Hello GPT-4o — from openai.com
We’re announcing GPT-4o, our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.

GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”) is a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs. It can respond to audio inputs in as little as 232 milliseconds, with an average of 320 milliseconds, which is similar to human response time in a conversation. It matches GPT-4 Turbo performance on text in English and code, with significant improvement on text in non-English languages, while also being much faster and 50% cheaper in the API. GPT-4o is especially better at vision and audio understanding compared to existing models.

Example topics covered here:

  • Two GPT-4os interacting and singing
  • Languages/translation
  • Personalized math tutor
  • Meeting AI
  • Harmonizing and creating music
  • Providing inflection, emotions, and a human-like voice
  • Understanding what the camera is looking at and integrating it into the AI’s responses
  • Providing customer service

With GPT-4o, we trained a single new model end-to-end across text, vision, and audio, meaning that all inputs and outputs are processed by the same neural network. Because GPT-4o is our first model combining all of these modalities, we are still just scratching the surface of exploring what the model can do and its limitations.





From DSC:
I like the assistive tech angle here:





 

 

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.


 

 

How to Make the Dream of Education Equity (or Most of It) a Reality — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Studies on the effects of tutoring–by humans or computers–point to ways to improve regular classroom instruction.

One problem, of course, is that it’s prohibitively expensive to hire a tutor for every average or struggling student, or even one for every two or three of them. This was the two-sigma “problem” that Bloom alluded to in the title of his essay: how can the massive benefits of tutoring possibly be scaled up? Both Khan and Zuckerberg have argued that the answer is to have computers, maybe powered by artificial intelligence, serve as tutors instead of humans.

From DSC:
I’m hoping that AI-backed learning platforms WILL help many people of all ages and backgrounds. But I realize — and appreciate what Natalie is saying here as well — that human beings are needed in the learning process (especially at younger ages). 

But without the human element, that’s unlikely to be enough. Students are more likely to work hard to please a teacher than to please a computer.

Natalie goes on to talk about training all teachers in cognitive science — a solid idea for sure. That’s what I was trying to get at with this graphic:
.

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

.
But I’m not as hopeful in all teachers getting trained in cognitive science…as it should have happened (in the Schools of Education and in the K12 learning ecosystem at large) by now. Perhaps it will happen, given enough time.

And with more homeschooling and blended programs of education occurring, that idea gets stretched even further. 

K-12 Hybrid Schooling Is in High Demand — from realcleareducation.com by Keri D. Ingraham (emphasis below from DSC); via GSV

Parents are looking for a different kind of education for their children. A 2024 poll of parents reveals that 72% are considering, 63% are searching for, and 44% have selected a new K-12 school option for their children over the past few years. So, what type of education are they seeking?

Additional polling data reveals that 49% of parents would prefer their child learn from home at least one day a week. While 10% want full-time homeschooling, the remaining 39% of parents desire their child to learn at home one to four days a week, with the remaining days attending school on-campus. Another parent poll released this month indicates that an astonishing 64% of parents indicated that if they were looking for a new school for their child, they would enroll him or her in a hybrid school.

 

From DSC:
This would be huge for all of our learning ecosystems, as the learning agents could remember where a particular student or employee is at in terms of their learning curve for a particular topic.


Say What? Chat With RTX Brings Custom Chatbot to NVIDIA RTX AI PCs — from blogs.nvidia.com
Tech demo gives anyone with an RTX GPU the power of a personalized GPT chatbot.



 

Conversational & Experiential: The New Duality of Learning — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The future of corporate learning and development (L&D) is being profoundly reshaped by the progress we are witnessing in artificial intelligence (AI). The increasing availability of new technologies and tools is causing L&D leaders and their teams to rethink their strategy and processes, and even their team structure. The resulting shift, already gaining momentum, will soon move us toward a future where learning experiences are deeply personal, interactive, and contextually rich.

The technological advancements at the forefront of this revolution:

  • Allow us to create high-quality content faster and at a fraction of the cost previously experienced.
  • Provide us with a range of new modalities of delivery, such as chat interfaces, as well as immersive and experiential simulations and games.
  • Enable us to transform learning and training more and more into a journey uniquely tailored to each individual’s learning path, strengths, weaknesses, and confidence levels.

We are already seeing signs of the immediate future—one where AI will adapt not only content but the entire learner experience, on-the-fly and aligned with the needs and requirements of the learner at a specific moment of need.


Harnessing AI in L&D: Reviewing 2023 & Imagining the Future — from learningguild.com by Juan Naranjo

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

AI-assisted design & development work: A dramatic shift
This prediction was right. There has been a seismic shift in instructional design, and the role is evolving toward content curation, editing, and resource orchestration. Critical thinking skills are becoming more important than ever to make sure that the final learning asset is accurate. All of this is happening thanks to AI tools like:

  • Adobe Firefly…
  • ChatGPT…
  • Another tool, one that isn’t usually part of the L&D ecosystem, is Microsoft’s Azure AI Services…

Early estimates indicate these improvements save between 30 percent and 60 percent of development time.

As a reminder, meta-learning, in this context, refers to tools that serve up experiences to learners based on their preferences, needs, and goals. It is the superstructure behind the content assets (e.g., programs, courses, articles, videos, etc.) that assembles everything into a coherent, and purposeful, body of knowledge for the users.

 

Healthcare High Schools — from the-job.beehiiv.com by Paul Fain
Bloomberg and hospitals back dual-enrollment path from K-12 to high-demand jobs.

More career exploration in high school is needed to help Americans make better-informed choices about their education and job options, experts agree. And serious, employer-backed efforts to tighten connections between school and work are likely to emerge first in healthcare, given the industry’s severe staffing woes.

A new $250M investment by Bloomberg Philanthropies could be an important step in this direction. The money will seed the creation of healthcare-focused high schools in 10 U.S. locations, with a plan to enroll 6K students who will graduate directly from the early-college high schools into high-demand healthcare jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.


Microschools Take Center Stage with New Opportunities for Learning for 2024 — from the74million.org by Andrew Campanella
Campanella: More than 27,000 schools and organizations are celebrating National School Choice Week. Yours can, too

Last year, the landscape of K-12 education transformed as a record-breaking 20 states expanded school choice options. However, that is not the only school choice story to come out of 2023. As the nation steps into 2024, a fresh emphasis on innovation has emerged, along with new options for families. This is particularly true within the realm of microschooling.

Microschooling is an education model that is small by design — typically with 15 or fewer students of varying ages per class. It fosters a personalized and community-centric approach to learning that is especially effective in addressing the unique educational needs of diverse student populations. Programs like Education Savings Accounts are helping to fuel these microschools.


My Students Can’t Meet Academic Standards Because the School Model No Longer Fits Them — from edsurge.com by Sachin Pandya

Large classes create more distractions for students who struggle to focus, and they inevitably get less attention and support as there are more students for teachers to work with. High numbers of students make it more difficult to plan for individual needs and force teachers to teach to an imaginary middle. A rigid schedule makes it easy to schedule adults and services, but it is a challenge for kids who need time to get engaged and prefer to keep working at a challenge once they are locked in.

Now that I know what can engage and motivate these students, I can imagine creating more opportunities that allow them to harness their talents and grow their skills and knowledge. But we’re already a third of the way through the school year, and my curriculum requires me to teach certain topics for certain lengths of time, which doesn’t leave room for many of the types of experiences these kids need. Soon, June will come and I’ll pass them along to the next teacher, who won’t know what I know and will need another four months to learn it, wasting valuable time in these students’ educations.

From DSC:
We need teachers and professors to be able to contribute to learners’ records. Each student can review and decide whether they want to allow access to other teachers– or even to employers. Educators could insert what they’ve found to work with a particular student, what passions/interests that student has, or what to avoid (if possible). For example, has this student undergone some trauma, and therefore trauma-informed teaching should be employed. 

IEPs could be a part of learners’ records/profiles. The teams working on implementing these IEP’s could share important, searchable information.


The State of Washington Embraces AI for Public Schools — from synthedia.substack.com by Bret Kinsella; via Tom Barrett
Educational institutions may be warming up to generative AI

Washington state issued new guidelines for K-12 public schools last week based on the principle of “embracing a human-centered approach to AI,” which also embraces the use of AI in the education process. The state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, commented in a letter accompanying the new guidelines:

 

AI University for UK? — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Tertiary Education in the UK needs a fresh idea. What we need is an initiative on the same scale as The Open University, kicked off over 50 years ago.

It is clear that an educational vision is needed and I think the best starting point is that outlined and executed by Paul LeBlanc at SNHU. It is substantial, well articulated and has worked in what has become the largest University in the US.

It would be based on the competence model, with a focus on skills shortages. Here’s a starter with 25 ideas, a manifesto of sorts, based on lessons learnt from other successful models:

  1. Non-traditional students in terms of age and background
  2. Quick and easy application process
  3. Personalised learning using AI
  4. Multimodal from the start
  5. Full range of summarisation, create self-assessment, dialogue tools
  6. Focus on generative learning using AI
  7. …and Donald lists many more (ending at #25)
 

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

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

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

Beth also mentioned/link to:


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

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

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

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

Mark Zuckerberg: First Interview in the Metaverse | Lex Fridman Podcast #398


Photo-realistic avatars show future of Metaverse communication — from inavateonthenet.net

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Meta, took part in the first-ever Metaverse interview using photo-realistic virtual avatars, demonstrating the Metaverse’s capability for virtual communication.

Zuckerberg appeared on the Lex Fridman podcast, using scans of both Fridman and Zuckerberg to create realistic avatars instead of using a live video feed. A computer model of the avatar’s faces and bodies are put into a Codec, using a headset to send an encoded version of the avatar.

The interview explored the future of AI in the metaverse, as well as the Quest 3 headset and the future of humanity.


 


Big Ideas in Education — from edweek.org by various

Big Ideas is Education Week’s annual special report that brings the expertise of our newsroom—and occasionally those beyond our newsroom—to bear on the challenges you might be facing in your classroom, school, or district. Big Ideas questions the status quo and explores opportunities to help you build a better, more just learning environment for all students. Browse our collection.


 

 

Build Your Own High School: Phoenix Students Choose from 500 Classes, Internships, College Courses, Career Programs & More — from the74million.org by Beth Hawkins; via Michael Horn
At Phoenix Union City, high school doesn’t refer to a building but a personalized path of experiences that teenagers create for themselves.

PXU City HS has no physical site — its 83 students create custom programs, choosing from a menu of some 500 options from Phoenix Union High School District’s bricks-and-mortar schools; its online-only program, internships; jobs; college classes; and career training programs.

But in the process, it became clear just how many high school-aged students were working, caring for siblings, filling in for their parents or significantly behind — or ahead and bored — academically.

If PXU City works as well for all its students as it does for Dominguez, he adds, every high school in the district ought to throw away the bell schedule and offer a truly personalized education.

‘Every day matters’: CCSD students, teachers kick off 2023-24 school year — from reviewjournal.com by Julie Wootton-Greener; via Michael Horn

There are 10 areas of study students chose from: architectural design, business administration logistics-distribution, computer science, construction technology, cybersecurity, diesel/auto technology, energy technologies, human and social services, teaching and training, and sports medicine.

Students pick a job within the program they’re working toward, but that can change, Cordia said, noting that there are hundreds of possible jobs within the automotive program.

The school received e more than 1,000 applications from interested students, he said, calling it “very humbling.”


Addendum that also involves changes within the K12 learning ecosystem:

Is the Post-Pandemic Era Ripe for Rethinking High School? — from edsurge.com by Rebecca Koenig

 

2023 Students and Technology Report: Flexibility, Choice, and Equity in the Student Experience

2023 Students and Technology Report: Flexibility, Choice, and Equity in the Student Experience — from library.educause.edu by Mark McCormack

Excerpt:

What does it mean to be a student in 2023, on the fading tail end of a global pandemic and in the midst of lingering uncertainty about the world? What do students still need from a postsecondary education, and where does technology serve as a fulcrum—for better and for worse—both opening and closing students’ paths forward through their educational journeys?

In this report we draw on data from EDUCAUSE’s 2023 Student Survey to offer higher education leaders and decision-makers key insights as they consider what these questions might mean for their particular institutions and communities.

The report explores findings across three main areas, each representing a key challenge (and opportunity) institutions are going to face now and in the future:

  • Supporting students on and off campus
  • The role of students as consumers in the educational marketplace
  • Equity and accessibility in teaching and learning

Students who are empowered to “choose their own adventure” with their course modality engagements are far more satisfied with their course experiences than those who don’t get to choose.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 

A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic”— from library.educause.edu/ by Muscanell

2023 Faculty & Technology Report: A First Look at Teaching Preferences since the Pandemic

This is the first faculty research conducted by EDUCAUSE since 2019. Since then, the higher education landscape has been through a lot, including COVID-19, fluctuations in enrollment and public funding, and the rapid adoption of multiple instructional modalities and new technologies. In this report, we describe the findings of the research in four key areas:

  • Modality preferences and the impacts of teaching in non-preferred modes
  • Experiences teaching online and hybrid courses
  • Technology and digital availability of course components
  • Types of support needed and utilized for teaching

From DSC:
Polling the faculty members and getting their feedback is not as relevant and important to the future of higher education as better addressing the needs and wants of parents and students who are paying the bills. Asking faculty members what they want to post online is not as relevant as what students want and need to see online.


From DSC:
More fringe responses — versus overhauling pricing, updating curriculum, providing more opportunities to try out jobs before investing in a degree, and/or better rewarding those adjunct faculty members who are doing the majority of the teaching on many campuses.


Online college enrollment is on the rise: What brings students to virtual campuses? — from digitaljournal.com by Jill Jaracz and Emma Rubin; via GSV

Before the pandemic, online learning programs were typically for people going back to school to augment or change their career or pursuing a graduate degree to enhance their career while they work. That attitude is shifting as students juggle learning with jobs, family responsibilities, and commutes. In California, 4 in 5 community college classes were in person before the pandemic. By 2021, just 1 in 4 were in person, while 65% were online, according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Younger students are also opting for online classes. EducationDynamics found in 2023 that the largest share of students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees online is 35 or younger. That said, 35% of students pursuing online undergraduate degrees are between


 
 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian