreds of prompts over the past months. Most of the advice doesn’t go beyond text summaries and multiple-choice testing.

That’s why I’ve created this article — it merges learning science with prompt writing to help you learn anything faster.


From DSC:
This is a very nice, clearly illustrated, free video to get started with the Midjourney (text-to-image) app. Nice work Dan!

Also see Dan’s
AI Generated Immersive Learning Series


What is Academic Integrity in the Era of Generative Artificial intelligence? — from silverliningforlearning.org by Chris Dede

In the new-normal of generative AI, how does one articulate the value of academic integrity? This blog presents my current response in about 2,500 words; a complete answer could fill a sizable book.

Massive amounts of misinformation are disseminated about generative AI, so the first part of my discussion clarifies what large language models (Chat-GPT and its counterparts) can currently do and what they cannot accomplish at this point in time. The second part describes ways in which generative AI can be misused as a means of learning; unfortunately, many people are now advocating for these mistaken applications to education. The third part describes ways in which large language models (LLM), used well, may substantially improve learning and education. I close with a plea for a robust, informed public discussion about these topics and issues.


Dr. Chris Dede and the Necessity of Training Students and Faculty to Improve Their Human Judgment and Work Properly with AIs — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
We need to stop using test-driven curriculums that train students to listen and to compete against machines, a competition they cannot win. Instead, we need to help them augment their Judgment.


The Creative Ways Teachers Are Using ChatGPT in the Classroom — from time.com by Olivia B. Waxman

Many of the more than a dozen teachers TIME interviewed for this story argue that the way to get kids to care is to proactively use ChatGPT in the classroom.

Some of those creative ideas are already in effect at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, about an hour from Seattle. In Erin Rossing’s precalculus class, a student got ChatGPT to generate a rap about vectors and trigonometry in the style of Kanye West, while geometry students used the program to write mathematical proofs in the style of raps, which they performed in a classroom competition. In Kara Beloate’s English-Language Arts class, she allowed students reading Shakespeare’s Othello to use ChatGPT to translate lines into modern English to help them understand the text, so that they could spend class time discussing the plot and themes.


AI in Higher Education: Aiding Students’ Academic Journey — from td.org by J. Chris Brown

Topics/sections include:

Automatic Grading and Assessment
AI-Assisted Student Support Services
Intelligent Tutoring Systems
AI Can Help Both Students and Teachers


Shockwaves & Innovations: How Nations Worldwide Are Dealing with AI in Education — from the74million.org by Robin Lake
Lake: Other countries are quickly adopting artificial intelligence in schools. Lessons from Singapore, South Korea, India, China, Finland and Japan.

I found that other developed countries share concerns about students cheating but are moving quickly to use AI to personalize education, enhance language lessons and help teachers with mundane tasks, such as grading. Some of these countries are in the early stages of training teachers to use AI and developing curriculum standards for what students should know and be able to do with the technology.

Several countries began positioning themselves several years ago to invest in AI in education in order to compete in the fourth industrial revolution.


AI in Education — from educationnext.org by John Bailey
The leap into a new era of machine intelligence carries risks and challenges, but also plenty of promise

In the realm of education, this technology will influence how students learn, how teachers work, and ultimately how we structure our education system. Some educators and leaders look forward to these changes with great enthusiasm. Sal Kahn, founder of Khan Academy, went so far as to say in a TED talk that AI has the potential to effect “probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen.” But others warn that AI will enable the spread of misinformation, facilitate cheating in school and college, kill whatever vestiges of individual privacy remain, and cause massive job loss. The challenge is to harness the positive potential while avoiding or mitigating the harm.


Generative AI and education futures — from ucl.ac.uk
Video highlights from Professor Mike Sharples’ keynote address at the 2023 UCL Education Conference, which explored opportunities to prosper with AI as a part of education.


Bringing AI Literacy to High Schools — from by Nikki Goth Itoi
Stanford education researchers collaborated with teachers to develop classroom-ready AI resources for high school instructors across subject areas.

To address these two imperatives, all high schools need access to basic AI tools and training. Yet the reality is that many underserved schools in low-income areas lack the bandwidth, skills, and confidence to guide their students through an AI-powered world. And if the pattern continues, AI will only worsen existing inequities. With this concern top of mind plus initial funding from the McCoy Ethics Center, Lee began recruiting some graduate students and high school teachers to explore how to give more people equal footing in the AI space.


 

Tech & Learning Announces Winners of Best of Show at ISTE 2023 — from techlearning.com
Our annual awards celebrate the products, and businesses behind each one, who are transforming education in schools around the world.

Excerpt:

The evaluation criteria included: ease of use, value, uniqueness in the market, and proof that the product helped make teachers’ lives easier and supported student achievement.

“We received an impressive array of nominations for this year’s awards,” says Christine Weiser, content director for Tech & Learning. “Our judges chose the products that they believed best supported innovation in the classroom and district.

 

15 Creative Activities Inspired By The Gratitude Tree

Excerpt:

Prepare to plant seeds of gratitude in your classroom with our collection of 15 unique activities featuring The Gratitude Tree. These creative experiences aim to nurture a culture of appreciation among your students; empowering them to recognize and celebrate the positive aspects of their lives.

Gratitude Rocks


20 If I Were President Activities: Empowering Students To Lead And Make A Difference

Excerpt:

As teachers, it’s our responsibility to encourage our students to be the best versions of themselves! As a spin from this, why not encourage your students to envision themselves as future presidents! The following activities are designed to foster critical thinking, develop leadership skills, and ignite a sense of civic responsibility in our young learners. Together, we’ll inspire our students to explore their ideas and values as well as the power they hold to create positive change in their communities!


18 Fun Elephant Activities For Preschoolers 

Excerpt:

Get ready to explore the enchanting world of elephants through a variety of engaging activities designed specifically for preschoolers. Our collection of 18 activities will not only ignite their imagination but also help them develop essential skills across different domains. Let’s dive right in and make learning a trunkload of fun!


23 Quirky Math Activity For Kindergarteners 

Excerpt:

Let’s make math exciting and engaging for your little learners! With the help of our 23 unique activities, you’ll be able to help your littles develop essential math skills while having a blast. We’ve covered everything from basic number concepts to shape and pattern recognition. So, without further adieu, let’s get the party started with a number hunt!

 
 

In Finland, the Future of Learning Has Arrived — Just Not Where You Think — from samchaltain.substack.com by Sam Chaltain
It turns out the “Finnish Miracle” is more (and less) miraculous than you think . . .

But whereas Finland’s schools are still characterized by a culture of teaching, Oodi stands as a beacon of learning — self-organizing, emergent, and overflowing with the life force of its inhabitants.
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From DSC:
As the above got me to thinking about learning spaces, here’s another somewhat relevant item from Steelcase:


Addendum on 6/6/23:
Also relevant to the first item in this posting, see:

Looking for Miracles in the Wrong Places — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
An “edutourist” in Finland finds the ideal school, but it isn’t a school at all.

Counterpoint/excerpt:

It sounds appealing, but any country following that route is not only likely to find itself at the bottom of the PISA heap. It’s also likely to do a profound disservice to many of its children, particularly those from less highly educated families, who depend on teachers to impart information they don’t already have and to systematically build their knowledge.

Of course it’s possible for explicit, teacher-directed instruction to be soul-crushing for students. But it certainly doesn’t have to be, and there’s no indication from Mr. X’s account that the students in the schools he visited felt their experience was oppressive. When teachers get good training—of the kind apparently provided in Finland—they know how to engage students in the content they’re teaching and guide them to think about it deeply and analytically.

That’s not oppressive. In fact, it’s the key to enabling students to reach their full potential. In that sense, it’s liberating.

 

Being a new teacher is hard. Having a good mentor can help — from npr.org by Cory Turner

Excerpt:

[Besides this article’s focus on mentorship]

In March, I reported a pair of stories from Jackson, Miss., where the school district is paying for unlicensed classroom aides to go back to school and get their master’s degrees.

In April, I told the story of a remarkable idea: A new high school in San Antonio dedicated entirely to training high-schoolers in the art and science of good teaching.

From DSC:
I would add a few more items:

  • Significantly reduce the impact of legislators on K-12. If they do vote on something that would impact schools, each legislator that votes on such legislation must first spend at least ___ week(s) observing in some of the schools that would be impacted before even starting to draft legislation and/or debate on the topic(s).
  • Instead, turn over more control and power to the students, teachers, K12 administrators, parents, and school boards.
  • Provide more choice, more control as each student can handle it.
  • Stop the one-size fits all system. Instead use AI-based systems to provide more personalized learning.
  • Develop more hybrid programs — but this time I’m talking mixing what we’ve known as public education with homeschooling and smaller learning pods. Let’s expand what’s included when we discuss “learning spaces.”
  • Strive for a love of learning — vs. competition and developing gameplayers
  • Support makerspaces, entrepreneurship, and experiments
  • Speaking of experiments, I would recommend developing more bold experiments outside of the current systems.

Along the lines of potential solutions/visions, see:

Why ‘System Transformation’ Is Likely A Pipe Dream — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael Horn
But I’m for System Replacement

Excerpt:

Foremost among them is this: Despite all the fancy models and white papers around what are all the levers to pull in order to transform a system, system transformation almost never happens by changing the fundamental tenets of the system itself. Instead, it comes from replacing the system with a brand-new system.

To start to understand why, consider the complicated system in which public schools find themselves. As Thomas Arnett explained, they are one part of a vast value network of federal, state, and local regulators, voters and taxpayers, parents and students, teachers, administrators, unions, curriculum providers, school vendors, public infrastructure, higher education institutions, and more.

New ideas, programs, or entities that don’t fit into these processes, priorities, and cost structures are simply not plug-compatible into that value network. They consequently get rejected, tossed to the fringe, or altered to meet the needs of the existing actors in the value network.

 

Introducing Teach AI — Empowering educators to teach w/ AI & about AI [ISTE & many others]


Teach AI -- Empowering educators to teach with AI and about AI


Also relevant/see:

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian