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.
.

 


Higher Education Has Not Been Forgotten by Generative AI — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
The generative AI (GenAI) revolution has not ignored higher education; a whole host of tools are available now and more revolutionary tools are on the way.

Some of the apps that have been developed for general use can be customized for specific topical areas in higher ed. For example, I created a version of GPT, “Ray’s EduAI Advisor,” that builds onto the current GPT-4o version with specific updates and perspectives on AI in higher education. It is freely available to users. With few tools and no knowledge of the programming involved, anyone can build their own GPT to supplement information for their classes or interest groups.

Excerpts from Ray’s EduAI Advisor bot:

AI’s global impact on higher education, particularly in at-scale classes and degree programs, is multifaceted, encompassing several key areas:
1. Personalized Learning…
2. Intelligent Tutoring Systems…
3. Automated Assessment…
4. Enhanced Accessibility…
5. Predictive Analytics…
6. Scalable Virtual Classrooms
7. Administrative Efficiency…
8. Continuous Improvement…

Instructure and Khan Academy Announce Partnership to Enhance Teaching and Learning With Khanmigo, the AI Tool for Education — from instructure.com
Shiren Vijiasingam and Jody Sailor make an exciting announcement about a new partnership sure to make a difference in education everywhere.

 

Is College Worth It? Poll Finds Only 36% of Americans Have Confidence in Higher Education — from usnews.com by Associated Press
A new poll finds Americans are increasingly skeptical about the value and cost of college

Americans are increasingly skeptical about the value and cost of college, with most saying they feel the U.S. higher education system is headed in the “wrong direction,” according to a new poll.

Overall, only 36% of adults say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, according to the report released Monday by Gallup and the Lumina Foundation. That confidence level has declined steadily from 57% in 2015.

 

Enrollment Planning in the Specter of Closure — from insidehighered.com by Mark Campbell and Rachel Schreiber; via GSV
Misunderstandings about enrollment management and changing student needs can make a bad situation worse, Mark Campbell and Rachel Schreiber write. 

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

However, we find that many institutions provide little to no information to prospective students about actual outcomes for graduates. Examples include: What does applying to graduate school look like for graduates? Employment and earning potential? Average student loan debt? What do alumni say about their experience? What data do you have that is compelling to answer these and related questions? Families increasingly ask, “What is the ROI on this investment?”

Another important issue relates to the unwillingness of leaders to evolve the institution to meet market demands. We have too often seen that storied, historic institutions have cultures that are change averse, and this seems to be particularly true in the liberal arts. This statement might appear to be controversial—but only if misunderstood.

To be clear, the humanities and the arts are vital, critical aspects of our institutions. But today’s prospective students are highly focused on career outcomes, given the financial investment they and their families are being asked to make. We believe that curricular offerings can place a high value on the core principles of the humanities and liberal arts while also preparing students for careers.

By contrast, curricular innovation, alterations to long-held marketing practices, openness to self-reflection regarding out-of-date programs, practices and policies—in short, a willingness to change and adapt—are all key. Finally, vital and successful institutions develop long-term strategic enrollment plans that are tactical, realistic and assessable and for which there is clarity about accountability. Putting these practices in place now can avert catastrophe down the road.

 

Mary Meeker wants AI and higher education to be partners — from axios.com by Dan Primack; via Robert Gibson on LinkedIn

Mary Meeker has written her first report in over four years, focused on the relationship between artificial intelligence and U.S. higher education.

Why it matters: Meeker’s annual “Internet Trends” reports were among Silicon Valley’s most cited and consumed documents.

  • Each one dug deep into the new tech economy, with hundreds of pages of slides. The last one was published in 2019.
  • Meeker’s new effort is a shorter attempt (16 pages!) at reconciling tech’s brave new world and America’s economic vitality, with higher ed as the connective tissue.

Excerpts from Meeker’s report:

Actions taken in the next five years will be consequential. It’s important for higher education to take a leadership role, in combination with industry and government. The ramp in artificial intelligence – which leverages the history of learning for learning – affects all forms of learning, teaching, understanding, and decision making. This should be the best of times…

Our first-pass observations on these topics follow. We begin with an overview, followed by thoughts on the unprecedented ramp in AI usage and the magnitude of investment in AI from America’s leading global technology companies. Then we explore ways that this rapidly changing AI landscape may drive transformations in higher education. We hope these add to the discussion.

AI & Universities – Will Masters of Learning Master New Learnings?

In a time of rapid technological change led by American companies, American universities must determine how best to optimize for the future. Many institutions have work to do to meet these changes in demand, per the Burning Glass Institute. As the AI challenge looms, they will need thoughtful plans that balance their rich traditions and research history with the needs of a rapidly evolving marketplace supercharged by innovation. Keeping an eye on the output and trends in various AI skunkworks, such as the team at AI Acceleration at Arizona State, may help universities determine the products and software tools that could transform the educational experience.

 

More colleges are breaching their debt requirements: S&P — from highereddive.com by Ben Unglesbee
Amid operating pressures, some institutions are struggling to meet financial metrics stipulated in their bond and loan covenants.

Dive Brief:

  • A growing number of colleges are breaching bond and loan stipulations, known as covenants, that require them to stay within certain financial health parameters, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings.
  • The agency cited 12 colleges it rates that have breached covenants since last June. In most cases, bondholders waived the violation. Some covenants could allow debtholders to accelerate repayment, which could add to an institution’s liquidity and ratings risks.
  • S&P downgraded ratings for about half the institutions with violations, typically because of underlying financial issues. “We see continued credit quality divergence in the U.S. higher education sector, with weaker-positioned institutions experiencing budgetary pressure and covenant violations,” the analysts said.

Student Loan Borrowers Owe $1.6 Trillion. Nearly Half Aren’t Paying. — from nytimes.com by Stacy Cowley (behind a paywall)
Millions of people are overdue on their federal loans or still have them paused — and court rulings keep upending collection efforts.

After an unprecedented three-year timeout on federal student loan payments because of the pandemic, millions of borrowers began repaying their debt when billing resumed late last year. But nearly as many have not.

That reality, along with court decisions that regularly upend the rules, has complicated the government’s efforts to restart its system for collecting the $1.6 trillion it is owed.


Universities Investing in Microcredential Leadership — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
As microcredential programs slowly gain traction, more universities are looking for leaders to coordinate the efforts.

Microcredentials—also known as digital badges, credentials, certificate, or alternative credentials—grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they are attracting renewed interest as institutions look to widen their nets for nontraditional students as an enrollment cliff looms.

In addition to backing these programs, some universities are going further by hiring staff solely to oversee microcredential efforts.


A Plan to Save Small Colleges — from insidehighered.com by Michael Alexander
Small colleges could join forces through a supporting-organization model, Michael Alexander writes.

The challenges are significant. But there is a way to increase the probability of survival for many small colleges or spare them from a spartan existence. It involves groups of colleges affiliating under a particular structure that would facilitate both (1) a significant reduction in operating costs for each college and (2) a rationalization of each college’s academic offerings to concentrate on its strongest programs.

 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Resources from things such as:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

 

Career and Technical Education Clears New Pathways to Opportunity — from educationnext.org by Bruno V. Manno; via Ryan Craig
A student’s post-secondary options need not be binary

Many Americans, including the last wave of Gen Z-ers now entering high schools, want schools to offer more education and training options for young people like career and technical education, or CTE. They broadly agree that the K–12 goal of “college for all” over the last several decades has not served all students well. It should be replaced with “opportunity pluralism,” or the recognition that a college degree is one of many pathways to post-secondary success.

School-based CTE programs (there are also programs for adults) typically prepare middle and high school students for a range of high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers. These include fields like advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and information technology which often do not require a two- or four-year college degree. CTE programs award students recognized credentials like industry certifications and licenses.

 

Overcoming the ‘Entry Level’ Catch-22 in the Age of AI — from reachcapital.com by Shauntel Garvey

The New Entry-Level Job (and Skill)
In a world where AI can perform entry-level tasks, and employers are prioritizing experienced candidates, how can recent college graduates and job seekers find a job?

AI is the new entry-level skill. As AI permeates every industry, it’s becoming increasingly common for employers to ask candidates how they think about applying AI to their jobs. (We’ve started asking this here at Reach ourselves.) Even if the job is not technical and doesn’t list AI as a skill, candidates would do well to prepare. Journalists, for instance, are warming up to using AI to transcribe interviews and suggest headlines.

So it’s not just AI that may take your entry-level role, but rather the person who knows how to use it. Candidates who are bracing for this technological shift and proactively building their AI literacy and expertise will have a leg up.


On a related note, also see:

Make AI Literacy a Priority With These Free Resources — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • Leading school systems are incorporating AI tools such as tutoring, chatbots, and teacher assistants, and promoting AI literacy among teachers and students to adapt to the evolving role of AI in education.

 

From DSC:
As I can’t embed his posting, I’m copying/pasting Jeff’s posting on LinkedIn:


According to Flighty, I logged more than 2,220 flight miles in the last 5 days traveling to three conferences to give keynotes and spend time with housing officers in Milwaukee, college presidents in Mackinac Island, MI, and enrollment and marketing leaders in Raleigh.

Before I rest, I wanted to post some quick thoughts about what I learned. Thank you to everyone who shared their wisdom these past few days:

  • We need to think about the “why” and “how” of AI in higher ed. The “why” shouldn’t be just because everyone else is doing it. Rather, the “why” is to reposition higher ed for a different future of competitors. The “how” shouldn’t be to just seek efficiency and cut jobs. Rather we should use AI to learn from its users to create a better experience going forward.
  • Residence halls are not just infrastructure. They are part and parcel of the student experience and critical to student success. Almost half of students living on campus say it increases their sense of belonging, according to research by the Association of College & University Housing Officers.
  • How do we extend the “residential experience”? More than half of traditional undergraduates who live on campus now take at least once course online. As students increasingly spend time off campus – or move off campus as early as their second year in college – we need to help continue to make the connections for them that they would in a dorm. Why? 47% of college students believe living in a college residence hall enhanced their ability to resolve conflicts.
  • Career must be at the core of the student experience for colleges to thrive in the future, says Andy Chan. Yes, some people might see that as too narrow of a view of higher ed or might not want to provide cogs for the wheel of the workforce, but without the job, none of the other benefits of college follow–citizenship, health, engagement.
  • A “triple threat grad”–someone who has an internship, a semester-long project, and an industry credential (think Salesforce or Adobe in addition to their degree–matters more in the job market than major or institution, says Brandon Busteed.
  • Every faculty member should think of themselves as an ambassador for the institution. Yes, care about their discipline/department, but that doesn’t survive if the rest of the institution falls down around them.
  • Presidents need to place bigger bets rather than spend pennies and dimes on a bunch of new strategies. That means to free up resources they need to stop doing things.
  • Higher ed needs a new business model. Institutions can’t make money just from tuition, and new products like certificates, are pennies on the dollars of degrees.
  • Boards aren’t ready for the future. They are over-indexed on philanthropy and alumni and not enough on the expertise needed for leading higher ed.

From DSC:
As I can’t embed his posting, I’m copying/pasting Jeff’s posting on LinkedIn:


It’s the stat that still gnaws at me: 62%.

That’s the percentage of high school graduates going right on to college. A decade ago it was around 70%. So for all the bellyaching about the demographic cliff in higher ed, just imagine if today we were close to that 70% number? We’d be talking a few hundred thousand more students in the system.

As I told a gathering of presidents of small colleges and universities last night on Mackinac Island — the first time I had to take [numerous modes of transportation] to get to a conference — being small isn’t distinctive anymore.

There are many reasons undergrad enrollment is down, but they all come down to two interrelated trends: jobs and affordability.

The job has become so central to what students want out of the experience. It’s almost as if colleges now need to guarantee a job.

These institutions will need to rethink the learner relationship with work. Instead of college with work on the side, we might need to move to more of a mindset of work with college on the side by:

  • Making campus jobs more meaningful. Why can’t we have accounting and finance majors work in the CFO office, liberal arts majors work in IT on platforms such as Salesforce and Workday, which are skills needed in the workplace, etc.?
  • Apprenticeships are not just for the trades anymore. Integrate work-based learning into the undergrad experience in a much bigger way than internships and even co-ops.
  • Credentials within the degree. Every graduate should leave college with more than just a BA but also a certified credential in things like data viz, project management, the Adobe suite, Alteryx, etc.
  • The curriculum needs to be more flexible for students to combine work and learning — not only for the experience but also money for college — so more availability of online courses, hybrid courses, and flexible semesters.

How else can we think about learning and earning?


 

Neurodivergent students — from The Hechinger Report by Olivia Sanchez

“Neurodivergent people spend their whole lives trying to learn how neurotypical people operate, and trying to change themselves to fit neurotypical standards,” Gudnkecht said. “I just think it’s important for neurotypical people to also put in a tiny bit of effort to understand us, just because we spend our whole life trying to understand them.”

At its simplest, neurodiversity is the idea that everybody’s brains work differently, and that these differences are normal. Neurodivergent, which is not a medical diagnosis, is an umbrella term that refers to people who have autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, or other atypical ways of thinking, learning and interacting with others.

“It’s obviously essential to give the appropriate accommodations to people with disabilities. Like, that’s definitely like number one,” Gudknecht said. “But it’s also equally as essential to support the social and emotional well-being of students.”

 

Homeschoolers Embrace AI, Even As Many Educators Keep It at Arms’ Length — from .the74million.org by Greg Toppo
Ed tech expert: Once you persuade parents & kids to use AI, ‘There’s nobody else you have to convince.’

Then came ChatGPT, Open AI’s widely used artificial intelligence bot. For Fender, it was a no-brainer to query it for help developing deep opening questions.

The chatbot and other AI tools like it have found an eager audience among homeschoolers and microschoolers, with parents and teachers readily embracing it as a brainstorming and management tool, even as public schools take a more cautious approach, often banning it outright.

A few observers say AI may even make homeschooling more practical, opening it up to busy parents who might have balked previously.

“Not everyone is using it, but some are very excited about it,” said Amir Nathoo, co-founder of Outschool, an online education platform.

 

Impact of Missed Special Ed. Evaluations Could Echo for Years — from edweek.org by Evie Blad

The practical consequences for individual students are significant: students with undiagnosed dyslexia lacked needed supports during the crucial years of early literacy instruction, while students with unrecognized emotional disability went without interventions to help them constructively respond to challenges. And while schools are working to provide compensatory education for gaps in special education services for students who had been identified before the pandemic, their obligations to those who missed identification altogether are far less clear.

The estimate, which builds on similar research from other states, echoes the concerns of advocates who’ve sounded alarms about the pandemic’s effects on students with disabilities. Such students, they say, missed precious opportunities for earlier interventions because of stalled evaluations.

 

Anthropic Introduces Claude 3.5 Sonnet — from anthropic.com

Anthropic Introduces Claude 3.5 Sonnet

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

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

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

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


And speaking of training students on AI, also see:

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

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

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

 



Addendum on 6/28/24:

Collaborate with Claude on Projects — from anthropic.com

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Also relevant, see:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


And speaking of homeschooling…

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

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


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

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

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

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

 
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