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.
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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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


 

 

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2024 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® Teaching and Learning Edition

Trends
As a first activity, we asked the Horizon panelists to provide input on the macro trends they believe are going to shape the future of postsecondary teaching and learning and to provide observable evidence for those trends. To ensure an expansive view of the larger trends serving as context for institutions of higher education, panelists provided input across five trend categories: social, technological, economic, environmental, and political. Given the widespread impacts of emerging AI technologies on higher education, we are also including in this year’s report a list of “honorary trends” focused on AI. After several rounds of voting, the panelists selected the following trends as the most important:

 

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

 

 

 

Instructors as Innovators: a Future-focused Approach to New AI Learning Opportunities, With Prompts –from papers.ssrn.com by Ethan R. Mollick and Lilach Mollick

Abstract

This paper explores how instructors can leverage generative AI to create personalized learning experiences for students that transform teaching and learning. We present a range of AI-based exercises that enable novel forms of practice and application including simulations, mentoring, coaching, and co-creation. For each type of exercise, we provide prompts that instructors can customize, along with guidance on classroom implementation, assessment, and risks to consider. We also provide blueprints, prompts that help instructors create their own original prompts. Instructors can leverage their content and pedagogical expertise to design these experiences, putting them in the role of builders and innovators. We argue that this instructor-driven approach has the potential to democratize the development of educational technology by enabling individual instructors to create AI exercises and tools tailored to their students’ needs. While the exercises in this paper are a starting point, not a definitive solutions, they demonstrate AI’s potential to expand what is possible in teaching and learning.

 

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

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


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

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

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


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

Alex Sarlin

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

These included—

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

 

Meeting Students’ Needs for Emotional Support — from edutopia.org by Zi Jia Ng
A new survey finds that a large percentage of students don’t feel that they have an adult to turn to at school when they’re troubled.

Only 55 percent of elementary school students (grades three through five), 42 percent of middle school students, and 40 percent of high school students in the United States have an adult at school they can talk to when they feel upset or stressed, according to a survey of more than 200,000 students across 20 different states. At every age, students benefit from a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.

Here’s one strategy for helping to ensure that every student has a trusted adult at school.


Getting Middle and High School Students With Low Grades Back on Track — from edutopia.org by Christine Boatman
By sitting down with students and laying out just what they need to do to pass, teachers can give them the tools to succeed.

AN ANTIDOTE TO PROCRASTINATION
There are effective preventive measures that teachers can take to support middle and high school students with time-management and organizational skills. Still, some students inevitably may find themselves behind at the end of the semester and need individualized Tier 2 interventions as a result of their procrastination.

A Tier 2 strategy that teachers can use to support student efforts to pass classes during the end-of-the-semester scramble is the creation of individual PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles. A PDSA cycle is a process in which teachers and students work together to create a plan for improvement; implement, or do, the plan; study if the plan’s actions were successful; and act to create long-term improvement actions based on the results of the plan.

In PDSA cycles, teachers work with their students to create plans for success. These plans can be used either with a whole group or on an individual basis. Through working one-on-one with students this way, I’ve seen large gains in student achievement and agency.


A Student’s Perspective on Career and Interview Readiness — from gettingsmart.com by Tyler Robert and Todd Smith

Key Points

  • Sharing experiences in real-world learning is an asset when interviewing for early career opportunities.
  • Building confidence in not only being interviewed but also speaking about your skills in common language is a key part of creating effective pathways.

Asking Students What They Would Do If They Were The Teacher — from thebrokencopier.substack.com by Marcus Luther
one of my favorite practices we’ve normed in our classroom

Though it had been a bit since our previous check-in, the major drop in how students were doing overall was staggering—yet also very much tracked with the “vibe” of the classroom of late: students still feel pretty good about what we’re doing, but overall are exhausted and stressed, each in their own way but collectively as well.

My plan on Monday, then?

To share these results with the entire classroom followed by a simple question:

“If you were the teacher and you saw this feedback, what would you think and, more importantly, what would you do?”

And then I’ll listen to what they have to say.

Reflecting back on my own classroom over the years, though, too often the collecting of the feedback became a dead end as far as how students experienced this: they gave their results and then those results disappeared into the digital ether, in their eyes.


 

 

AI RESOURCES AND TEACHING (Kent State University) — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com

AI Resources and Teaching | Kent State University offers valuable resources for educators interested in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their teaching practices. The university recognizes that the rapid emergence of AI tools presents both challenges and opportunities in higher education.

The AI Resources and Teaching page provides educators with information and guidance on various AI tools and their responsible use within and beyond the classroom. The page covers different areas of AI application, including language generation, visuals, videos, music, information extraction, quantitative analysis, and AI syllabus language examples.


A Cautionary AI Tale: Why IBM’s Dazzling Watson Supercomputer Made a Lousy Tutor — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo
With a new race underway to create the next teaching chatbot, IBM’s abandoned 5-year, $100M ed push offers lessons about AI’s promise and its limits.

For all its jaw-dropping power, Watson the computer overlord was a weak teacher. It couldn’t engage or motivate kids, inspire them to reach new heights or even keep them focused on the material — all qualities of the best mentors.

It’s a finding with some resonance to our current moment of AI-inspired doomscrolling about the future of humanity in a world of ascendant machines. “There are some things AI is actually very good for,” Nitta said, “but it’s not great as a replacement for humans.”

His five-year journey to essentially a dead-end could also prove instructive as ChatGPT and other programs like it fuel a renewed, multimillion-dollar experiment to, in essence, prove him wrong.

To be sure, AI can do sophisticated things such as generating quizzes from a class reading and editing student writing. But the idea that a machine or a chatbot can actually teach as a human can, he said, represents “a profound misunderstanding of what AI is actually capable of.” 

Nitta, who still holds deep respect for the Watson lab, admits, “We missed something important. At the heart of education, at the heart of any learning, is engagement. And that’s kind of the Holy Grail.”

From DSC:
This is why the vision that I’ve been tracking and working on has always said that HUMAN BEINGS will be necessary — they are key to realizing this vision. Along these lines, here’s a relevant quote:

Another crucial component of a new learning theory for the age of AI would be the cultivation of “blended intelligence.” This concept recognizes that the future of learning and work will involve the seamless integration of human and machine capabilities, and that learners must develop the skills and strategies needed to effectively collaborate with AI systems. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to human intelligence, a blended intelligence approach seeks to harness the complementary strengths of humans and machines, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances the potential of both.

Per Alexander “Sasha” Sidorkin, Head of the National Institute on AI in Society at California State University Sacramento.

 

3 Steps for Creating Video Projects With Elementary Students — from edutopia.org by Bill Manchester
A straightforward plan for facilitating multimedia projects helps ensure collaborative learning and a fun classroom experience.

Having elementary students make their own videos instead of consuming content made by someone else sounds like a highly engaging educational experience. But if you’ve ever tried to get 25 third graders to use a video editing software platform that they’ve never seen before, it can get really frustrating really fast. It’s easy for the lesson to become entirely centered around how to use the software without any subject-area content learning.

Through years of trial and error with K–6 students, I’ve developed three guiding concepts for elementary video projects so that teachers and students have a good experience.


Supporting Students As They Work Independently — from by Marcus Luther and The Broken Copier
4 tools that have helped me improve “independent work time”


Movement-Based Games That Help Students With Spelling — from edutopia.org by Jocelyn Greene
Games that combine spelling with physical activity can make it easier for young students to learn new words.

Like actors, students are often tasked with memorization. Although education has evolved to incorporate project-based learning and guided play, there’s no getting around the necessity of knowing the multiplication tables, capital cities, and correct spelling.

The following are movement-based games that build students’ abilities to retain spelling words specifically. Ideally, these exercises support them academically as well as socially. Research shows that learning through play promotes listening, focus, empathy, and self-awareness—benefits that build students’ social and emotional learning skills.


Quizlet Survey Reveals Students Crave Life Skills Education — from prnewswire.com by Quizlet; via GSV

The survey’s key findings included:

  • Financial and life skills uncertainty: One-third of recent graduates don’t believe they have or are unsure they have the financial and core life skills needed to succeed in the world.
  • Appetite for non-academic courses: 68% of recent graduates think non-academically focused courses in formal education settings would better prepare students for the real world. This belief is especially strong among respondents that attended public schools and colleges (71%).
  • Automotive maintenance skills are stalled: More than any other skill, nearly one in five recent graduates say they are the least confident in handling automotive maintenance, such as changing a tire or their oil. This is followed by financial planning (17%), insurance (12%), minor home repairs (11%), cooking (11%), cleaning (8%) and organizing (8%).
  • Financial planning woes: A majority (79%) of recent graduates said financial planning overwhelms them the most – and of all the life skills highlighted in the survey, 29% of respondents said it negatively impacts their mental health.
  • Social media as a learning tool: Social media is helping fill the skills gap, with 33% of recent graduates turning to it for life skills knowledge.

From DSC:
Our son would agree with many of these findings. He would like to have learned things like how to do/file his taxes, learn more about healthcare insurance, and similar real-world/highly-applicable types of knowledge. Those involved with K12 curriculum decisions, please take a serious look at this feedback and make the necessary changes/additions.


How Can Educators Build Support Systems for Students Eyeing Technician Jobs? — from gettingsmart.com by Dr. Parminder Jassal

Key Points

  • Integrating technical skills into the high school curriculum can inspire and prepare students for diverse roles. This approach is key to fostering equity and inclusivity in the job market.
  • By forging partnerships with community colleges and technical schools, high schools can democratize access to education and ensure students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities for success in technical fields.
  • High schools can expand career possibilities by providing apprenticeships as viable and lucrative alternatives to traditional four-year degrees.
 

How to Make the Dream of Education Equity (or Most of It) a Reality — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Studies on the effects of tutoring–by humans or computers–point to ways to improve regular classroom instruction.

One problem, of course, is that it’s prohibitively expensive to hire a tutor for every average or struggling student, or even one for every two or three of them. This was the two-sigma “problem” that Bloom alluded to in the title of his essay: how can the massive benefits of tutoring possibly be scaled up? Both Khan and Zuckerberg have argued that the answer is to have computers, maybe powered by artificial intelligence, serve as tutors instead of humans.

From DSC:
I’m hoping that AI-backed learning platforms WILL help many people of all ages and backgrounds. But I realize — and appreciate what Natalie is saying here as well — that human beings are needed in the learning process (especially at younger ages). 

But without the human element, that’s unlikely to be enough. Students are more likely to work hard to please a teacher than to please a computer.

Natalie goes on to talk about training all teachers in cognitive science — a solid idea for sure. That’s what I was trying to get at with this graphic:
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We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

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But I’m not as hopeful in all teachers getting trained in cognitive science…as it should have happened (in the Schools of Education and in the K12 learning ecosystem at large) by now. Perhaps it will happen, given enough time.

And with more homeschooling and blended programs of education occurring, that idea gets stretched even further. 

K-12 Hybrid Schooling Is in High Demand — from realcleareducation.com by Keri D. Ingraham (emphasis below from DSC); via GSV

Parents are looking for a different kind of education for their children. A 2024 poll of parents reveals that 72% are considering, 63% are searching for, and 44% have selected a new K-12 school option for their children over the past few years. So, what type of education are they seeking?

Additional polling data reveals that 49% of parents would prefer their child learn from home at least one day a week. While 10% want full-time homeschooling, the remaining 39% of parents desire their child to learn at home one to four days a week, with the remaining days attending school on-campus. Another parent poll released this month indicates that an astonishing 64% of parents indicated that if they were looking for a new school for their child, they would enroll him or her in a hybrid school.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian