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.
.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The future of career exploration is virtual — from fastcompany.com by Bharani Rajakumar
Maximizing our investment and reinvigorating the workforce will take a whole new approach to educating students about the paths that await.

A PUSH TOWARD EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
There is an answer to our narrow-view career exploration, and it starts with experiential learning.

Over the last decade, educational institutions have been reaping the rewards of more engrossing learning experiences. As Independent School magazine wrote a decade ago, when experiential learning was becoming more popular, by setting young people “loose to solve real-world problems, we are helping students find that essential spark not only to build their academic résumés, but also to be creative, caring, capable, engaged human beings.”

Rather than take students on field trips, we have the technology to create extended reality (XR) experiences that take students on a journey of what various careers actually look like in action.

 

Exclusive: AI isn’t a daily habit yet for teens, young adults — from axios.com by Scott Rosenberg

Young Americans are quickly embracing generative AI as a tool, but few have yet made it a part of their daily lives, according to new data shared exclusively with Axios from Common Sense Media, Hopelab and the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Center for Digital Thriving.

Why it matters: Since the rise of the web 30 years ago, young users have typically adopted and shaped each new dominant tech platform.

By the numbers: The survey of 1,274 U.S.-based teens and young adults, conducted in October and November 2023, found that only 4% of respondents, all aged 14-22, said they use AI tools daily or almost daily.

As cited in the above article, also see:

 

From DSC:
My wife does a lot of work with foster families and CASA kids, and she recommends these resources for helping children who have experienced adversity, early harm, toxic stress, and/or trauma. 


TBRI: Trust Based Relational Intervention — from child.tcu.edu by Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development

TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

The Connected Child by Karen Purvis

The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion. Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:

  • Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
  • Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
  • Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened
 

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

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


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

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

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

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

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


 

 

Rise Of Homeschooling Is Making A Transformative Impact On Education — from forbes.com by Sarah Hernholm

In 2019, prior to remote learning, approximately 2.5 million students were homeschooled in the United States. This number has risen significantly, with estimates indicating that almost 4 million students are being homeschooled nationwide.

The homeschooling educational approach allows parents or guardians to educate their children at home rather than sending them to a traditional public or private school. Homeschooling families typically design their own curriculum or use pre-designed curricula tailored to their children’s needs and interests. In many cases, homeschooling is a choice made by families seeking more flexibility, personalized instruction, or alignment with their values and beliefs about education

 

 

Learning to Work, Or Working to Learn? — from insidehighered.com by Erin Crisp; via Melanie Booth, Ed.D. on LinkedIn
We need a systems approach to making work-to-learn models just as accessible as traditional learn-to-work pathways, Erin Crisp writes.

Over the past two years, I have had the unique experience of scaling support for a statewide registered teacher-apprenticeship program while also parenting three college-aged sons. The declining appeal of postsecondary education, especially among young men, is evident at my dinner table, in my office, and in my dreams (literally).

Scaling a statewide apprenticeship program for the preparation of teachers has meant that I am consistently hearing from four stakeholder groups—K-12 school district leaders, college and university leaders, aspiring young educators, and local workforce development leaders.

A theme has emerged from my professional life, one that echoes the dinner table conversations happening in my personal life: Society needs systematic work-to-learn pathways in addition to the current learn-to-work ecosystem. This is not an either/or. What we need is a systematic expansion of effort.

In a work-to-learn model, the traditional college sequence is flipped. Instead of starting with general education coursework or survey courses, the working learner is actively engaged in practicing the skills they are interested in acquiring. A workplace supervisor often helps him make connections between the coursework and the job. The learner’s attention is piqued. The learning is relevant. The learner gains confidence, and seeing their influence in the workplace (and paycheck) is satisfying. All of the ARCS model elements are easily achieved.

 

Educators help children and teens learn how to identify fake news — from WMUK.org by Kalloli Bhatt and Sue Ellen Christian

Last year at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, kids could learn about how misinformation is made and how to avoid it. Now the media scholar behind the exhibit is adapting it for libraries.

A new exhibit for libraries

That concern also drove the “Wonder Media” exhibit that ran through last year at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. Sue Ellen Christian is a communications professor at Western Michigan University. The exhibit was her idea. Full disclosure: I’m a former student of Christian’s. We met in her office on campus.

“It’s really important for our entire society to think about the importance of facts and truth to a democracy,” said Christian. “And without an informed citizenry, we cannot have a healthy democracy.”

Christian recently received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, based in Washington D.C., to adapt the Wonder Media exhibit for public libraries. It’s designed to reach middle-school-age children.

Mainly, with her grant, Christian wants to develop something for students whose schools do not have librarians anymore. The website associated with the exhibit has resources for students, teachers, and libraries.

 

 

 

Description:

I recently created an AI version of myself—REID AI—and recorded a Q&A to see how this digital twin might challenge me in new ways. The video avatar is generated by Hour One, its voice was created by Eleven Labs, and its persona—the way that REID AI formulates responses—is generated from a custom chatbot built on GPT-4 that was trained on my books, speeches, podcasts and other content that I’ve produced over the last few decades. I decided to interview it to test its capability and how closely its responses match—and test—my thinking. Then, REID AI asked me some questions on AI and technology. I thought I would hate this, but I’ve actually ended up finding the whole experience interesting and thought-provoking.


From DSC:
This ability to ask questions of a digital twin is very interesting when you think about it in terms of “interviewing” a historical figure. I believe character.ai provides this kind of thing, but I haven’t used it much.


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian