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

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

Topics/agenda:

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

 

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

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

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

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

6 Ways State Policymakers Can Build More Future-Focused Education Systems — from gettingsmart.com by Jennifer Kabaker

Key Points

  • Guided by a vision – often captured as a Portrait of a Graduate – co-constructed with local leaders, community members, students, and families, state policymakers can develop policies that equitably and effectively support students and educators in transforming learning experiences.
  • The Aurora Institute highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in creating education systems that truly meet the diverse needs of every student.

The Aurora Institute has spent years working with states looking to advance competency-based systems, and has identified a set of key state policy levers that policymakers can put into action to build more personalized and competency-based systems. These shifts should be guided by a vision–co-constructed with local leaders, community members, students, and families–for what students need to know and be able to do upon graduating.


Career Pathways In A Rapidly Changing World: US Career Pathways Story — from gettingsmart.com by Paul Herdman

Key Points

  • There has been a move away from the traditional “Bachelor’s or Bust” mentality towards recognizing the value of diverse career pathways that may not necessarily require a four-year degree.
  • Local entities such as states, school districts, and private organizations have played a crucial role in implementing and scaling up career pathways programs.

While much has been written on this topic (see resources below), this post, in the context of our OECD study of five Anglophone countries, will attempt to provide a backdrop on what was happening at the federal level in the U.S. over the last several decades to help catalyze this shift in career pathways and offer a snapshot of how this work is evolving in two very different statesDelaware and Texas.


U.S. public, private and charter schools in 5 charts — from pewresearch.org by Katherine Schaeffer
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AI Policy 101: a Beginners’ Framework — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
How to make a case for AI experimentation & testing in learning & development


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

Here are six AI tools making waves in classrooms worldwide:

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

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


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

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

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


Some other tools to explore:

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

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

Audeze | Filter — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov


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

Key Findings

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

LearnLM is Google's new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

LearnLM is our new family of models fine-tuned for learning, and grounded in educational research to make teaching and learning experiences more active, personal and engaging.

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AI in Education: Google’s LearnLM product has incredible potential — from ai-supremacy.com by Michael Spencer and Nick Potkalitsky
Google’s Ed Suite is giving Teachers new ideas for incorporating AI into the classroom.

We often talk about what Generative AI will do for coders, healthcare, science or even finance, but what about the benefits for the next generation? Permit me if you will, here I’m thinking about teachers and students.

It’s no secret that some of the most active users of ChatGPT in its heyday, were students. But how are other major tech firms thinking about this?

I actually think one of the best products with the highest ceiling from Google I/O 2024 is LearnLM. It has to be way more than a chatbot, it has to feel like a multimodal tutor. I can imagine frontier model agents (H) doing this fairly well.

What if everyone, everywhere could have their own personal AI tutor, on any topic?


ChatGPT4o Is the TikTok of AI Models — from nickpotkalitsky.substack.com by Nick Potkalitsky
In Search of Better Tools for AI Access in K-12 Classrooms

Nick makes the case that we should pause on the use of OpenAI in the classrooms:

In light of these observations, it’s clear that we must pause and rethink the use of OpenAI products in our classrooms, except for rare cases where accessibility needs demand it. The rapid consumerization of AI, epitomized by GPT4o’s transformation into an AI salesperson, calls for caution.


The Future of AI in Education: Google and OpenAI Strategies Unveiled — from edtechinsiders.substack.comby Ben Kornell

Google’s Strategy: AI Everywhere
Key Points

  • Google will win through seamless Gemini integration across all Google products
  • Enterprise approach in education to make Gemini the default at low/no additional cost
  • Functional use cases and model tuning demonstrate Google’s knowledge of educators

OpenAI’s Strategy: ChatGPT as the Front Door
Key Points

  • OpenAI taking a consumer-led freemium approach to education
  • API powers an app layer that delivers education-specific use cases
  • Betting on a large user base + app marketplace
 

AI’s New Conversation Skills Eyed for Education — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
The latest ChatGPT’s more human-like verbal communication has professors pondering personalized learning, on-demand tutoring and more classroom applications.

ChatGPT’s newest version, GPT-4o ( the “o” standing for “omni,” meaning “all”), has a more realistic voice and quicker verbal response time, both aiming to sound more human. The version, which should be available to free ChatGPT users in coming weeks—a change also hailed by educators—allows people to interrupt it while it speaks, simulates more emotions with its voice and translates languages in real time. It also can understand instructions in text and images and has improved video capabilities.

Ajjan said she immediately thought the new vocal and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personalized tutor. Personalized learning has been a focus for educators grappling with the looming enrollment cliff and for those pushing for student success.

There’s also the potential for role playing, according to Ajjan. She pointed to mock interviews students could do to prepare for job interviews, or, for example, using GPT to play the role of a buyer to help prepare students in an economics course.

 

 

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

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

Example topics covered here:

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

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





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

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

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

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Key Features

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




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


 

Shares of two big online education stocks tank more than 10% as students use ChatGPT — from cnbc.com by Michelle Fox; via Robert Gibson on LinkedIn

The rapid rise of artificial intelligence appears to be taking a toll on the shares of online education companies Chegg and Coursera.

Both stocks sank by more than 10% on Tuesday after issuing disappointing guidance in part because of students using AI tools such as ChatGPT from OpenAI.



Synthetic Video & AI Professors — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
Are we witnessing the emergence of a new, post-AI model of async online learning?

TLDR: by effectively tailoring the learning experience to the learner’s comprehension levels and preferred learning modes, AI can enhance the overall learning experience, leading to increased “stickiness” and higher rates of performance in assessments.

TLDR: AI enables us to scale responsive, personalised “always on” feedback and support in a way that might help to solve one of the most wicked problems of online async learning – isolation and, as a result, disengagement.

In the last year we have also seen the rise of an unprecedented number of “always on” AI tutors, built to provide coaching and feedback how and when learners need it.

Perhaps the most well-known example is Khan Academy’s Khanmigo and its GPT sidekick Tutor Me. We’re also seeing similar tools emerge in K12 and Higher Ed where AI is being used to extend the support and feedback provided for students beyond the physical classroom.


Our Guidance on School AI Guidance document has been updated — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

We’ve updated the free 72-page document we wrote to help schools design their own AI guidance policies.

There are a few key updates.

  1. Inclusion of Oklahoma and significant updates from North Carolina and Washington.
  2. More specifics on implementation — thanks NC and WA!
  3. A bit more on instructional redesign. Thanks to NC for getting this party started!

Creating a Culture Around AI: Thoughts and Decision-Making — from er.educause.edu by Courtney Plotts and Lorna Gonzalez

Given the potential ramifications of artificial intelligence (AI) diffusion on matters of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, now is the time for higher education institutions to adopt culturally aware, analytical decision-making processes, policies, and practices around AI tools selection and use.

 

 

 

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.

 

AWS, Educause partner on generative AI readiness tool — from edscoop.com by Skylar Rispens
Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause announced a new tool designed to help higher education institutions gauge their readiness to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Amazon Web Services and the nonprofit Educause on Monday announced they’ve teamed up to develop a tool that assesses how ready higher education institutions are to adopt generative artificial intelligence.

Through a series of curated questions about institutional strategy, governance, capacity and expertise, AWS and Educause claim their assessment can point to ways that operations can be improved before generative AI is adopted to support students and staff.

“Generative AI will transform how educators engage students inside and outside the classroom, with personalized education and accessible experiences that provide increased student support and drive better learning outcomes,” Kim Majerus, vice president of global education and U.S. state and local government at AWS, said in a press release. “This assessment is a practical tool to help colleges and universities prepare their institutions to maximize this technology and support students throughout their higher ed journey.”


Speaking of AI and our learning ecosystems, also see:

Gen Z Wants AI Skills And Businesses Want Workers Who Can Apply AI: Higher Education Can Help — from forbes.com by Bruce Dahlgren

At a moment when the value of higher education has come under increasing scrutiny, institutions around the world can be exactly what learners and employers both need. To meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and equip learners with the technical and ethical direction needed to thrive, institutions should familiarize students with the use of AI and nurture the innately human skills needed to apply it ethically. Failing to do so can create enormous risk for higher education, business and society.

What is AI literacy?
To effectively utilize generative AI, learners will need to grasp the appropriate use cases for these tools, understand when their use presents significant downside risk, and learn to recognize abuse to separate fact from fiction. AI literacy is a deeply human capacity. The critical thinking and communication skills required are muscles that need repeated training to be developed and maintained.

 

The US is experiencing a boom in microschools. What are they? — from  thehill.com by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech; via GSV

Story at a glance (emphasis DSC)

  • There has been a surge in new microschools in the U.S. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The National Microschooling Network estimates there are about 95,000 microschools in the country. The median microschool serves 16 students.
  • There is no regulatory body solely responsible for tracking microschools, so it is difficult to determine just how much their popularity has grown.

Advocates for microschools say they offer some students — especially those who are gifted or have learning disabilities — a greater chance to thrive academically and socially than traditional schools do.   

At Sphinx Academy, a micro-school based in Lexington, Ky., almost all 24 students are “twice exceptional,” meaning they are gifted in one academic area but have one or more learning disabilities like ADHD or dyslexia, according to the school’s director Jennifer Lincoln.   


Student Apathy Is a Big Classroom Challenge, Teachers Say. Cellphones Aren’t Helping — from edweek.org by Madeline Will

The stakes are high: Students have a lot of academic ground to make up following the pandemic. Yet they’re not fully engaged in the classroom, teachers report in a new national survey.


 

 

How Generative AI Owns Higher Education. Now What? — from forbes.co by Steve Andriole

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What about course videos? Professors can create them (by lecturing into a camera for several hours hopefully in different clothes) from the readings, from their interpretations of the readings, from their own case experiences – from anything they like. But now professors can direct the creation of the videos by talking – actually describing – to a CustomGPTabout what they’d like the video to communicate with their or another image. Wait. What? They can make a video by talking to a CustomGPT and even select the image they want the “actor” to use? Yes. They can also add a British accent and insert some (GenAI-developed) jokes into the videos if they like. All this and much more is now possible. This means that a professor can specify how long the video should be, what sources should be consulted and describe the demeanor the professor wants the video to project.

From DSC:
Though I wasn’t crazy about the clickbait type of title here, I still thought that the article was solid and thought-provoking. It contained several good ideas for using AI.


Excerpt from a recent EdSurge Higher Ed newsletter:


There are darker metaphors though — ones that focus on the hazards for humanity of the tech. Some professors worry that AI bots are simply replacing hired essay-writers for many students, doing work for a student that they can then pass off as their own (and doing it for free).

From DSC:
Hmmm…the use of essay writers was around long before AI became mainstream within higher education. So we already had a serious problem where students didn’t see the why in what they were being asked to do. Some students still aren’t sold on the why of the work in the first place. The situation seems to involve ethics, yes, but it also seems to say that we haven’t sold students on the benefits of putting in the work. Students seem to be saying I don’t care about this stuff…I just need the degree so I can exit stage left.

My main point: The issue didn’t start with AI…it started long before that.

And somewhat relevant here, also see:

I Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Why K12 Education is Not Thinking About AI — from medium.com by Maurie Beasley, M.Ed. (Edited by Jim Beasley)

This financial stagnation is occurring as we face a multitude of escalating challenges. These challenges include but are in no way limited to, chronic absenteeism, widespread student mental health issues, critical staff shortages, rampant classroom behavior issues, a palpable sense of apathy for education in students, and even, I dare say, hatred towards education among parents and policymakers.

Our current focus is on keeping our heads above water, ensuring our students’ safety and mental well-being, and simply keeping our schools staffed and our doors open.


Meet Ed: Ed is an educational friend designed to help students reach their limitless potential. — from lausd.org (Los Angeles School District, the second largest in the U.S.)

What is Ed?
An easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement. It offers personalized guidance and resources to students and families 24/7 in over 100 languages.

Ed is an easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement.

Also relevant/see:

  • Los Angeles Unified Bets Big on ‘Ed,’ an AI Tool for Students — from by Lauraine Langreo
    The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an AI-powered learning tool that will serve as a “personal assistant” to students and their parents.The tool, named “Ed,” can provide students from the nation’s second-largest district information about their grades, attendance, upcoming tests, and suggested resources to help them improve their academic skills on their own time, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced March 20. Students can also use the app to find social-emotional-learning resources, see what’s for lunch, and determine when their bus will arrive.

Could OpenAI’s Sora be a big deal for elementary school kids? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
Despite all the challenges it comes with, AI-generated video could unleash the creativity of young children and provide insights into their inner worlds – if it’s developed and used responsibly

Like many others, I’m concerned about the challenges that come with hyper-realistic AI-generated video. From deep fakes and disinformation to blurring the lines between fact and fiction, generative AI video is calling into question what we can trust, and what we cannot.

And yet despite all the issues the technology is raising, it also holds quite incredible potential, including as a learning and development tool — as long as we develop and use it responsibly.

I was reminded of this a few days back while watching the latest videos from OpenAI created by their AI video engine Sora — including the one below generated from the prompt “an elephant made of leaves running in the jungle”

What struck me while watching this — perhaps more than any of the other videos OpenAI has been posting on its TikTok channel — is the potential Sora has for translating the incredibly creative but often hard to articulate ideas someone may have in their head, into something others can experience.


Can AI Aid the Early Education Workforce? — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan
During a panel at SXSW EDU 2024, early education leaders discussed the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children.

While the vast majority of the conversations about AI in education have centered on K-12 and higher education, few have considered the potential of this innovation in early care and education settings.

At the conference, a panel of early education leaders gathered to do just that, in a session exploring the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children, titled, “ChatECE: How AI Could Aid the Early Educator Workforce.”

Hau shared that K-12 educators are using the technology to improve efficiency in a number of ways, including to draft individualized education programs (IEPs), create templates for communicating with parents and administrators, and in some cases, to support building lesson plans.


From EIEIO…Seasons Of Change

Again, we’ve never seen change happen as fast as it’s happening.


Enhancing World Language Instruction With AI Image Generators — from eduoptia.org by Rachel Paparone
By crafting an AI prompt in the target language to create an image, students can get immediate feedback on their communication skills.

Educators are, perhaps rightfully so, cautious about incorporating AI in their classrooms. With thoughtful implementation, however, AI image generators, with their ability to use any language, can provide powerful ways for students to engage with the target language and increase their proficiency.


AI in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Transformation — from esheninger.blogspot.com by Eric Sheninger

While AI offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to remember that it is a tool to empower educators, not replace them. The human connection between teacher and student remains central to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development. The role of teachers will shift towards becoming facilitators, curators, and mentors who guide students through personalized learning journeys. By harnessing the power of AI, educators can create dynamic and effective classrooms that cater to each student’s individual needs. This paves the way for a more engaging and enriching learning experience that empowers students to thrive.


Teachers Are Using AI to Create New Worlds, Help Students with Homework, and Teach English — from themarkup.org by Ross Teixeira; via Matthew Tower
Around the world, these seven teachers are making AI work for them and their students

In this article, seven teachers across the world share their insights on AI tools for educators. You will hear a host of varied opinions and perspectives on everything from whether AI could hasten the decline of learning foreign languages to whether AI-generated lesson plans are an infringement on teachers’ rights. A common theme emerged from those we spoke with: just as the internet changed education, AI tools are here to stay, and it is prudent for teachers to adapt.


Teachers Desperately Need AI Training. How Many Are Getting It? — from edweek.org by Lauraine Langreo

Even though it’s been more than a year since ChatGPT made a big splash in the K-12 world, many teachers say they are still not receiving any training on using artificial intelligence tools in the classroom.

More than 7 in 10 teachers said they haven’t received any professional development on using AI in the classroom, according to a nationally representative EdWeek Research Center survey of 953 educators, including 553 teachers, conducted between Jan. 31 and March 4.

From DSC:
This article mentioned the following resource:

Artificial Intelligence Explorations for Educators — from iste.org


 

The $340 Billion Corporate Learning Industry Is Poised For Disruption — from joshbersin.com by Josh Bersin

What if, for example, the corporate learning system knew who you were and you could simply ask it a question and it would generate an answer, a series of resources, and a dynamic set of learning objects for you to consume? In some cases you’ll take the answer and run. In other cases you’ll pour through the content. And in other cases you’ll browse through the course and take the time to learn what you need.

And suppose all this happened in a totally personalized way. So you didn’t see a “standard course” but a special course based on your level of existing knowledge?

This is what AI is going to bring us. And yes, it’s already happening today.

 

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.



 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian