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

Story at a glance (emphasis DSC)

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

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

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


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

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


 

 

Do We Need Emotionally Intelligent AI? — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

We keep breaking new ground in AI capabilities, and there seems little interest in asking if we should build the next model to be more life-like. You can now go to Hume.AI and have a conversation with an Empathetic Voice Interface. EVI is groundbreaking and extremely unnerving, but it is no more capable of genuine empathy than your toaster oven.

    • You can have the eLLM mimic a political campaign and call potential voters to sway their vote. You can do this ethically or program it to prey upon people with misinformation.
    • An eLLM can be used to socially engineer the public based on the values someone programs into it. Whose values, though?
    • Any company with a digital presence can use an eLLM like EVI to influence their customers. Imagine Alexa suddenly being able to empathize with you as a means to help persuade you to order more products.
    • An always-on, empathetic system can help a student stay on track to graduate or manipulate them into behaviors that erode their autonomy and free will.
    • Any foreign government could deploy such a system against a neighboring population and use empathy as a weapon to sow discontent within the opposing population.

From DSC:
Marc offers some solid thoughts that should make us all pause and reflect on what he’s saying. 

We can endlessly rationalize away the reasons why machines possessing such traits can be helpful, but where is the line that developers and users of such systems refuse to cross in this race to make machines more like us?

Marc Watkins

Along these lines, also see:

  • Student Chatbot Use ‘Could Be Increasing Loneliness’ — from insidehighered.com by Tom Williams
    Study finds students who rely on ChatGPT for academic tasks feel socially supported by artificial intelligence at the expense of their real-life relationships.


    They found “evidence that while AI chatbots designed for information provision may be associated with student performance, when social support, psychological well-being, loneliness and sense of belonging are considered it has a net negative effect on achievement,” according to the paper published in Studies in Higher Education.

Editing your images with DALL·E — from help.openai.com via The Rundown
You can now edit images you create with DALL·E
 

Student perceptions of American higher education — from usprogram.gatesfoundation.org by Edge Research & HCM Strategists
Continued research exploring college enrollment declines

Overview of 2023 Findings
Despite our understanding of the value of higher education, perceptions among these audiences make it clear that institutions need to prove their value to them. In particular, why does the value of a 2-year or 4-year degree outweigh the value of credentials and job training programs? Both High Schoolers and Non-Enrollees see and select other paths that are shorter, cheaper, and/or more directly linked to specific job opportunities.

As part of that effort, these audiences want and need supports throughout their college journeys to reach the destination of acquiring a degree. These audiences feel anxious about making the wrong choices when it comes to college, and that those choices will impact the rest of their lives. Finally, it is also important to understand that the information received by these audiences differs by cohort. High Schoolers are at the epicenter of the college information network. Non-Enrollees, on the other hand, are forced to seek information about colleges, and the information they find tends to be less positive compared to what High Schoolers receive and consume about higher education.

Higher Education Must Prove Value to Potential Students, Who are Currently More Attracted to Immediate, Lower-Cost Options


Many Students Don’t Inform Their Colleges About Their Disability. That Needs to Change. — from edsurge.com by Stephanie A.N. Levin

After engaging in a policy review and coding a set of policy documents from disability service offices at colleges and universities across the U.S., it became clear to me that I wasn’t alone in my reluctance to seek accommodations at my college. It turns out that many higher education students with disabilities are hesitant to self-identify and pursue accommodations that could support them in their studies.

According to the most recent data published by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20 percent of undergraduate students and nearly 11 percent of graduate students have a disability. There’s a discrepancy though, between the rate of students reporting having a disability, and those who are actually registering with their campus disability center. It turns out many students don’t inform their colleges of their disability and that has led to a support gap.The truth is, too many college and university students with disabilities decide to forgo a request for the accommodations that they may need to be successful.


5 ways to support today’s online learner — from insidetrack.org

  1. Make online learning learner-centered, demand-driven and career-advancing
  2. Help cultivate a sense of belonging
  3. Reduce barriers to online learning
  4. Encourage investment in planning and support structures
  5. Build up online learner confidence

 

3 Steps for Creating Video Projects With Elementary Students — from edutopia.org by Bill Manchester
A straightforward plan for facilitating multimedia projects helps ensure collaborative learning and a fun classroom experience.

Having elementary students make their own videos instead of consuming content made by someone else sounds like a highly engaging educational experience. But if you’ve ever tried to get 25 third graders to use a video editing software platform that they’ve never seen before, it can get really frustrating really fast. It’s easy for the lesson to become entirely centered around how to use the software without any subject-area content learning.

Through years of trial and error with K–6 students, I’ve developed three guiding concepts for elementary video projects so that teachers and students have a good experience.


Supporting Students As They Work Independently — from by Marcus Luther and The Broken Copier
4 tools that have helped me improve “independent work time”


Movement-Based Games That Help Students With Spelling — from edutopia.org by Jocelyn Greene
Games that combine spelling with physical activity can make it easier for young students to learn new words.

Like actors, students are often tasked with memorization. Although education has evolved to incorporate project-based learning and guided play, there’s no getting around the necessity of knowing the multiplication tables, capital cities, and correct spelling.

The following are movement-based games that build students’ abilities to retain spelling words specifically. Ideally, these exercises support them academically as well as socially. Research shows that learning through play promotes listening, focus, empathy, and self-awareness—benefits that build students’ social and emotional learning skills.


Quizlet Survey Reveals Students Crave Life Skills Education — from prnewswire.com by Quizlet; via GSV

The survey’s key findings included:

  • Financial and life skills uncertainty: One-third of recent graduates don’t believe they have or are unsure they have the financial and core life skills needed to succeed in the world.
  • Appetite for non-academic courses: 68% of recent graduates think non-academically focused courses in formal education settings would better prepare students for the real world. This belief is especially strong among respondents that attended public schools and colleges (71%).
  • Automotive maintenance skills are stalled: More than any other skill, nearly one in five recent graduates say they are the least confident in handling automotive maintenance, such as changing a tire or their oil. This is followed by financial planning (17%), insurance (12%), minor home repairs (11%), cooking (11%), cleaning (8%) and organizing (8%).
  • Financial planning woes: A majority (79%) of recent graduates said financial planning overwhelms them the most – and of all the life skills highlighted in the survey, 29% of respondents said it negatively impacts their mental health.
  • Social media as a learning tool: Social media is helping fill the skills gap, with 33% of recent graduates turning to it for life skills knowledge.

From DSC:
Our son would agree with many of these findings. He would like to have learned things like how to do/file his taxes, learn more about healthcare insurance, and similar real-world/highly-applicable types of knowledge. Those involved with K12 curriculum decisions, please take a serious look at this feedback and make the necessary changes/additions.


How Can Educators Build Support Systems for Students Eyeing Technician Jobs? — from gettingsmart.com by Dr. Parminder Jassal

Key Points

  • Integrating technical skills into the high school curriculum can inspire and prepare students for diverse roles. This approach is key to fostering equity and inclusivity in the job market.
  • By forging partnerships with community colleges and technical schools, high schools can democratize access to education and ensure students from all backgrounds have equal opportunities for success in technical fields.
  • High schools can expand career possibilities by providing apprenticeships as viable and lucrative alternatives to traditional four-year degrees.
 

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

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

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

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


Excerpt from a recent EdSurge Higher Ed newsletter:


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

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

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

And somewhat relevant here, also see:

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

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

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


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

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

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

Also relevant/see:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


From EIEIO…Seasons Of Change

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

From DSC:
This article mentioned the following resource:

Artificial Intelligence Explorations for Educators — from iste.org


 

A Notre Dame Senior’s Perspective on AI in the Classroom — from learning.nd.edu — by Sarah Ochocki; via Derek Bruff on LinkedIn

At this moment, as a college student trying to navigate the messy, fast-developing, and varied world of generative AI, I feel more confused than ever. I think most of us can share that feeling. There’s no roadmap on how to use AI in education, and there aren’t the typical years of proof to show something works. However, this promising new tool is sitting in front of us, and we would be foolish to not use it or talk about it.

I’ve used it to help me understand sample code I was viewing, rather than mindlessly trying to copy what I was trying to learn from. I’ve also used it to help prepare for a debate, practicing making counterarguments to the points it came up with.

AI alone cannot teach something; there needs to be critical interaction with the responses we are given. However, this is something that is true of any form of education. I could sit in a lecture for hours a week, but if I don’t do the homework or critically engage with the material, I don’t expect to learn anything.


A Map of Generative AI for Education — from medium.com by Laurence Holt; via GSV
An update to our map of the current state-of-the-art


Last ones (for now):


Survey: K-12 Students Want More Guidance on Using AI — from govtech.com by Lauraine Langreo
Research from the nonprofit National 4-H Council found that most 9- to 17-year-olds have an idea of what AI is and what it can do, but most would like help from adults in learning how to use different AI tools.

“Preparing young people for the workforce of the future means ensuring that they have a solid understanding of these new technologies that are reshaping our world,” Jill Bramble, the president and CEO of the National 4-H Council, said in a press release.

AI School Guidance Document Toolkit, with Free Comprehensive Review — from tefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard and Dr. Sabba Quidwai

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

Guiding Students in Special Education to Generate Ideas for Writing — from edutopia.org by Erin Houghton
When students are stuck, breaking the brainstorming stage down into separate steps can help them get started writing.

Students who first generate ideas about a topic—access what they know about it—more easily write their outlines and drafts for the bigger-picture assignment. For Sally, brainstorming was too overwhelming as an initial step, so we started off by naming examples. I gave Sally a topic—name ways characters in Charlotte’s Web helped one another—she named examples of things (characters), and we generated a list of ways those characters helped one another.

IMPLEMENTING BRAINSTORMING AS SKILL BUILDING
This “naming” strategy is easy to implement with individual students or in groups. These are steps to get you started.

Step 1. Introduce the student to the exercise.
Step 2. Select a topic for practice.


[Opinion] It’s okay to play: How ‘play theory’ can revitalize U.S. education — from hechingerreport.org by Tyler Samstag
City planners are recognizing that play and learning are intertwined and turning public spaces into opportunities for active learning

When we’re young, playing and learning are inseparable.

Simple games like peekaboo and hide-and-seek help us learn crucial lessons about time, anticipation and cause and effect. We discover words, numbers, colors and sounds through toys, puzzles, storybooks and cartoons. Everywhere we turn, there’s something fun to do and something new to learn.

Then, somewhere around early elementary school, learning and play officially become separated for life.

Suddenly, learning becomes a task that only takes place in proper classrooms with the help of textbooks, homework and tests. Meanwhile, play becomes a distraction that we’re only allowed to indulge in during our free time, often by earning it as a reward for studying. As a result, students tend to grow up feeling as if learning is a stressful chore while playing is a reward.

Similar interactive learning experiences are popping up in urban areas from California to the East Coast, with equally promising results: art, games and music are being incorporated into green spaces, public parks, transportation stations, laundromats and more.


And on a somewhat related note, also see:


Though meant for higher ed, this is also applicable to the area of pedagogy within K12:

Space to fail. And learn — from educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai
I want to use today’s newsletter to talk about how we can help students to own their mistakes and really learn from them, so I’m sharing some thoughts, some learning design ideas and some resources…

10 ideas to make failure a learning opportunity

  • Start with yourself:
  • Admit when you don’t know something
  • Try to come up with “goal free problems”
  • Always dig deeper:
  • Encourage practice:
 

To Fix U.S. Education, Free Our Teachers — from www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org by Brandon Busteed

Teachers are the least empowered, most[-]disrespected, stressed and burned-out of all professions in the U.S. IMAGED CREATED BY DALL-E FOR BRANDON BUSTEED Teachers are the least empowered, most[-] disrespected, stressed and burned-out of all professions in the U.S. IMAGED CREATED BY DALL-E FOR BRANDON BUSTEED

If your goal was to create a miserable work environment where employees are stressed, burned out, disrespected and given no say in their job just look to U.S. schools for inspiration. They are our ‘best practice of miserable workplaces.’ And if you were looking for one major fix to education in America, you’d do everything in your power to ensure teachers are empowered.

Teacher engagement and empowerment may be the single most important national objective for improving education. Yet years of failed education policy combined with maligned attitudes about teaching have rendered teachers as among the least empowered and most disrespected professions in the country. This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. After all, teachers are the gateways to every profession because they are the ones we have tasked with teaching and motivating every young person in the country.

We need to free our teachers to do what they do best – to teach and inspire. Well-intentioned yet failed education policies that have overemphasized standardized testing and driven national and state-level ‘standardized’ curriculum have led to teacher disempowerment.


Transforming Communities Into K-12 Classrooms — from forbes.com by Kate Cassada

Putting The Public Back In Education
CommunityShare is an interesting nonprofit organization that has found a way to promote vibrant educational experiences by connecting students and educators to the skills, knowledge, and life experiences of community members.

Founded in 2015 in Tucson, Arizona, CommunityShare aims to reimagine the relationship between schools and communities. The organization’s vision is “a world where everyone sees themselves as a learner and educator working together to develop their community’s potential.”

Through CommunityShare, teachers and community partners, from artists to astronauts, co-design enriched learning projects that tap into students’ creativity, cultivate real-world skills, and expose students to available community assets.


An unexpected way to fight chronic absenteeism — from hechingerreport.org by Javeria Salman
School districts are having some success with using telemedicine and teletherapy to ensure more kids stay in school  

The telemedicine clinic is also a way to relieve the burden on working parents, Oakley said: Many parents in the district’s Title I schools work hourly wage jobs and rely on public transportation, making it difficult to pick up a sick child at school quickly.


How HBCUs are building a stronger Black teacher pipeline — from k12.dive.com by Anna Merod
As HBCUs produce 50% of all Black educators nationwide, a UNCF report illustrates best practices for recruitment efforts.

Dive Brief:

  • Amid ongoing efforts to diversify the K-12 teacher workforce, a United Negro College Fund report finds some historically Black colleges and universities are working to get Black students in the teacher pipeline by tapping into faculty networks, establishing relationships with school districts and using financial aid as a recruitment tool.
  • Additionally, HBCUs leveraged long-standing connections with their local Black church communities to promote teacher prep programs and financial aid offerings during religious services.
  • UNCF suggested higher ed institutions develop pipelines for Black educators beginning in high school by offering students opportunities to work with children and then maintaining relationships with them through their matriculation into college and eventual completion of a teacher certification.
 

From DSC:
Given this need…

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.
…I’m highlighting the following resources:


How Learning Happens  — from edutopia.org
In this series, we explore how educators can guide all students, regardless of their developmental starting points, to become productive and engaged learners.

These techniques have resonated with educators everywhere: They are focused on taking advantage of the incredible opportunity to help children reach their full potential by creating positive relationships, experiences, and environments in which every student can thrive. In fact, the science is beginning to hint at even more dramatic outcomes. Practices explicitly designed to integrate social, emotional, and cognitive skills in the classroom, the research suggests, can reverse the damages wrought by childhood trauma and stress—while serving the needs of all students and moving them onto a positive developmental and academic path.


Also from edutopia.org recently, see:

How to Introduce Journaling to Young Children — from edutopia.org by Connie Morris
Students in preschool through second grade can benefit from drawing or writing to explore their thoughts and feelings.

The symbiotic relationship between reading and writing can help our youngest students grow their emergent literacy skills. The idea of teaching writing at an early age can seem daunting. However, meeting children where they are developmentally can make a journaling activity become a magical experience—and they don’t have to write words but can convey thoughts in pictures.

7 Digital Tools That Help Bring History to Life — from edutopia.org by Daniel Leonard
Challenging games, fun projects, and a healthy dose of AI tools round out our top picks for breathing new life into history lessons.

We’ve compiled a list of seven teacher-tested tools, and we lay out how educators are using them both to enhance their lessons and to bring history closer to the present than ever.

Integrating Technology Into Collaborative Professional Learning — from edutopia.org by Roxi Thompson
Incorporating digital collaboration into PD gives teachers a model to replicate when setting up tech activities for students.

 

How a Hollywood Director Uses AI to Make Movies — from every.to by Dan Shipper
Dave Clarke shows us the future of AI filmmaking

Dave told me that he couldn’t have made Borrowing Time without AI—it’s an expensive project that traditional Hollywood studios would never bankroll. But after Dave’s short went viral, major production houses approached him to make it a full-length movie. I think this is an excellent example of how AI is changing the art of filmmaking, and I came out of this interview convinced that we are on the brink of a new creative age.

We dive deep into the world of AI tools for image and video generation, discussing how aspiring filmmakers can use them to validate their ideas, and potentially even secure funding if they get traction. Dave walks me through how he has integrated AI into his movie-making process, and as we talk, we make a short film featuring Nicolas Cage using a haunted roulette ball to resurrect his dead movie career, live on the show.

 

Career-Connected Learning: Preparing Students for a Dynamic Future — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark and Victoria Andrews

Key Points

  • Connecting young people with career awareness needs to start at an early age to provide them with the necessary landscape view of opportunity and skills.
  • Whether young people engage client-focused opportunities, internships, or endure academically challenging coursework, career-connected learning is an environment to cultivate a sense of self-awareness, determination, and direction, essential for their success in both education and life.

Also from Getting Smart, see:

CHILD: A Microschool Unlocking the Potential for Unique Learners — by Maureen O’Shaughnessy

Key Points

  • The success of adaptive learning is not solely based on the program, but rather on the people behind it.
  • Clarity on “who you serve” is critical to success.
 

From DSC:
I recently ran into the following item:


UK university opens VR classroom — from inavateonthenet.net

Students at the University of Nottingham will be learning through a dedicated VR classroom, enabling remote viewing and teaching for students and lecturers.

Based in the university’s Engineering Science and Learning Centre (ELSC), this classroom, believed to be the first in the UK to use a dedicated VR classroom, using 40 VR headsets, 35 of which are tethered overhead to individual PCs, with five available as traditional, desk-based systems with display screens.


I admit that I was excited to see this article and I congratulate the University of Nottingham on their vision here. I hope that they can introduce more use cases and applications to provide evidence of VR’s headway.

As I look at virtual reality…

  • On the plus side, I’ve spoken with people who love to use their VR-based headsets for fun workouts/exercises. I’ve witnessed the sweat, so I know that’s true. And I believe there is value in having the ability to walk through museums that one can’t afford to get to. And I’m sure that the gamers have found some incredibly entertaining competitions out there. The experience of being immersed can be highly engaging. So there are some niche use cases for sure.
  • But on the negative side, the technologies surrounding VR haven’t progressed as much as I thought they would have by now. For example, I’m disappointed Apple’s taken so long to put a product out there, and I don’t want to invest $3500 in their new product. From the reviews and items on social media that I’ve seen, the reception is lukewarm. At the most basic level, I’m not sure people want to wear a headset for more than a few minutes.

So overall, I’d like to see more use cases and less nausea.


Addendum on 2/27/24:

Leyard ‘wall of wonder’ wows visitors at Molecular Biology Lab — from inavateonthenet.net

 

From DSC:
After reading the book entitled “Love & Hate” by Bill Halamandaris — a book about Henri Landwirth, the founder of the Give Kids the World Village — and “On Purpose” by Pamela Landwirth, I was struck with several thoughts. Below are just some of them:

  • There is enormous power in a vision.
  • People want purpose and meaning in their lives. They want their lives to count. To matter.
  • People want to work for an organization that is concretely making the world a better place in which to live.
  • People want to buy from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world.
  • Both love and hate are powerful. But let’s choose to go forward with love.
  • Parents, grandparents, and/or other guardians of critically-ill children carry enormous, hidden burdens. Let’s try to notice those burdens and help them out.
  • Life is precious.

Let's remember this -- Despite what we may hear and see, life is precious.


From DSC:
Recently, a group from our church went to serve down at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimee, Florida. I wanted to relay the specialness of this place and say a few words about the Founder of the Give Kids the World Village: a man by the name of Henri Landwirth. Over the last few weeks in the Orlando area, the Holy Spirit helped me to think about the power of a vision, as both Walt Disney and Henri Landwirth were visionaries.

But first, it’s important to note that Henri survived FIVE concentration camps during WWII. He had no name there. He was known only as B4343.

Henri:

  • Was in concentration camps from ages 13-18
  • He lost both of his parents to acts of mass murder
  • Henri survived FIVE YEARS of hunger, torture, and horrendous conditions
  • He faced what looked like certain death several times

Yet as I was reading the book entitled “Love & Hate”, I kept wondering if I was seeing the fingerprints of God on Henri’s life.

After the war, Henri went in search of former Nazis, for whom he was filled with hatred. And while I don’t have time to relay the fateful day that changed Henri’s perspective and his life, the bottom line was that he didn’t want to become like his former captors the Nazis. Surprisingly and amazingly, he chose love, not hate.

Fast forward to Henri’s coming to America, working very hard, and climbing up the ladder of the Holiday Inn organization.

Then fast forward even further to the time Henri was looking for a location to build his vision. Quoting from page 139:

Henri took his checkbook and began looking for a location for Give Kids the World Village. He found it almost immediately in Kissimmee. When Henry looked at the lot, he could already see the Village there. Where others might have seen rows of burned orange trees and wetlands, Henri saw villages, a place for kids to fish, and a castle. “I could see it all,” Henri says, “as if my dream had already come to life.”

A few last notable things about the Give Kids the World Village:

  • According to the book by Bill Halamandaris, the Village was built with ZERO CONTRACTS and NO ADVERTISEMENTS from those who helped create the village! This is underheard of for $60+ million worth of facilities and the millions of dollars’ worth of donated services.
  • The Village has thousands of volunteers and it takes 160 volunteers per day to keep it running
  • Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 188,000 families from all 50 states and 77 countries.

So I want to leave you with the idea that we were witnesses of – and participants in – the tremendous power of a vision.

 

It’s Time to Launch a National Initiative to Create the New American High School — from the74million.org by Robin Lake; via GSV
Robin Lake: We must start thinking, talking and acting bigger when it comes to preparing teens for both college and career.

The blueprint design of a chair that you would often see in a high school classroom


One State Rolled Out a Promising Child Care Model. Now Others Are Replicating It. — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Last month, business leaders and child care advocates from a handful of states convened on Zoom. Representing Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia, they had come together to discuss a new child care model, called “Tri-Share,” that has gained traction across the country, including in their respective regions.

The cost-sharing model, in which the state government, the employer and the employee each pay for one-third of the cost of child care, first launched in 2021 in Michigan, where it is furthest along. But it has become so popular that other states, including New York, North Carolina and Kentucky, have already secured funding for their own adaptations of the program.

Also relevant/see:


Road Scholars: When These Families Travel, School Comes Along for the Ride — from the74million.org by Linda Jacobson; via Matthew Tower
‘It’s not just a pandemic thing,’ one industry expert said about the growing number of families ‘roadschooling’ across the country.


Using Technology for Students in Special Education: What the Feds Want Schools to Know — from edweek.org by Alyson Klein

But this is the first time the department has released guidance on how assistive technology relates to the special education law. That’s partly because schools have come to rely so much more on technology for teaching and learning, Wright-Gallo said.

The guidance, released last month, is aimed at parents, specialists who provide services to babies and toddlers at risk of developmental delays, special educators, general educators, school and district leaders, technology specialists and directors, and state education officials, Wright-Gallo said.


Guiding and Connecting the Homeschooling Community — from michaelbhorn.substack.com by Michael B. Horn
How ‘Teach Your Kids’ is Empowering Parents to Take Charge of their Students’ Educations

More and more parents are taking charge of their children’s education through homeschooling.  Manisha Snoyer’s podcast and online homeschooling community, Teach Your Kids, is seeking to empower parents with the guidance, tools, and network they need to thrive as educators for their children. She joined the Future of Education to discuss her work, dispel misconceptions about homeschooling, and consider the future of this growing trend. I was intrigued to explore her observations that, through modularity, families can pull apart socialization, childcare, and the learning itself to make the benefits of homeschooling much more accessible. As always, subscribers can listen to the audio, watch the video, or read the transcript.


Can Career Learning Bring America’s Young People Back to School? — from realcleareducation.com by Taylor Maag

School absenteeism sky-rocketed post-pandemic: 6.5 million more students missed at least 10% or more of the 2021-22 school year than in 2017-18. This means 14.7 million students were chronically absent even after schools reopened from the pandemic. While preliminary data shows that absentee rates slightly decreased in the 2022-23 school year, truancy remains a serious concern for our nation’s K-12 system.

If we want to get students back in the classroom and avoid poor outcomes for our nation’s young people, U.S. leaders must rethink how we operate K-12 education. One potential solution is reinventing high school to ensure every young person is exposed to the world of work through career-oriented education and learning. An analysis of international cross-section data found that nations enrolling a large proportion of students in vocational or career-focused programs have significantly higher school attendance rates and higher completion rates than those that don’t.


My child with ADHD is being disciplined at school for things they can’t control. What can I do? — from understood.org by Julian Saavedra, MA
Is your child with ADHD being disciplined at school more and more? Get expert advice on how to manage school discipline. Learn the steps to better advocate for your child.

Also relevant/see:

  • What can I do if my child’s teacher takes recess away? — from understood.org By Kristin J. Carothers, PhD
    School can be extra hard for kids with ADHD when teachers take recess away. An expert weighs in on how you can work with teachers to find a solution.
  • For teachers: What to expect in an IEP meeting — from understood.org by Amanda Morin
    You’re not alone in having questions about IEP meetings. If you’re not a special education teacher, you may not have a lot of training around the IEP process.  Here are some of the basics:
 
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