Daniel Christian: My slides for the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat

From DSC:
Last Thursday, I presented at the Educational Technology Organization of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Retreat. I wanted to pass along my slides to you all, in case they are helpful to you.

Topics/agenda:

  • Topics & resources re: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Top multimodal players
    • Resources for learning about AI
    • Applications of AI
    • My predictions re: AI
  • The powerful impact of pursuing a vision
  • A potential, future next-gen learning platform
  • Share some lessons from my past with pertinent questions for you all now
  • The significant impact of an organization’s culture
  • Bonus material: Some people to follow re: learning science and edtech

 

Education Technology Organization of Michigan -- ETOM -- Spring 2024 Retreat on June 6-7

PowerPoint slides of Daniel Christian's presentation at ETOM

Slides of the presentation (.PPTX)
Slides of the presentation (.PDF)

 


Plus several more slides re: this vision.

 

AI Policy 101: a Beginners’ Framework — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
How to make a case for AI experimentation & testing in learning & development


6 AI Tools Recommended By Teachers That Aren’t ChatGPT — from forbes.com by Dan Fitzpatrick

Here are six AI tools making waves in classrooms worldwide:

  • Brisk Teaching
  • SchoolAI
  • Diffit
  • Curipod
  • Skybox by Blockade Labs in ThingLink
  • Ideogram

With insights from educators who are leveraging their potential, let’s explore them in more detail.


AI Is Speeding Up L&D But Are We Losing the Learning? — from learningguild.com by Danielle Wallace

The role of learning & development
Given these risks, what can L&D professionals do to ensure generative AI contributes to effective learning? The solution lies in embracing the role of trusted learning advisors, guiding the use of AI tools in a way that prioritizes achieving learning outcomes over only speed. Here are three key steps to achieve this:

1. Playtest and Learn About AI
2. Set the Direction for AI to Be Learner-Centered…
3. Become Trusted Learning Advisors…


Some other tools to explore:

Descript: If you can edit text, you can edit videos. — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov
Descript is the AI-powered, fully featured, end-to-end video editor that you already know how to use.

A video editor that works like docs and slides
No need to learn a new tool — Descript works like the tools you’ve already learned.

Audeze | Filter — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov


AI Chatbots in Schools Findings from a Poll of K-12 Teachers, Students, Parents, and College Undergraduates — from Impact Research; via Michael Spencer and Lily Lee

Key Findings

  • In the last year, AI has become even more intertwined with our education system. More teachers, parents, and students are aware of it and have used it themselves on a regular basis. It is all over our education system today.
  • While negative views of AI have crept up over the last year, students, teachers, and parents feel very positive about it in general. On balance they see positive uses for the technology in school, especially if they have used it themselves.
  • Most K-12 teachers, parents, and students don’t think their school is doing much about AI, despite its widespread use. Most say their school has no policy on it, is doing nothing to offer desired teacher training, and isn’t meeting the demand of students who’d like a career in a job that will need AI.
  • The AI vacuum in school policy means it is currently used “unauthorized,” while instead people want policies that encourage AI. Kids, parents, and teachers are figuring it out on their own/without express permission, whereas all stakeholders would rather have a policy that explicitly encourages AI from a thoughtful foundation.

The Value of AI in Today’s Classrooms — from waltonfamilyfoundation.org

There is much discourse about the rise and prevalence of AI in education and beyond. These debates often lack the perspectives of key stakeholders – parents, students and teachers.

In 2023, the Walton Family Foundation commissioned the first national survey of teacher and student attitudes toward ChatGPT. The findings showed that educators and students embrace innovation and are optimistic that AI can meaningfully support traditional instruction.

A new survey conducted May 7-15, 2024, showed that knowledge of and support for AI in education is growing among parents, students and teachers. More than 80% of each group says it has had a positive impact on education.

 

 

Doing Stuff with AI: Opinionated Midyear Edition — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick

Every six months or so, I write a guide to doing stuff with AI. A lot has changed since the last guide, while a few important things have stayed the same. It is time for an update.

To learn to do serious stuff with AI, choose a Large Language Model and just use it to do serious stuff – get advice, summarize meetings, generate ideas, write, produce reports, fill out forms, discuss strategy – whatever you do at work, ask the AI to help. A lot of people I talk to seem to get the most benefit from engaging the AI in conversation, often because it gives good advice, but also because just talking through an issue yourself can be very helpful. I know this may not seem particularly profound, but “always invite AI to the table” is the principle in my book that people tell me had the biggest impact on them. You won’t know what AI can (and can’t) do for you until you try to use it for everything you do. And don’t sweat prompting too much, though here are some useful tips, just start a conversation with AI and see where it goes.

You do need to use one of the most advanced frontier models, however.

 

Hybrid learning through podcasts: a practical approach — from timeshighereducation.com by Catherine Chambers
Adapting practice-based learning to a blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery gives learners more control and creates opportunities for real-world learning of skills such as podcast production, writes Catherine Chambers

Hybrid learning provides students with greater control over their learning and enables the development of employability skills, supporting practice-based group work through in situ activities.

Aligned with Keele’s curriculum expectations framework, the module was designed around podcasts to support inclusivity, active learning, digital capability and external engagement.

 

How Humans Do (and Don’t) Learn— from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
One of the biggest ever reviews of human behaviour change has been published, with some eye-opening implications for how we design & deliver learning experiences

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

This month, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania published one of the biggest ever reviews of behaviour change efforts – i.e. interventions which do (and don’t) lead to behavioural change in humans.

Research into human behaviour change suggests that, in order to impact capability in real, measurable terms, we need to rethink how we typically design and deliver training.

The interventions which we use most frequently to behaviour change – such as video + quiz approaches and one off workshops – have a negligible impact on measurable changes in human behaviour.

For learning professionals who want to change how their learners think and behave, this research shows conclusively the central importance of:

    1. Shifting attention away from the design of content to the design of context.
    2. Delivering sustained cycles of contextualised practice, support & feedback.

 

 

Microsoft teams with Khan Academy to make its AI tutor free for K-12 educators and will develop a Phi-3 math model — from venturebeat.com by Ken Yeung

Microsoft is partnering with Khan Academy in a multifaceted deal to demonstrate how AI can transform the way we learn. The cornerstone of today’s announcement centers on Khan Academy’s Khanmigo AI agent. Microsoft says it will migrate the bot to its Azure OpenAI Service, enabling the nonprofit educational organization to provide all U.S. K-12 educators free access to Khanmigo.

In addition, Microsoft plans to use its Phi-3 model to help Khan Academy improve math tutoring and collaborate to generate more high-quality learning content while making more courses available within Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft Teams for Education.


One-Third of Teachers Have Already Tried AI, Survey Finds — from the74million.org by Kevin Mahnken
A RAND poll released last month finds English and social studies teachers embracing tools like ChatGPT.

One in three American teachers have used artificial intelligence tools in their teaching at least once, with English and social studies teachers leading the way, according to a RAND Corporation survey released last month. While the new technology isn’t yet transforming how kids learn, both teachers and district leaders expect that it will become an increasingly common feature of school life.


Professors Try ‘Restrained AI’ Approach to Help Teach Writing — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young
Can ChatGPT make human writing more efficient, or is writing an inherently time-consuming process best handled without AI tools?

This article is part of the guide: For Education, ChatGPT Holds Promise — and Creates Problems.

When ChatGPT emerged a year and half ago, many professors immediately worried that their students would use it as a substitute for doing their own written assignments — that they’d click a button on a chatbot instead of doing the thinking involved in responding to an essay prompt themselves.

But two English professors at Carnegie Mellon University had a different first reaction: They saw in this new technology a way to show students how to improve their writing skills.

“They start really polishing way too early,” Kaufer says. “And so what we’re trying to do is with AI, now you have a tool to rapidly prototype your language when you are prototyping the quality of your thinking.”

He says the concept is based on writing research from the 1980s that shows that experienced writers spend about 80 percent of their early writing time thinking about whole-text plans and organization and not about sentences.


On Building AI Models for Education — from aieducation.substack.com by Claire Zau
Google’s LearnLM, Khan Academy/MSFT’s Phi-3 Models, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu

This piece primarily breaks down how Google’s LearnLM was built, and takes a quick look at Microsoft/Khan Academy’s Phi-3 and OpenAI’s ChatGPT Edu as alternative approaches to building an “education model” (not necessarily a new model in the latter case, but we’ll explain). Thanks to the public release of their 86-page research paper, we have the most comprehensive view into LearnLM. Our understanding of Microsoft/Khan Academy small language models and ChatGPT Edu is limited to the information provided through announcements, leaving us with less “under the hood” visibility into their development.


AI tutors are quietly changing how kids in the US study, and the leading apps are from China — from techcrunch.com by Rita Liao

Answer AI is among a handful of popular apps that are leveraging the advent of ChatGPT and other large language models to help students with everything from writing history papers to solving physics problems. Of the top 20 education apps in the U.S. App Store, five are AI agents that help students with their school assignments, including Answer AI, according to data from Data.ai on May 21.


Is your school behind on AI? If so, there are practical steps you can take for the next 12 months — from stefanbauschard.substack.com by Stefan Bauschard

If your school (district) or university has not yet made significant efforts to think about how you will prepare your students for a World of AI, I suggest the following steps:

July 24 – Administrator PD & AI Guidance
In July, administrators should receive professional development on AI, if they haven’t already. This should include…

August 24 –Professional Development for Teachers and Staff…
Fall 24 — Parents; Co-curricular; Classroom experiments…
December 24 — Revision to Policy…


New ChatGPT Version Aiming at Higher Ed — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey
ChatGPT Edu, emerging after initial partnerships with several universities, is prompting both cautious optimism and worries.

OpenAI unveiled a new version of ChatGPT focused on universities on Thursday, building on work with a handful of higher education institutions that partnered with the tech giant.

The ChatGPT Edu product, expected to start rolling out this summer, is a platform for institutions intended to give students free access. OpenAI said the artificial intelligence (AI) toolset could be used for an array of education applications, including tutoring, writing grant applications and reviewing résumés.

 

The Magic of Storytelling: Lessons from Penn Jillette — from learningguild.com by David Kelly
This fall we’re celebrating 20 Years of DevLearn. As part of that celebration, I’m reflecting on the insights I’ve gained from some of my favorite DevLearn keynote speakers over the years. I kick off this series by revisiting The Magic of Storytelling and Learning from Penn Jillette, from DevLearn 2016.

At the heart of Jillette’s message is the power of storytelling. He demonstrates that, much like a magician’s performance, effective learning experiences are crafted from engaging narratives. These stories, although selectively told, can ethically captivate and teach, making the learning process more impactful. Jillette’s career itself is a story of transformation and adaptation, one that resonates deeply with the ongoing journey of a learning professional.


Also from The Learning Guild, see:

AI’s Fusion with Hands-On Workshops Is Transforming Learning — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt

Complementing these conversational approaches are learning experiences enhanced with AI. I highlighted the fast-growing role of immersive scenarios and simulations, produced in tandem with AI and powered through AI in their delivery.

Moreover, the integration of voice interactions, advanced image processing, and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies provides additional tools to enrich learning experiences.

The rapid adoption of AI signifies a real shift for our industry, and we are able to see sparks of what is coming our way throughout 2024 and beyond.

Practicing difficult conversations
One of the most compelling applications I’ve seen lies in managerial and leadership training, specifically in navigating complex interpersonal dynamics: practicing difficult conversations. Through interactions with sophisticated avatars capable of mimicking a diverse range of employee personalities and behaviors, learners can engage in realistic scenarios that challenge their communication skills.

Beyond AI: Why Technical Skill Development is Your Next Strategic Advantage — from learningguild.com by Bill Brandon

Table 1. Most Important Transferable Skills 2024–2028

Transferable Skill Description 
Problem-solving The ability to identify, analyze, and solve complex problems.
Critical thinking The ability to think objectively, analyze information, and form sound judgments.
Communication (written & verbal) The ability to effectively convey ideas and information to others, both in writing and verbally.
Collaboration The ability to work effectively with others to achieve a common goal.
Creativity & innovation The ability to think creatively and come up with new ideas and solutions.
Digital literacy & competency The ability of everyone from CEO to workers to use digital tools and technologies effectively.
Data analysis & interpretation The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data to draw meaningful conclusions.
Self-directed learning & adaptability The ability to take initiative to learn new things and adapt to change.
Time management & organization The ability to manage time effectively and stay organized.
Emotional intelligence & empathy The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and the emotions of others.

Also for the L&D world, see:

When Business Is Just a Game — from bloomberg.com by Robb Mandelbaum
Corporate trainer Abilitie uses simulations to teach lessons in management.

When is the high-stakes, high-pressure world of the C-suite just a game? When executives at emerging companies Compuline and Nanotel met on a Wednesday evening in May to manage existing products and roll out new ones, that’s exactly what it was. The “executives” were students in…

 

Khan Academy and Microsoft partner to expand access to AI tools that personalize teaching and help make learning fun — from news.microsoft.com

[On 5/21/24] at Microsoft Build, Microsoft and Khan Academy announced a new partnership that aims to bring these time-saving and lesson-enhancing AI tools to millions of educators. By donating access to Azure AI-optimized infrastructure, Microsoft is enabling Khan Academy to offer all K-12 educators in the U.S. free access to the pilot of Khanmigo for Teachers, which will now be powered by Azure OpenAI Service.

The two companies will also collaborate to explore opportunities to improve AI tools for math tutoring in an affordable, scalable and adaptable way with a new version of Phi-3, a family of small language models (SLMs) developed by Microsoft.

 

Also see/referenced:

Khanmigo -- a free, AI-powered teaching assistant


Also relevant/see:

Khan Academy and Microsoft are teaming up to give teachers a free AI assistant — from fastcompany.com by Steven Melendez
AI assistant Khanmigo can help time-strapped teachers come up with lesson ideas and test questions, the companies say.

Khan Academy’s AI assistant, Khanmigo, has earned praise for helping students to understand and practice everything from math to English, but it can also help teachers devise lesson plans, formulate questions about assigned readings, and even generate reading passages appropriate for students at different levels. More than just a chatbot, the software offers specific AI-powered tools for generating quizzes and assignment instructions, drafting lesson plans, and formulating letters of recommendation.

Having a virtual teaching assistant is especially valuable in light of recent research from the RAND Corporation that found teachers work longer hours than most working adults, which includes administrative and prep work outside the classroom.

 
 

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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:

 

Learning On Purpose | What problem do you want to solve? — from michelleweise.substack.com by Dr. Michelle R. Weise

I quickly decided to take a different tack with my students, and instead asked each of them, “What problem in the world do you think you want to solve? If you could go to a school of hunger, poverty, Alzheimer’s disease, mental health … what kind of school would you want to attend?” This is when they started nodding vigorously.

What each of them identified was a grand challenge, or what Stanford d.school Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg has called: purpose learning. In a great talk for Wired, Greenberg asks,

What if students declared missions not majors? Or even better, what if they applied to the School of Hunger or the School of Renewable Energy? These are real problems that society doesn’t have answers to yet. Wouldn’t that fuel their studies with some degree of urgency and meaning and real purpose that they don’t yet have today?

 


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

Remember (emphasis DSC)

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Highlights

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

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


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


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

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

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

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

 

ChatGPT remembers who you are — from thebrainyacts.beehiiv.com |Brainyacts #191

OpenAI rolls out Memory feature for ChatGPT
OpenAI has introduced a cool update for ChatGPT (rolling out to paid and free users – but not in the EU or Korea), enabling the AI to remember user-specific details across sessions. This memory feature enhances personalization and efficiency, making your interactions with ChatGPT more relevant and engaging.

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Key Features

  1. Automatic Memory Tracking
    • ChatGPT now automatically records information from your interactions such as preferences, interests, and plans. This allows the AI to refine its responses over time, making each conversation increasingly tailored to you.
  2. Enhanced Personalization
    • The more you interact with ChatGPT, the better it understands your needs and adapts its responses accordingly. This personalization improves the relevance and efficiency of your interactions, whether you’re asking for daily tasks or discussing complex topics.
  3. Memory Management Options
    • You have full control over this feature. You can view what information is stored, toggle the memory on or off, and delete specific data or all memory entries, ensuring your privacy and preferences are respected.




From DSC:
The ability of AI-based applications to remember things about us will have major and positive ramifications for us when we think about learning-related applications of AI.


 

 

 

Description:

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


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


 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian