From NPR -- The Student Podcast Challenge

We’re inviting students from around the country to make a podcast and compete for a chance to have their work featured on NPR.

Students in fifth grade through college are eligible to participate, but the rules vary depending on your grade. 

Make your voice heard! Be a part of NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge!

 

9 Tips for Using AI for Learning (and Fun!) — from edutopia.org by Daniel Leonard; via Donna Norton on X/Twitter
These innovative, AI-driven activities will help you engage students across grade levels and subject areas.

Here are nine AI-based lesson ideas to try across different grade levels and subject areas.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

AI-generated Animated Drawing of artwork

Courtesy of Meta AI Research
A child’s drawing (left) and animations created with Animated Drawings.

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1. Bring Student Drawings to Life: Young kids love to sketch, and AI can animate their sketches—and introduce them to the power of the technology in the process.

HIGH SCHOOL

8. Speak With AI in a Foreign Language: When learning a new language, students might feel self-conscious about making mistakes and avoid practicing as much as they should.


Though not necessarily about education, also see:

How I Use AI for Productivity — from wondertools.substack.com by Jeremy Caplan
In this Wonder Tools audio post I share a dozen of my favorite AI tools

From DSC:
I like Jeremy’s mentioning the various tools that he used in making this audio post:

 

The Beatles’ final song is now streaming thanks to AI — from theverge.com by Chris Welch
Machine learning helped Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr turn an old John Lennon demo into what’s likely the band’s last collaborative effort.


Scientists excited by AI tool that grades severity of rare cancer — from bbc.com by Fergus Walsh

Artificial intelligence is nearly twice as good at grading the aggressiveness of a rare form of cancer from scans as the current method, a study suggests.

By recognising details invisible to the naked eye, AI was 82% accurate, compared with 44% for lab analysis.

Researchers from the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research say it could improve treatment and benefit thousands every year.

They are also excited by its potential for spotting other cancers early.


Microsoft unveils ‘LeMa’: A revolutionary AI learning method mirroring human problem solving — from venturebeat.com by Michael Nuñez

Researchers from Microsoft Research Asia, Peking University, and Xi’an Jiaotong University have developed a new technique to improve large language models’ (LLMs) ability to solve math problems by having them learn from their mistakes, akin to how humans learn.

The researchers have revealed a pioneering strategy, Learning from Mistakes (LeMa), which trains AI to correct its own mistakes, leading to enhanced reasoning abilities, according to a research paper published this week.

Also from Michael Nuñez at venturebeat.com, see:


GPTs for all, AzeemBot; conspiracy theorist AI; big tech vs. academia; reviving organs ++448 — from exponentialviewco by Azeem Azhar and Chantal Smith


Personalized A.I. Agents Are Here. Is the World Ready for Them? — from ytimes.com by Kevin Roose (behind a paywall)

You could think of the recent history of A.I. chatbots as having two distinct phases.

The first, which kicked off last year with the release of ChatGPT and continues to this day, consists mainly of chatbots capable of talking about things. Greek mythology, vegan recipes, Python scripts — you name the topic and ChatGPT and its ilk can generate some convincing (if occasionally generic or inaccurate) text about it.

That ability is impressive, and frequently useful, but it is really just a prelude to the second phase: artificial intelligence that can actually do things. Very soon, tech companies tell us, A.I. “agents” will be able to send emails and schedule meetings for us, book restaurant reservations and plane tickets, and handle complex tasks like “negotiate a raise with my boss” or “buy Christmas presents for all my family members.”


From DSC:
Very cool!


Nvidia Stock Jumps After Unveiling of Next Major AI Chip. It’s Bad News for Rivals. — from barrons.com

On Monday, Nvidia (ticker: NVDA) announced its new H200 Tensor Core GPU. The chip incorporates 141 gigabytes of memory and offers up to 60% to 90% performance improvements versus its current H100 model when used for inference, or generating answers from popular AI models.

From DSC:
The exponential curve seems to be continuing — 60% to 90% performance improvements is a huge boost in performance.

Also relevant/see:


The 5 Best GPTs for Work — from the AI Exchange

Custom GPTs are exploding, and we wanted to highlight our top 5 that we’ve seen so far:

 

What happens to teaching after Covid? — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

It’s an era many instructors would like to put behind them: black boxes on Zoom screens, muffled discussions behind masks, students struggling to stay engaged. But how much more challenging would teaching during the pandemic have been if colleges did not have experts on staff to help with the transition? On many campuses, teaching-center directors, instructional designers, educational technologists, and others worked alongside professors to explore learning-management systems, master video technology, and rethink what and how they teach.

A new book out this month, Higher Education Beyond Covid: New Teaching Paradigms and Promise, explores this period through the stories of campus teaching and learning centers. Their experiences reflect successes and failures, and what higher education could learn as it plans for the future.

Beth also mentioned/link to:


How to hold difficult discussions online — from chronicle.com by Beckie Supiano

As usual, our readers were full of suggestions. Kathryn Schild, the lead instructional designer in faculty development and instructional support at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, shared a guide she’s compiled on holding asynchronous discussions, which includes a section on difficult topics.

In an email, Schild also pulled out a few ideas she thought were particularly relevant to Le’s question, including:

  • Set the ground rules as a class. One way to do this is to share your draft rules in a collaborative document and ask students to annotate it and add suggestions.
  • Plan to hold fewer difficult discussions than in a face-to-face class, and work on quality over quantity. This could include multiweek discussions, where you spiral through the same issue with fresh perspectives as the class learns new approaches.
  • Start with relationship-building interactions in the first few weeks, such as introductions, low-stakes group assignments, or peer feedback, etc.
 

As AI Chatbots Rise, More Educators Look to Oral Exams — With High-Tech Twist — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

To use Sherpa, an instructor first uploads the reading they’ve assigned, or they can have the student upload a paper they’ve written. Then the tool asks a series of questions about the text (either questions input by the instructor or generated by the AI) to test the student’s grasp of key concepts. The software gives the instructor the choice of whether they want the tool to record audio and video of the conversation, or just audio.

The tool then uses AI to transcribe the audio from each student’s recording and flags areas where the student answer seemed off point. Teachers can review the recording or transcript of the conversation and look at what Sherpa flagged as trouble to evaluate the student’s response.

 

Humane’s ‘Ai Pin’ debuts on the Paris runway — from techcrunch.com by Brian Heater

“The [Ai Pin is a] connected and intelligent clothing-based wearable device uses a range of sensors that enable contextual and ambient compute interactions,” the company noted at the time. “The Ai Pin is a type of standalone device with a software platform that harnesses the power of Ai to enable innovative personal computing experiences.”


Also relevant/see:

 



Adobe video-AI announcements for IBC — from provideocoalition.com by Rich Young

For the IBC 2023 conference, Adobe announced new AI and 3D features to Creative Cloud video tools, including Premiere Pro Enhance Speech for faster dialog cleanup, and filler word detection and removal in Text-Based Editing. There’s also new AI-based rotoscoping and a true 3D workspace in the After Effects beta, as well as new camera-to-cloud integrations and advanced storage options in Frame.io.

Though not really about AI, you might also be interested in this posting:


Airt AI Art Generator (Review) — from hongkiat.com
Turn your creative ideas into masterpieces using Airt’s AI iPad app.

The Airt AI Generator app makes it easy to create art on your iPad. You can pick an art style and a model to make your artwork. It’s simple enough for anyone to use, but it doesn’t have many options for customizing your art.

Even with these limitations, it’s a good starting point for people who want to try making art with AI. Here are the good and bad points we found.

Pros:

  • User-Friendly: The app is simple and easy to use, making it accessible for users of all skill levels.

Cons:

  • Limited Advanced Features: The app lacks options for customization, such as altering image ratios, seeds, and other settings.

 

Google Tools and Activities for Art Education — from techlearning.com by Eric Curts

Google tools and activities for art education

.

Although there is no replacement for getting your hands dirty with finger paints, technology can offer many ways for students to be creative when making art. In addition to creativity, technology can also allow students to explore and learn about art in new and engaging ways.

Some of the best free digital art tools are those from Google that help educators and students with teaching, learning, exploring, and creating art. The wide range of tools and activities available provide nearly infinite possibilities.

Also relevant/see:

And speaking of tools, also see:

  • Soundtrap: How To Use it to Teach — from techlearning.com by Luke Edwards
    Soundtrap is the recording studio for students and teachers that could help in class and beyond

Soundtrap is a music production tool that is designed for use in education. That means a full-on mixing and sound production studio experience, but one that is accessible for students grade six and up.

Since this is relatively simple to use and is available in app as well as web formats, it is highly accessible for both in-class and personal devices.

This tool offers a way to spark creativity in students and a method to help experiment with music that can inspire those new to this world, or enable more experienced students to create complex and explorative music. 

soundtrap.com -- the recording studio for students and teachers


Also relevant/see:

 

The ChatGPT of music? — from joinsuperhuman.ai by Zain Kahn
ALSO: EY releases new AI platform after $1.4B investment

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can feed the app prompts for both music (like classical rock) and sounds (like raindrops on a window).
  • The platform can generate sounds across any genre and can mix and produce sounds from multiple genres too.
  • The output can be used for personal entertainment and commercial purposes, like audio content for an ad.
  • There’s a free version where you can generate 20 tracks of up to 45 seconds for non-commercial use. And the paid version comes with 500 tracks of up to 90 seconds and can be used for commercial purposes.

Also:


Announcing Stable Audio, a product for music & sound generation — from stability.ai

Stability AI, the world’s leading open generative AI company, today announced the launch of Stable Audio, the company’s first AI product for music and sound generation.

https://www.stableaudio.com/


On the topic of AI, also see:

Generative AI and intellectual property — from ben-evans.com by Benedict Evans
If you put all the world’s knowledge into an AI model and use it to make something new, who owns that and who gets paid? This is a completely new problem that we’ve been arguing about for 500 years.

Boosting Your Productivity: 5 ChatGPT Prompts That Work Wonders — from wireprompt.substack.com
To truly harness the power of ChatGPT, we need prompts that are crystal clear, specific to our needs, and tailored to our unique situations. Here are five ChatGPT prompts that have proven to be productivity powerhouses, no matter your role or goals…

 

How new AI chatbots could help teachers with their toughest problems — from fastcompany.com by Greg Toppo
At least two groups are working on bots that would make peer-reviewed research, buried in expensive academic journals, accessible for everyday use.

But this fall, a few educators are quietly charting a different course they believe could change everything: At least two groups are pushing to create new AI chatbots that would offer teachers unlimited access to sometimes confusing and often paywalled peer-reviewed research on the topics that most bedevil them.

Their aspiration is to offer new tools that are more focused and helpful than wide-ranging ones like ChatGPT, which tends to stumble over research questions with competing findings. Like many juveniles faced with questions they can’t answer, it has a frustrating tendency to make things up.

Using ChatGPT Custom Instructions for Fun and Profit — from every.to by Dan Shipper
How to 10x ChatGPT with personalized answers 

Then, I turned Custom Instructions on and gave it the same starting prompt. Here are a few of the responses (emphases are mine):

Purpose: What’s the primary goal of the course? Is it to augment your existing offerings at Every, serve as a standalone product, or something else?”

Content Depth: Given your love for detailed, intellectual writing, how in-depth will you go on each topic?”

Guest Contributions: Do you plan to involve guest experts, perhaps even some of your writing heroes or team members like Kate Lee and Evan Armstrong?”

Time Investment: Given that you’re already grappling with being too opportunistic and dutiful, how will you allocate time for this without sidelining your creative work or burdening yourself?”

AI for comics — from aiandacademia.substack.com by Bryan Alexander
Exploring an entertaining new Hugging Face application

As generative AI grows, more uses appear. Beyond text and images, other domains for creation pop up as companies, groups, and individuals try out new functions.

Today’s case in point is AI Comic Factory from Hugging Face.* This service will generate a couple of comic book pages based on your text input. It gives you choices of comic style and page layout as well.

Items from Tom Barrett’ Promptcraft: AI for a better learning ecosystem

This new AI video tool clones your voice in 7 languages — and it’s blowing up  — from sg.news.yahoo.com by Christoph Schwaiger

How many languages do you speak? Thanks to AI, that number could be as many as seven. Los Angeles-based AI video platform HeyGen has launched a new tool that clones your voice from a video and translates what you’re saying into seven different languages. If that wasn’t enough, it also syncs your lips to your new voice so the final clip looks (and sounds) as realistic as possible.

Microsoft and Project Gutenberg release over 5,000 free audiobooks — from the-decoder.com by Matthias Bastian

Microsoft and Project Gutenberg have used AI technologies to create more than 5,000 free audiobooks with high-quality synthetic voices.

For the project, the researchers combined advances in machine learning, automatic text selection (which texts are read aloud, which are not), and natural-sounding speech synthesis systems.

 

 

10 Free AI Tools for Graphic Designing — from medium.com by Qz Ruslan

With the advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), designers now have access to a wide array of free AI-powered tools that streamline their creative process, enhance productivity, and add a touch of uniqueness to their designs. In this article, we will explore ten such free AI tools websites for graphic designing that have revolutionized the way designers approach their craft.


Generative Art in Motion — from heatherbcooper.substack.com by Heather Cooper
Animation and video tools create an explosion of creative expression


World’s first AI cinema opening in Auckland to make all your Matrix fantasies come true — from stuff.co.nz by Jonny Mahon-Heap
Review: My HyperCinema experience was futuristic, sleek – and slightly insane as I became the star of my own show.


AI That Alters Voice and Imagery in Political Ads Will Require Disclosure on Google and YouTube — from usnews.com by Associated Press
Political ads using artificial intelligence on Google and YouTube must soon be accompanied by a prominent disclosure if imagery or sounds have been synthetically altered

Google will soon require that political ads using artificial intelligence be accompanied by a prominent disclosure if imagery or sounds have been synthetically altered.

AI-generated election ads on YouTube and other Google platforms that alter people or events must include a clear disclaimer located somewhere that users are likely to notice, the company said in an update this week to its political content policy.


 

Letter from the Editor: Experienced teachers are leaving Michigan schools. This is why. — from mlive.com by Matthew Miller

They talked instead about issues like pay, stress and the sense that they no longer had the solid backing of school administrators.

Sue Harper, who retired this summer from Kreeger Elementary in Fowlerville, blamed what she called “bulldozer parents.”

“I have never been one to quit anything, and teaching is my passion, but this is not teaching,” one teacher wrote. “This is hours of endless paperwork, this is social work, this is counseling, this is parenting, this is babysitting, this is coaching, this is everything but teaching.”

Also relevant/see:

Low pay, culture wars, and ‘bulldozer parents.’ Why Michigan’s best teachers are calling it quits. — from mlive.com by Melissa Frick and Matthew Miller

Now a change management coordinator for Fifth Third Bank, she said, “I don’t take the stress from my job home. I don’t feel guilty, like I always could be doing more for someone.”

Thousands of experienced teachers have retired or left the profession in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic first closed schools and shifted classes to Zoom.

Teachers say they’re burnt out, tired of a lack of support and lack of respect, feeling the impact of the increasingly acrimonious politics surrounding public education.

And finally:


Let’s Use ChatGPT to ‘Think Different’ About K-12 Schools — from gettingsmart.com by Kara Stern

So, in addition to asking ChatGPT to think like a school communications professional, a principal, or a teacher, what if we asked ChatGPT to think like the populations we’re serving, as a way of improving the education (or UX) we’re delivering?


Why I Keep Teaching — from edutopia.org by Rachel Jorgensen
A veteran educator explains why, despite the many challenges, she continues to try to change students’ lives, in turn enriching her own.

EVERY TIME I SHOW UP FOR WORK, A STUDENT MIGHT CHANGE MY LIFE FOR THE BETTER

EVERY TIME I SHOW UP FOR WORK, A STUDENT MIGHT CHANGE MY LIFE FOR THE BETTER

MY WORK HAS INVISIBLE RIPPLE EFFECTS


34 Ways to Quiet a Rambunctious Class — from edutopia.org by Daniel Leonard
From “Silent 20” to imaginary marshmallows, these teacher-tested strategies for all grade levels can help you snap an unruly classroom back to attention.


Per EdSurge:

‘THE MOTH’ GOES TO SCHOOL: For more than a decade, the nonprofit behind the popular storytelling podcast The Moth has run workshops in schools to help students share impactful stories from their lives. Now the group started a spin-off podcast, Grown, highlighting those student stories. Here’s what they’re learning, and why they say storytelling needs to be taught in schools.

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Grown, a podcast from The Moth
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ElevenLabs’ AI Voice Generator Can Now Fake Your Voice in 30 Languages — from gizmodo.com by Kyle Barr
ElevenLabs said its AI voice generator is out of beta, saying it would support video game and audiobook creators with cheap audio.

According to ElevenLabs, the new Multilingual v2 model promises it can produce “emotionally rich” audio in a total of 30 languages. The company offers two AI voice tools, one is a text-to-speech model and the other is the “VoiceLab” that lets paying users clone a voice by inputting fragments of theirs (or others) speech into the model to create a kind of voice cone. With the v2 model, users can get these generated voices to start speaking in Greek, Malay, or Turkish.

Since then, ElevenLabs claims its integrated new measures to ensure users can only clone their own voice. Users need to verify their speech with a text captcha prompt which is then compared to the original voice sample.

From DSC:
I don’t care what they say regarding safeguards/proof of identity/etc. This technology has been abused and will be abused in the future. We can count on it. The question now is, how do we deal with it?



Google, Amazon, Nvidia and other tech giants invest in AI startup Hugging Face, sending its valuation to $4.5 billion — from cnbc.com by Kif Leswing

But Hugging Face produces a platform where AI developers can share code, models, data sets, and use the company’s developer tools to get open-source artificial intelligence models running more easily. In particular, Hugging Face often hosts weights, or large files with lists of numbers, which are the heart of most modern AI models.

While Hugging Face has developed some models, like BLOOM, its primary product is its website platform, where users can upload models and their weights. It also develops a series of software tools called libraries that allow users to get models working quickly, to clean up large datasets, or to evaluate their performance. It also hosts some AI models in a web interface so end users can experiment with them.


The global semiconductor talent shortage — from www2.deloitte.com
How to solve semiconductor workforce challenges

Numerous skills are required to grow the semiconductor ecosystem over the next decade. Globally, we will need tens of thousands of skilled tradespeople to build new plants to increase and localize manufacturing capacity: electricians, pipefitters, welders; thousands more graduate electrical engineers to design chips and the tools that make the chips; more engineers of various kinds in the fabs themselves, but also operators and technicians. And if we grow the back end in Europe and the Americas, that equates to even more jobs.

Each of these job groups has distinct training and educational needs; however, the number of students in semiconductor-focused programs (for example, undergraduates in semiconductor design and fabrication) has dwindled. Skills are also evolving within these job groups, in part due to automation and increased digitization. Digital skills, such as cloud, AI, and analytics, are needed in design and manufacturing more than ever.

The chip industry has long partnered with universities and engineering schools. Going forward, they also need to work more with local tech schools, vocational schools, and community colleges; and other organizations, such as the National Science Foundation in the United States.


Our principles for partnering with the music industry on AI technology — from blog.youtube (Google) by Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube
AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners.

  • Principle #1: AI is here, and we will embrace it responsibly together with our music partners.
  • Principle #2: AI is ushering in a new age of creative expression, but it must include appropriate protections and unlock opportunities for music partners who decide to participate.
  • Principle #3: We’ve built an industry-leading trust and safety organization and content policies. We will scale those to meet the challenges of AI.

Developers are now using AI for text-to-music apps — from techcrunch.com by Ivan Mehta

Brett Bauman, the developer of PlayListAI (previously LinupSupply), launched a new app called Songburst on the App Store this week. The app doesn’t have a steep learning curve. You just have to type in a prompt like “Calming piano music to listen to while studying” or “Funky beats for a podcast intro” to let the app generate a music clip.

If you can’t think of a prompt the app has prompts in different categories, including video, lo-fi, podcast, gaming, meditation and sample.


A Generative AI Primer — from er.educause.edu by Brian Basgen
Understanding the current state of technology requires understanding its origins. This reading list provides sources relevant to the form of generative AI that led to natural language processing (NLP) models such as ChatGPT.


Three big questions about AI and the future of work and learning — from workshift.opencampusmedia.org by Alex Swartsel
AI is set to transform education and work today and well into the future. We need to start asking tough questions right now, writes Alex Swartsel of JFF.

  1. How will AI reshape jobs, and how can we prepare all workers and learners with the skills they’ll need?
  2. How can education and workforce leaders equitably adopt AI platforms to accelerate their impact?
  3. How might we catalyze sustainable policy, practice, and investments in solutions that drive economic opportunity?

“As AI reshapes both the economy and society, we must collectively call for better data, increased accountability, and more flexible support for workers,” Swartsel writes.


The Current State of AI for Educators (August, 2023) — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
A podcast interview with the University of Toronto on where we’re at & where we’re going.

 

A cam/mic/light/teleprompter remote kit for non-tech-savvy guests, including Shure MV7 — from provideocoalition.com by Allan Tépper

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Inspired by my recent Review: Shure MV7 dynamic hybrid studio microphone – near, far and beyond, Beaker Films of Fairfield, Connecticut, US has developed and deployed a first batch of 10 kits to capture remote conversations from different locations worldwide. Beaker Films is frequently contracted to record remote interviews or testimonials from medical professionals. For this project, Beaker Films’ clients wanted consistent, high quality audio and video, but with 3 additional challenges: they preferred to have no visible microphone in the shot, they needed a teleprompter function and the whole kit needed to be as simple as possible for non-technical guests.




Speaking of A/V-related items, also see:

Seven worlds one planet at the BBC Earth Experience — from inavateonthenet.net by Paul Milligan

‘Holographic’ animal-free zoo opens in Australia — from inavateonthenet.net

XR Lab opens in UK college — from inavateonthenet.net

West Suffolk College in the UK has opened its Extended Reality Lab (XR Lab), the facilities comprise of four distinct areas: an Immersion Lab, a Collaboration Theatre, a Green Room, and a Conference Room. The project was designed by architects WindsorPatania for Eastern Colleges Group.

CJP to create virtual studio for Solent University — from inavateonthenet.net

Systems integrator CJP Broadcast Service Solutions, has won a tender to build a virtual production environment for Solent University in the UK.

The new facilities, converted from an existing studio space, will provide students on the film production courses with outstanding opportunities to develop their creative output.

 

Camera fixed on a surgery being used to provide remote learning and feeds

Learning Experience — from inavateemea.com by Tim Kridel

“Some of the stuff we’re doing is creating templates and workflows that capture multiple feeds: not just the teacher, [but also] the white board, an overhead camera,” Risby says.

“The student can then go in and pick what they look at, so it’s more interactive. You might be watching it the first time to listen to the lecturer, but you might watch the second time to concentrate on the experiment. It makes the stream more valuable.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian