AI’s New Conversation Skills Eyed for Education — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
The latest ChatGPT’s more human-like verbal communication has professors pondering personalized learning, on-demand tutoring and more classroom applications.

ChatGPT’s newest version, GPT-4o ( the “o” standing for “omni,” meaning “all”), has a more realistic voice and quicker verbal response time, both aiming to sound more human. The version, which should be available to free ChatGPT users in coming weeks—a change also hailed by educators—allows people to interrupt it while it speaks, simulates more emotions with its voice and translates languages in real time. It also can understand instructions in text and images and has improved video capabilities.

Ajjan said she immediately thought the new vocal and video capabilities could allow GPT to serve as a personalized tutor. Personalized learning has been a focus for educators grappling with the looming enrollment cliff and for those pushing for student success.

There’s also the potential for role playing, according to Ajjan. She pointed to mock interviews students could do to prepare for job interviews, or, for example, using GPT to play the role of a buyer to help prepare students in an economics course.

 

 

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2024 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report® Teaching and Learning Edition

Trends
As a first activity, we asked the Horizon panelists to provide input on the macro trends they believe are going to shape the future of postsecondary teaching and learning and to provide observable evidence for those trends. To ensure an expansive view of the larger trends serving as context for institutions of higher education, panelists provided input across five trend categories: social, technological, economic, environmental, and political. Given the widespread impacts of emerging AI technologies on higher education, we are also including in this year’s report a list of “honorary trends” focused on AI. After several rounds of voting, the panelists selected the following trends as the most important:

 

Colleges are now closing at a pace of one a week. What happens to the students? — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Most never finish their degrees, and alumni wonder about the value of degrees they’ve earned

About one university or college per week so far this year, on average, has announced that it will close or merge. That’s up from a little more than two a month last year, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO.

Most students at colleges that close give up on their educations altogether. Fewer than half transfer to other institutions, a SHEEO study found. Of those, fewer than half stay long enough to get degrees. Many lose credits when they move from one school to another and have to spend longer in college, often taking out more loans to pay for it.

Colleges are almost certain to keep closing. As many as one in 10 four-year colleges and universities are in financial peril, the consulting firm EY Parthenon estimates.

Students who transferlose an average of 43 percentof the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, the Government Accountability Office found in the most recent comprehensive study of this problem.

Also relevant:

 

Instructors as Innovators: a Future-focused Approach to New AI Learning Opportunities, With Prompts –from papers.ssrn.com by Ethan R. Mollick and Lilach Mollick

Abstract

This paper explores how instructors can leverage generative AI to create personalized learning experiences for students that transform teaching and learning. We present a range of AI-based exercises that enable novel forms of practice and application including simulations, mentoring, coaching, and co-creation. For each type of exercise, we provide prompts that instructors can customize, along with guidance on classroom implementation, assessment, and risks to consider. We also provide blueprints, prompts that help instructors create their own original prompts. Instructors can leverage their content and pedagogical expertise to design these experiences, putting them in the role of builders and innovators. We argue that this instructor-driven approach has the potential to democratize the development of educational technology by enabling individual instructors to create AI exercises and tools tailored to their students’ needs. While the exercises in this paper are a starting point, not a definitive solutions, they demonstrate AI’s potential to expand what is possible in teaching and learning.

 

The AI Tools in Education Database — from aitoolsdirectory.notion.site; via George Siemens

Since AI in education has been moving at the speed of light, we built this AI Tools in Education database to keep track of the most recent AI tools in education and the changes that are happening every day. This database is intended to be a community resource for educators, researchers, students, and other edtech specialists looking to stay up to date. This is a living document, so be sure to come back for regular updates.


Another Workshop for Faculty and Staff — from aiedusimplified.substack.com by Lance Eaton
A recent workshop with some adjustments.

The day started out with a short talk about AI (slides). Some of it is my usual schtick where I do a bit of Q&A with folks around myths and misunderstandings of generative AI in order to establish some common ground. These are often useful both in setting the tone and giving folks a sense of how I come to explore generative AI: with a mixture of humor, concern, curiosity, and of course, cat pics.

From there, we launched into a series of mini-workshops where folks had time to first play around with some previously created prompts around teaching and learning before moving onto prompts for administrative work. The prompts and other support materials are in this Workshop Resource Document. The goal was to just get them into using one or more AI tools with some useful prompts so they can learn more about its capabilities.


The Edtech Insiders Rundown of ASU+GSV 2024 — from edtechinsiders.substack.com by by Sarah Morin, Alex Sarlin, and Ben Kornell
And more on Edtech Insiders+, upcoming events, Gauth, AI Reading Tutors, The Artificial Intelligence Interdisciplinary Institute, and TeachAI Policy Resources

Alex Sarlin

4. Everyone is Edtech Now
This year, in addition to investors, entrepreneurs, educators, school leaders, university admins, non-profits, publishers, and operators from countless edtech startups and incumbents, there were some serious big tech companies in attendance like Meta, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, Tiktok, and Canva. Additionally, a horde of management consultancies, workforce organizations, mental health orgs, and filmmakers were in attendance.

Edtech continues to expand as an industry category and everyone is getting involved.


Ep 18 | Rethinking Education, Lessons to Unlearn, Become a Generalist, & More — Ana Lorena Fábrega — from mishadavinci.substack.com by Misha da Vinci

It was such a delight to chat with Ana. She’s brilliant and passionate, a talented educator, and an advocate for better ways of learning for children and adults. We cover ways to transform schools so that students get real-world skills, learn resilience and how to embrace challenges, and are prepared for an unpredictable future. And we go hard on why we must keep learning no matter our age, become generalists, and leverage technology in order to adapt to the fast-changing world.

Misha also featured an item re: the future of schooling and it contained this graphic:


Texas is replacing thousands of human exam graders with AI — from theverge.com by Jess Weatherbed

The Texas Tribune reports an “automated scoring engine” that utilizes natural language processing — the technology that enables chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to understand and communicate with users — is being rolled out by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to grade open-ended questions on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. The agency is expecting the system to save $15–20 million per year by reducing the need for temporary human scorers, with plans to hire under 2,000 graders this year compared to the 6,000 required in 2023.


Debating About AI: An Easy Path to AI Awareness and Basic Literacy — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard
If you are an organization committed to AI literacy, consider sponsoring some debate topics and/or debates next year and expose thousands of students to AI literacy.

Resolved: Teachers should integrate generative AI in their teaching and learning.

The topic is simple but raises an issue that students can connect with.

While helping my students prepare and judging debates, I saw students demonstrate an understanding of many key issues and controversies.

These included—

*AI writing assessment/grading
*Bias
*Bullying
*Cognitive load
*Costs of AI systems
*Declining test scores
*Deep fakes
*Differentiation
*Energy consumption
*Hallucinations
*Human-to-human connection
*Inequality and inequity in access
*Neurodiversity
*Personalized learning
*Privacy
*Regulation (lack thereof)
*The future of work and unemployment
*Saving teachers time
*Soft skills
*Standardized testing
*Student engagement
*Teacher awareness and AI training; training resource trade-offs
*Teacher crowd-out
*Transparency and explainability
*Writing detectors (students had an exaggerated sense of the workability of these tools).

 

AI RESOURCES AND TEACHING (Kent State University) — from aiadvisoryboards.wordpress.com

AI Resources and Teaching | Kent State University offers valuable resources for educators interested in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into their teaching practices. The university recognizes that the rapid emergence of AI tools presents both challenges and opportunities in higher education.

The AI Resources and Teaching page provides educators with information and guidance on various AI tools and their responsible use within and beyond the classroom. The page covers different areas of AI application, including language generation, visuals, videos, music, information extraction, quantitative analysis, and AI syllabus language examples.


A Cautionary AI Tale: Why IBM’s Dazzling Watson Supercomputer Made a Lousy Tutor — from the74million.org by Greg Toppo
With a new race underway to create the next teaching chatbot, IBM’s abandoned 5-year, $100M ed push offers lessons about AI’s promise and its limits.

For all its jaw-dropping power, Watson the computer overlord was a weak teacher. It couldn’t engage or motivate kids, inspire them to reach new heights or even keep them focused on the material — all qualities of the best mentors.

It’s a finding with some resonance to our current moment of AI-inspired doomscrolling about the future of humanity in a world of ascendant machines. “There are some things AI is actually very good for,” Nitta said, “but it’s not great as a replacement for humans.”

His five-year journey to essentially a dead-end could also prove instructive as ChatGPT and other programs like it fuel a renewed, multimillion-dollar experiment to, in essence, prove him wrong.

To be sure, AI can do sophisticated things such as generating quizzes from a class reading and editing student writing. But the idea that a machine or a chatbot can actually teach as a human can, he said, represents “a profound misunderstanding of what AI is actually capable of.” 

Nitta, who still holds deep respect for the Watson lab, admits, “We missed something important. At the heart of education, at the heart of any learning, is engagement. And that’s kind of the Holy Grail.”

From DSC:
This is why the vision that I’ve been tracking and working on has always said that HUMAN BEINGS will be necessary — they are key to realizing this vision. Along these lines, here’s a relevant quote:

Another crucial component of a new learning theory for the age of AI would be the cultivation of “blended intelligence.” This concept recognizes that the future of learning and work will involve the seamless integration of human and machine capabilities, and that learners must develop the skills and strategies needed to effectively collaborate with AI systems. Rather than viewing AI as a threat to human intelligence, a blended intelligence approach seeks to harness the complementary strengths of humans and machines, creating a symbiotic relationship that enhances the potential of both.

Per Alexander “Sasha” Sidorkin, Head of the National Institute on AI in Society at California State University Sacramento.

 

Making your campus neurodivergent friendly — from timeshighereducation.com
How to create a university where neurodivergent staff and students feel welcome and thrive in the classroom, in the lab and throughout campus

Neurodivergent students and staff think about, interact with and see the world differently from their neurotypical peers and colleagues. Universities that adopt inclusive practices to welcome people with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other disabilities to campus also foster their distinct strengths and talents in the classroom, labs, boardrooms and social spaces. This collection of resources offers advice for teachers, researchers, PhD supervisors and administrators for supporting neurodiversity in higher education.


Some Colleges Will Soon Charge $100,000 a Year. How Did This Happen? — from nytimes.com by Ron Lieber; via Ryan Craig
Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year. The school doesn’t really want to talk about it.

It was only a matter of time before a college would have the nerve to quote its cost of attendance at nearly $100,000 a year. This spring, we’re catching our first glimpse of it.

One letter to a newly admitted Vanderbilt University engineering student showed an all-in price — room, board, personal expenses, a high-octane laptop — of $98,426. A student making three trips home to Los Angeles or London from the Nashville campus during the year could hit six figures.

This eye-popping sum is an anomaly. Only a tiny fraction of college-going students will pay anything close to this anytime soon, and about 35 percent of Vanderbilt students — those who get neither need-based nor merit aid — pay the full list price.

But a few dozen other colleges and universities that reject the vast majority of applicants will probably arrive at this threshold within a few years. Their willingness to cross it raises two questions for anyone shopping for college: How did this happen, and can it possibly be worth it?


‘Running Out of Road’ for FAFSA Completion — from insidehighered.com by Liam Knox
The number of students who filled out the federal aid form is down nearly 30 percent. The ramifications for access and enrollment could be devastating.

And that’s probably an optimistic estimate, said Bill DeBaun, NCAN’s senior director of data and strategic initiatives; if the pace of completion doesn’t pick up, the decline could be closer to 700,000 students. That could translate to up to a 4 percent drop in college-goers come fall, DeBaun said, which would be the largest enrollment drop since the COVID-19 pandemic—and one that’s likely to be made up primarily of low-income and first-generation students.


Study: Nearly 40 Percent of Students Started, Never Finished College — from insidehighered.com by Kathryn Palmer
Federal researchers followed the post-secondary outcomes of 23,000 students for 12 years. 

Only 60 percent of students who enrolled in college earned a degree or credential within eight years of graduating high school.

That’s one of the biggest takeaways from a new report the National Center for Education Statistics released Monday that analyzed the enrollment, completion and financial aid outcomes of students.

The researchers tracked the postsecondary educational outcomes of roughly 23,000 students beginning in 2009 when they were freshman in high school through 2021, when the cohort was eight years out from graduating high school.


Race to the Finish | The rise of faster bachelor’s degrees raises the question: What is college for? — from chronicle.com by Kelly Field; from Jeff Selingo

Taken together, the two recent decisions illustrate a blurring of the lines between the two- and four-year sectors that is taking place not just in Idaho, but nationwide, as colleges struggle to overcome enrollment declines and skepticism about the value of a bachelor’s degree.

“It’s pretty clear that higher education is in a funk,” said Robert M. Zemsky, a University of Pennsylvania professor, who has been advocating for three-year programs for more than 15 years. “There’s a sense that we have to do something to make the product better, more relevant, and less costly to students.”


Excerpt from Next — from/by Jeff Selingo

Bottom line: While critics of a shorter degree see it as a lesser replacement for the four-year baccalaureate degree, advocates see it as another option for students who might not be interested in college at a time when enrollment is falling.

  • “We need to use this opportunity to redesign and do things better,” Carrell said. “That means that we all need to stay curious. We need to be a learning enterprise…and learn from the evidence we produce.”

Job-Ready on Day One — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain

The U.S. faces a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades—fields like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar, and construction. And those labor gaps are likely to widen as the federal government spends billions on infrastructure projects.

Employers in these industries are desperate for hires, says Doug Donovan, the founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. Yet the “challenge is not employer demand for workers,” he says, “but rather ensuring that learners learn about skilled trades careers and pursue them.”

The Austin-based Interplay offers online and VR training for workers in the skilled trades. The company was founded in 2016 with a focus on upskilling the hands-on worker. Even before the pandemic exacerbated labor shortages, Donovan says companies in these trades needed to hire workers who didn’t have all the skills required for jobs.

Interplay’s online courses and 3D, interactive simulations get close to what a learner is going to see on the job, says Donovan. “We aren’t trying to replace hands-on, instructor-led training,” he says. “We are trying to deliver tools that enhance that hands-on time or make it more efficient.”


 

 

The University Student’s Guide To Ethical AI Use  — from studocu.com; with thanks to Jervise Penton at 6XD Media Group for this resource

This comprehensive guide offers:

  • Up-to-date statistics on the current state of AI in universities, how institutions and students are currently using artificial intelligence
  • An overview of popular AI tools used in universities and its limitations as a study tool
  • Tips on how to ethically use AI and how to maximize its capabilities for students
  • Current existing punishment and penalties for cheating using AI
  • A checklist of questions to ask yourself, before, during, and after an assignment to ensure ethical use

Some of the key facts you might find interesting are:

  • The total value of AI being used in education was estimated to reach $53.68 billion by the end of 2032.
  • 68% of students say using AI has impacted their academic performance positively.
  • Educators using AI tools say the technology helps speed up their grading process by as much as 75%.
 

Assessment of Student Learning Is Broken — from insidehighered.com by Zach Justus and Nik Janos
And generative AI is the thing that broke it, Zach Justus and Nik Janos write.

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has broken higher education assessment. This has implications from the classroom to institutional accreditation. We are advocating for a one-year pause on assessment requirements from institutions and accreditation bodies.

Implications and Options
The data we are collecting right now are literally worthless. These same trends implicate all data gathered from December 2022 through the present. So, for instance, if you are conducting a five-year program review for institutional accreditation you should separate the data from before the fall 2022 term and evaluate it independently. Whether you are evaluating writing, STEM outputs, coding, or anything else, you are now looking at some combination of student/AI work. This will get even more confounding as AI tools become more powerful and are integrated into our existing production platforms like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.

The burden of adapting to artificial intelligence has fallen to faculty, but we are not positioned or equipped to lead these conversations across stakeholder groups.


7 TIPS TO AUTOMATE YOUR CLASSROOM WITH AI — from classtechtips.com by Dr. Monica Burns
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The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

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


 

Which AI should I use? Superpowers and the State of Play — from by Ethan Mollick
And then there were three

For over a year, GPT-4 was the dominant AI model, clearly much smarter than any of the other LLM systems available. That situation has changed in the last month, there are now three GPT-4 class models, all powering their own chatbots: GPT-4 (accessible through ChatGPT Plus or Microsoft’s CoPilot), Anthropic’s Claude 3 Opus, and Google’s Gemini Advanced1.

Where we stand
We are in a brief period in the AI era where there are now multiple leading models, but none has yet definitively beaten the GPT-4 benchmark set over a year ago. While this may represent a plateau in AI abilities, I believe this is likely to change in the coming months as, at some point, models like GPT-5 and Gemini 2.0 will be released. In the meantime, you should be using a GPT-4 class model and using it often enough to learn what it does well. You can’t go wrong with any of them, pick a favorite and use it…

From DSC:
Here’s a powerful quote from Ethan:

In fact, in my new book I postulate that you haven’t really experienced AI until you have had three sleepless nights of existential anxiety, after which you can start to be productive again.


Using AI for Immersive Educational Experiences — from automatedteach.com by Graham Clay
Realistic video brings course content to life but requires AI literacy.

For us, I think the biggest promise of AI tools like Sora — that can create video with ease — is that they lower the cost of immersive educational experiences. This increases the availability of these experiences, expanding their reach to student populations who wouldn’t otherwise have them, whether due to time, distance, or expense.

Consider the profound impact on a history class, where students are transported to California during the gold rush through hyperrealistic video sequences. This vivifies the historical content and cultivates a deeper connection with the material.

In fact, OpenAI has already demonstrated the promise of this sort of use case, with a very simple prompt producing impressive results…


The Empathy Illusion: How AI Agents Could Manipulate Students — from marcwatkins.substack.com by Marc Watkins

Take this scenario. A student misses a class and, within twenty minutes, receives a series of texts and even a voicemail from a very concerned and empathic-sounding voice wanting to know what’s going on. Of course, the text is entirely generated, and the voice is synthetic as well, but the student likely doesn’t know this. To them, communication isn’t something as easy to miss or brush off as an email. It sounds like someone who cares is talking to them.

But let’s say that isn’t enough. By that evening, the student still hadn’t logged into their email or checked the LMS. The AI’s strategic reasoning is communicating with the predictive AI and analyzing the pattern of behavior against students who succeed or fail vs. students who are ill. The AI tracks the student’s movements on campus, monitors their social media usage, and deduces the student isn’t ill and is blowing off class.

The AI agent resumes communication with the student. But this time, the strategic AI adopts a different persona, not the kind and empathetic persona used for the initial contact, but a stern, matter-of-fact one. The student’s phone buzzes with alerts that talk about scholarships being lost, teachers being notified, etc. The AI anticipates the excuses the student will use and presents evidence tracking the student’s behavior to show they are not sick.


Not so much focused on learning ecosystems, but still worth mentioning:

The top 100 Gen AI Consumer Apps — from a16z.com / andreessen horowitz by Olivia Moore


 

 

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.

 

State of Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Year-End 2023 Edition — from onedtech.philhillaa.com by Phil Hill

  • The market continues to be a matter of Canvas and Brightspace winning new accounts, Anthology Bb Learn and Moodle losing accounts, with more variety for smaller institutions.
  • Canvas has further consolidated its position as the market leader in North America, with 41% of the market share. Blackboard fell from 18% of the market share to 17%. Moodle has plateaued at 16% while Brightspace increased to 16%. As a reminder, we have removed Open LMS from the Moodle market share.
  • Populi LMS (3%), Open LMS (3%), Sakai (2%), and Schoology (1%) round out the remainder of the market, with 1% of the market going to Other.
  • As always, market share is very much a story of size, type of institution (public or private), and control. The numbers above refer to the market take as a whole, but if we start to drill down to different sizes and types of institution, we get very different market dynamics.

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AI Is Becoming an Integral Part of the Instructional Design Process — from drphilippahardman.substack.com Dr. Philippa Hardman
What I learned from 150 interviews with instructional designers

1. AI already plays a central part in the instructional design process
A whopping 95.3% of the instructional designers interviewed said they use AI in their day to day work. Those who don’t use AI cite access or permission issues as the primary reason that they haven’t integrated AI into their process.

2. AI is predominantly used at the design and development stages of the instructional design process 
When mapped to the ADDIE process, the breakdown of use cases goes as follows:

  • Analysis: 5.5% of use cases
  • Design: 32.1%
  • Development: 53.2%
  • Implementation: 1.8%
  • Evaluation: 7.3%

Speaking of AI in our learning ecosystems, also see:


Will AI Use in Schools Increase Next Year? 56 Percent of Educators Say Yes — from edweek.org by Alyson Klein

The majority of educators expect use of artificial intelligence tools will increase in their school or district over the next year, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey.

Applying Multimodal AI to L&D — from learningguild.com by Sarah Clark
We’re just starting to see Multimodal AI systems hit the spotlight. Unlike the text-based and image-generation AI tools we’ve seen before, multimodal systems can absorb and generate content in multiple formats – text, image, video, audio, etc.

 

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian