2024 Global Skills Report -- from Coursera

  • AI literacy emerges as a global imperative
  • AI readiness initiatives drive emerging skill adoption across regions
  • The digital skills gap persists in a rapidly evolving job market
  • Cybersecurity skills remain crucial amid talent shortages and evolving threats
  • Micro-credentials are a rapid pathway for learners to prepare for in-demand jobs
  • The global gender gap in online learning continues to narrow, but regional disparities persist
  • Different regions prioritize different skills, but the majority focus on emerging or foundational capabilities

You can use the Global Skills Report 2024 to:

  • Identify critical skills for your students to strengthen employability
  • Align curriculum to drive institutional advantage nationally
  • Track emerging skill trends like GenAI and cybersecurity
  • Understand entry-level and digital role skill trends across six regions
 

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.

 

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.

 

Is College Worth It? — from pewresearch.org by Richard Fry, Dana Braga, and Kim Parker
As economic outcomes for young adults with and without degrees have improved, Americans hold mixed views on the value of college

 


From DSC:
I post items like this in the hopes that those working within the world of higher education will lower the price of obtaining a degree while moving much more aggressively to offer more affordable ways of learning throughout one’s life.


A relevant addendum on 6/6/24:


Universities Try 3-Year Degrees To Save Students Time, Money — from the74million.org by Elaine S. Povich
As states explore shorter degrees, some faculty say they undercut students’ education.

With college costs rising and some students and families questioning the return on investment of a four-year degree, a few pioneering state universities are exploring programs that would grant certain bachelor’s degrees in three years.

The programs, which also are being tried at some private schools, would require 90 credits instead of the traditional 120 for a bachelor’s degree, and wouldn’t require summer classes or studying over breaks. In some cases, the degrees would be designed to fit industry needs.

 

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.

 

Introducing ChatGPT Edu — from openai.com
An affordable offering for universities to responsibly bring AI to campus.

We’re announcing ChatGPT Edu, a version of ChatGPT built for universities to responsibly deploy AI to students, faculty, researchers, and campus operations. Powered by GPT-4o, ChatGPT Edu can reason across text and vision and use advanced tools such as data analysis. This new offering includes enterprise-level security and controls and is affordable for educational institutions.

We built ChatGPT Edu because we saw the success universities like the University of Oxford, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania(opens in a new window), University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University(opens in a new window), and Columbia University in the City of New York were having with ChatGPT Enterprise.

ChatGPT can help with various tasks across campus, such as providing personalized tutoring for students and reviewing their resumes, helping researchers write grant applications, and assisting faculty with grading and feedback. 


Claude can now use tools — from anthropic.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Tool use, which enables Claude to interact with external tools and APIs, is now generally available across the entire Claude 3 model family on the Anthropic Messages API, Amazon Bedrock, and Google Cloud’s Vertex AI. With tool use, Claude can perform tasks, manipulate data, and provide more dynamic—and accurate—responses.

Define a toolset for Claude and specify your request in natural language. Claude will then select the appropriate tool to fulfill the task and, when appropriate, execute the corresponding action:

  • Extract structured data from unstructured text…
  • Convert natural language requests into structured API calls…
  • Answer questions by searching databases or using web APIs…
  • Automate simple tasks through software APIs…
  • Orchestrate multiple fast Claude subagents for granular tasks…

From DSC:
The above posting reminds me of this other posting…as AGENTS are likely going to become much more popular and part of our repertoire:

Forget Chatbots. AI Agents Are the Future — from wired.com by Will Knight
Startups and tech giants are trying to move from chatbots that offer help via text, to AI agents that can get stuff done. Recent demos include an AI coder called Devin and agents that play videogames.

Devin is just the latest, most polished example of a trend I’ve been tracking for a while—the emergence of AI agents that instead of just providing answers or advice about a problem presented by a human can take action to solve it. A few months back I test drove Auto-GPT, an open source program that attempts to do useful chores by taking actions on a person’s computer and on the web. Recently I tested another program called vimGPT to see how the visual skills of new AI models can help these agents browse the web more efficiently.

 


Looking Back on My AI Blog One Year In: AI Unfolding as Predicted — from stefanbauschard.substack.com Stefan Bauschard

On May 30, 2023, I’ve started blogging about AI, and, so far, I think things have been unfolding as predicted.

Topics included:

  • AGI
  • It’s not just another piece of Edtech
  • AI Literacy
  • Bot Teachers/tutors
  • AI Writing Detectors
  • AI Use in the Classroom is Uncontrollable
  • …and more

 

 

OPINION: Americans need help paying for new, nondegree programs and college alternatives — from hechingerreport.org by Connor Diemand-Yauman and Rebecca Taber Staehelin
Updating the Pell Grant program would be an excellent way to support much-needed alternatives

Janelle’s story is all too familiar throughout the U.S. — stuck in a low-paying job, struggling to make ends meet after being failed by college. Roughly 40 million Americans have left college without completing a degree — historically seen as a golden ticket to the middle class.

Yet even with a degree, many fall short of economic prosperity.

 

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:





 

 

.

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:

 


Information Age vs Generation Age Technologies for Learning — from opencontent.org by David Wiley

Remember (emphasis DSC)

  • the internet eliminated time and place as barriers to education, and
  • generative AI eliminates access to expertise as a barrier to education.

Just as instructional designs had to be updated to account for all the changes in affordances of online learning, they will need to be dramatically updated again to account for the new affordances of generative AI.


The Curious Educator’s Guide to AI | Strategies and Exercises for Meaningful Use in Higher Ed  — from ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub by Kyle Mackie and Erin Aspenlieder; via Stephen Downes

This guide is designed to help educators and researchers better understand the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education. This openly-licensed resource contains strategies and exercises to help foster an understanding of AI’s potential benefits and challenges. We start with a foundational approach, providing you with prompts on aligning AI with your curiosities and goals.

The middle section of this guide encourages you to explore AI tools and offers some insights into potential applications in teaching and research. Along with exposure to the tools, we’ll discuss when and how to effectively build AI into your practice.

The final section of this guide includes strategies for evaluating and reflecting on your use of AI. Throughout, we aim to promote use that is effective, responsible, and aligned with your educational objectives. We hope this resource will be a helpful guide in making informed and strategic decisions about using AI-powered tools to enhance teaching and learning and research.


Annual Provosts’ Survey Shows Need for AI Policies, Worries Over Campus Speech — from insidehighered.com by Ryan Quinn
Many institutions are not yet prepared to help their faculty members and students navigate artificial intelligence. That’s just one of multiple findings from Inside Higher Ed’s annual survey of chief academic officers.

Only about one in seven provosts said their colleges or universities had reviewed the curriculum to ensure it will prepare students for AI in their careers. Thuswaldner said that number needs to rise. “AI is here to stay, and we cannot put our heads in the sand,” he said. “Our world will be completely dominated by AI and, at this point, we ain’t seen nothing yet.”


Is GenAI in education more of a Blackberry or iPhone? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s been a rush to incorporate generative AI into every aspect of education, from K-12 to university courses. But is the technology mature enough to support the tools that rely on it?

In other words, it’s going to mean investing in concepts, not products.

This, to me, is at the heart of an “iPhone mindset” as opposed to a “Blackberry mindset” when it comes to AI in education — an approach that avoids hard wiring in constantly changing technologies, and that builds experimentation and innovation into the very DNA of learning.

For all my concerns here though, maybe there is something to being inspired by the Blackberry/iPhone analogy — not as a playbook for developing and using AI in education, but as a mindset that embraces innovation while avoiding becoming locked in to apps that are detrimentally unreliable and that ultimately lead to dead ends.


Do teachers spot AI? Evaluating the detectability of AI-generated texts among student essays — from sciencedirect.com by Johanna Fleckenstein, Jennifer Meyer, Thorben Jansen, Stefan D. Keller, Olaf Köller, and Jens Möller

Highlights

  • Randomized-controlled experiments investigating novice and experienced teachers’ ability to identify AI-generated texts.
  • Generative AI can simulate student essay writing in a way that is undetectable for teachers.
  • Teachers are overconfident in their source identification.
  • AI-generated essays tend to be assessed more positively than student-written texts.

Can Using a Grammar Checker Set Off AI-Detection Software? — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
A college student says she was falsely accused of cheating, and her story has gone viral. Where is the line between acceptable help and cheating with AI?


Use artificial intelligence to get your students thinking critically — from timeshighereducation.com by Urbi Ghosh
When crafting online courses, teaching critical thinking skills is crucial. Urbi Ghosh shows how generative AI can shape how educators can approach this


ChatGPT shaming is a thing – and it shouldn’t be — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
There’s a growing tension between early and creative adopters of text based generative AI and those who equate its use with cheating. And when this leads to shaming, it’s a problem.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

This will sound familiar to anyone who’s incorporating generative AI into their professional workflows. But there are still many people who haven’t used apps like ChatGPT, are largely unaware of what they do, and are suspicious of them. And yet they’ve nevertheless developed strong opinions around how they should and should not be used.

From DSC:
Yes…that sounds like how many faculty members viewed online learning, even though they had never taught online before.

 

Are Colleges Ready For an Online-Education World Without OPMs? — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell (Columnist)
Online Program Management companies have helped hundreds of colleges build online degree programs, but the sector is showing signs of strain.

For more than 15 years, a group of companies known as Online Program Management providers, or OPMs, have been helping colleges build online degree programs. And most of them have relied on an unusual arrangement — where the companies put up the financial backing to help colleges launch programs in exchange for a large portion of tuition revenue.

As a longtime administrator of online programs at colleges, I have mixed feelings about the idea of shutting down the model. And the question boils down to this: Are colleges ready for a world without OPMs?


Guy Raz on Podcasts and Passion: Audio’s Ability to Spark Learning — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn

This conversation went in a bunch of unexpected directions. And that’s what’s so fun about it. After all, podcasting is all about bringing audio back and turning learning into leisure. And the question Guy and his partner Mindy Thomas asked a while back was: Why not bring kids in on the fun? Guy shared how his studio, Tinkercast, is leveraging the medium to inspire and educate the next generation of problem solvers.

We discussed the power of audio to capture curiosities and foster imagination, how Tinkercast is doing that in and out of the classroom, and how it can help re-engage students in building needed skills at a critical time. Enjoy!



April 2024 Job Cuts Announced by US-Based Companies Fall; More Cuts Attributed to TX DEI Law, AI in April — from challengergray.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Education
Companies in the Education industry, which includes schools and universities, cut the second-most jobs last month with 8,092 for a total of 17,892. That is a 635% increase from the 2,435 cuts announced during the first four months of 2023.

“April is typically the time school districts are hiring and setting budgets for the next fiscal year. Certainly, there are budgetary constraints, as labor costs rise, but school systems also have a retention and recruitment issue,” said Challenger.


Lifetime college returns differ significantly by major, research finds — from highereddive.com by Lilah Burke
Engineering and computer science showed the best return out of 10 fields of study that were examined.

Dive Brief:

  • The lifetime rate of return for a college education differs significantly by major, but it also varies by a student’s gender and race or ethnicity, according to new peer-reviewed research published in the American Educational Research Journal.
  • A bachelor’s degree in general provides a roughly 9% rate of return for men, and nearly 10% for women, researchers concluded. The majors with the best returns were computer science and engineering.
  • Black, Hispanic and Asian college graduates had slightly higher rates of return than their White counterparts, the study found.
 

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.

.

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.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian