What aspects of teaching should remain human? — from hechingerreport.org by Chris Berdik
Even techno optimists hesitate to say teaching is best left to the bots, but there’s a debate about where to draw the line

ATLANTA — Science teacher Daniel Thompson circulated among his sixth graders at Ron Clark Academy on a recent spring morning, spot checking their work and leading them into discussions about the day’s lessons on weather and water. He had a helper: As Thompson paced around the class, peppering them with questions, he frequently turned to a voice-activated AI to summon apps and educational videos onto large-screen smartboards.

When a student asked, “Are there any animals that don’t need water?” Thompson put the question to the AI. Within seconds, an illustrated blurb about kangaroo rats appeared before the class.

Nitta said there’s something “deeply profound” about human communication that allows flesh-and-blood teachers to quickly spot and address things like confusion and flagging interest in real time.


Deep Learning: Five New Superpowers of Higher Education — from jeppestricker.substack.com by Jeppe Klitgaard Stricker
How Deep Learning is Transforming Higher Education

While the traditional model of education is entrenched, emerging technologies like deep learning promise to shake its foundations and usher in an age of personalized, adaptive, and egalitarian education. It is expected to have a significant impact across higher education in several key ways.

…deep learning introduces adaptivity into the learning process. Unlike a typical lecture, deep learning systems can observe student performance in real-time. Confusion over a concept triggers instant changes to instructional tactics. Misconceptions are identified early and remediated quickly. Students stay in their zone of proximal development, constantly challenged but never overwhelmed. This adaptivity prevents frustration and stagnation.


InstructureCon 24 Conference Notes — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Glenda Morgan
Another solid conference from the market leader, even with unclear roadmap

The new stuff: AI
Instructure rolled out multiple updates and improvements – more than last year. These included many AI-based or focused tools and services as well as some functional improvements. I’ll describe the AI features first.

Sal Khan was a surprise visitor to the keynote stage to announce the September availability of the full suite of AI-enabled Khanmigo Teacher Tools for Canvas users. The suite includes 20 tools, such as tools to generate lesson plans and quiz questions and write letters of recommendation. Next year, they plan to roll out tools for students themselves to use.

Other AI-based features include.

    • Discussion tool summaries and AI-generated responses…
    • Translation of inbox messages and discussions…
    • Smart search …
    • Intelligent Insights…

 

 

Learning Engineering: New Profession or Transformational Process? A Q&A with Ellen Wagner — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush and Ellen Wagner

“Learning is one of the most personal things that people do; engineering provides problem-solving methods to enable learning at scale. How do we resolve this paradox? 

—Ellen Wagner

Wagner: Learning engineering offers us a process for figuring that out! If we think of learning engineering as a process that can transform research results into learning action there will be evidence to guide that decision-making at each point in the value chain. I want to get people to think of learning engineering as a process for applying research in practice settings, rather than as a professional identity. And by that I mean that learning engineering is a bigger process than what any one person can do on their own.


From DSC:
Instructional Designers, Learning Experience Designers, Professors, Teachers, and Directors/Staff of Teaching & Learning  Centers will be interested in this article. It made me think of the following graphic I created a while back:
.

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

 

What to Know About Buying A Projector for School — from by Luke Edwards
Buy the right projector for school with these helpful tips and guidance.

Picking the right projector for school can be a tough decision as the types and prices range pretty widely. From affordable options to professional grade pricing, there are many choices. The problem is that the performance is also hugely varied. This guide aims to be the solution by offering all you need to know about buying the right projector for school where you are.

Luke covers a variety of topics including:

  • Types of projectors
  • Screen quality
  • Light type
  • Connectivity
  • Pricing

From DSC:
I posted this because Luke covered a variety of topics — and if you’re set on going with a projector, this is a solid article. But I hesitated to post this, as I’m not sure of the place that projectors will have in the future of our learning spaces. With voice-enabled apps and appliances continuing to be more prevalent — along with the presence of AI-based human-computer interactions and intelligent systems — will projectors be the way to go? Will enhanced interactive whiteboards be the way to go? Will there be new types of displays? I’m not sure. Time will tell.

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

From DSC:
Given this need…

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.
…I’m highlighting the following resources:


How Learning Happens  — from edutopia.org
In this series, we explore how educators can guide all students, regardless of their developmental starting points, to become productive and engaged learners.

These techniques have resonated with educators everywhere: They are focused on taking advantage of the incredible opportunity to help children reach their full potential by creating positive relationships, experiences, and environments in which every student can thrive. In fact, the science is beginning to hint at even more dramatic outcomes. Practices explicitly designed to integrate social, emotional, and cognitive skills in the classroom, the research suggests, can reverse the damages wrought by childhood trauma and stress—while serving the needs of all students and moving them onto a positive developmental and academic path.


Also from edutopia.org recently, see:

How to Introduce Journaling to Young Children — from edutopia.org by Connie Morris
Students in preschool through second grade can benefit from drawing or writing to explore their thoughts and feelings.

The symbiotic relationship between reading and writing can help our youngest students grow their emergent literacy skills. The idea of teaching writing at an early age can seem daunting. However, meeting children where they are developmentally can make a journaling activity become a magical experience—and they don’t have to write words but can convey thoughts in pictures.

7 Digital Tools That Help Bring History to Life — from edutopia.org by Daniel Leonard
Challenging games, fun projects, and a healthy dose of AI tools round out our top picks for breathing new life into history lessons.

We’ve compiled a list of seven teacher-tested tools, and we lay out how educators are using them both to enhance their lessons and to bring history closer to the present than ever.

Integrating Technology Into Collaborative Professional Learning — from edutopia.org by Roxi Thompson
Incorporating digital collaboration into PD gives teachers a model to replicate when setting up tech activities for students.

 

From DSC:
This would be huge for all of our learning ecosystems, as the learning agents could remember where a particular student or employee is at in terms of their learning curve for a particular topic.


Say What? Chat With RTX Brings Custom Chatbot to NVIDIA RTX AI PCs — from blogs.nvidia.com
Tech demo gives anyone with an RTX GPU the power of a personalized GPT chatbot.



 

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:

 

Where a developing, new kind of learning ecosystem is likely headed [Christian]

From DSC:
As I’ve long stated on the Learning from the Living [Class]Room vision, we are heading toward a new AI-empowered learning platform — where humans play a critically important role in making this new learning ecosystem work.

Along these lines, I ran into this site out on X/Twitter. We’ll see how this unfolds, but it will be an interesting space to watch.

Project Chiron's vision: Our vision for education Every child will soon have a super-intelligent AI teacher by their side. We want to make sure they instill a love of learning in children.


From DSC:
This future learning platform will also focus on developing skills and competencies. Along those lines, see:

Scale for Skills-First — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
An ed-tech giant’s ambitious moves into digital credentialing and learner records.

A Digital Canvas for Skills
Instructure was a player in the skills and credentials space before its recent acquisition of Parchment, a digital transcript company. But that $800M move made many observers wonder if Instructure can develop digital records of skills that learners, colleges, and employers might actually use broadly.

Ultimately, he says, the CLR approach will allow students to bring these various learning types into a coherent format for employers.

Instructure seeks a leadership role in working with other organizations to establish common standards for credentials and learner records, to help create consistency. The company collaborates closely with 1EdTech. And last month it helped launch the 1EdTech TrustEd Microcredential Coalition, which aims to increase quality and trust in digital credentials.

Paul also links to 1EDTECH’s page regarding the Comprehensive Learning Record

 

“We need more high-impact learning practices in prison” — from college-inside.beehiiv.com by Charlotte West
Internships, apprenticeships, and work learning opportunities allow incarcerated students to keep learning after they graduate.

Maine and other states like Colorado are trying to tackle this issue through internships and employment opportunities that allow incarcerated students and graduates to put their professional knowledge and skills into practice — and in some cases, earn a living wage while doing so.

Employment and professional training opportunities inside were a major theme at the 2023 National Conference for Higher Education in Prison, where 800 educators, administrators, students and alumni from dozens of prison education programs gathered in Atlanta, Georgia last week.

 
 

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:
.

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.

 

The out-of-this-world project redefining ‘edutainment’ — from inavateonthenet.net by Reece Webb

A new planetarium project in the UK has the potential to revolutionise education and entertainment. Reece Webb reports.

Many integrators will work on a career defining project, and for Amir Khosh, a new, one-of-a-kind planetarium project nestled in the heart of Nottinghamshire, UK, has sat at the centre of his world.

A project more than five years in the making, ST Engineering Antycip will be part of the large-scale developmemt that is the Sherwood Observatory, which aims to drive education enrichment and visitor attraction in marginalised communities.

A new planetarium project in the UK has the potential to revolutionise education and entertainment. Reece Webb reports.


Also from inavateonthenet.net, see:

Digital Projection paints a picture at Vincent meets Rembrandt exhibition

 

A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic”— from library.educause.edu/ by Muscanell

2023 Faculty & Technology Report: A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic

This is the first faculty research conducted by EDUCAUSE since 2019. Since then, the higher education landscape has been through a lot, including COVID-19, fluctuations in enrollment and public funding, and the rapid adoption of multiple instructional modalities and new technologies. In this report, we describe the findings of the research in four key areas:

  • Modality preferences and the impacts of teaching in non-preferred modes
  • Experiences teaching online and hybrid courses
  • Technology and digital availability of course components
  • Types of support needed and utilized for teaching

From DSC:
Polling the faculty members and getting their feedback is not as relevant and important to the future of higher education as better addressing the needs and wants of parents and students who are paying the bills. Asking faculty members what they want to post online is not as relevant as what students want and need to see online.


From DSC:
More fringe responses — versus overhauling pricing, updating curriculum, providing more opportunities to try out jobs before investing in a degree, and/or better rewarding those adjunct faculty members who are doing the majority of the teaching on many campuses.


Online college enrollment is on the rise: What brings students to virtual campuses? — from digitaljournal.com by Jill Jaracz and Emma Rubin; via GSV

Before the pandemic, online learning programs were typically for people going back to school to augment or change their career or pursuing a graduate degree to enhance their career while they work. That attitude is shifting as students juggle learning with jobs, family responsibilities, and commutes. In California, 4 in 5 community college classes were in person before the pandemic. By 2021, just 1 in 4 were in person, while 65% were online, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Younger students are also opting for online classes. EducationDynamics found in 2023 that the largest share of students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees online is 35 or younger. That said, 35% of students pursuing online undergraduate degrees are between


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian