The Educator's Notebook

A weekly collection of education-related news from around the web.

Educator’s Notebook #421 (August 27, 2023)

    • Hyperallergic
    • 08/25/23

    “Chiang reports that the reader has been well received by her students so far, with an end-of-semester survey indicating that they found the reader spoke more to their personal interests in art and history, made her courses more relevant to their lives, and provided a more nuanced and complex presentation of history.”

    • Electronics Weekly
    • 08/22/23

    “The Human Exploration Rover Challenge asks high school, college or university students from around the world to create “lightweight, human-powered rovers”. These will have to traverse an obstacle course simulating lunar and Martian terrain, while also completing mission-related science tasks.”



    • New York Times
    • 08/20/23

    “Well before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson participated in theater and improv as an undergraduate at Harvard, and was once paired with Matt Damon — then a student, now a Hollywood actor — in a drama class.”






    • New York Times
    • 08/21/23

    “One-year-olds exposed to more than four hours of screen time a day experienced developmental delays in communication and problem-solving skills at ages 2 and 4, according to a study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics.


    • Your Local Epidemiologist
    • 08/24/23

    “The fall/winter season always means more respiratory sickness—the weather changes, people head inside, and social networks change (school starts, holiday celebrations occur). But the last four years have resulted in very unusual patterns. This makes predicting this season a fool’s game. But I’ll take the bait and give it a shot.”






    • Stanford
    • 08/22/23

    “Also, talk about the intention behind having a device. Parents may be rightfully concerned about respecting their teen’s privacy, but it’s normal and expected that you ask questions about what they are doing online. Just as you want to support them with peer relationship dynamics at school, you should have periodic conversations with your kids about phone and social media use because there’s a lot to navigate in those spaces.”

    • New Yorker
    • 08/16/23





A.I. Update


    • Learning On Purpose
    • 08/25/23

    “If you are already trying AI, show students what you’re doing. Ask them what they think. Tell them what you think. Your willingness to show your work models vulnerability and offers implicit permission to talk openly about using AI for learning… If you show your work, students are more likely to show theirs.”

    • Visual Capitalist
    • 08/25/23
    • A.J. Juliani
    • 08/24/23

    “It has been nine minutes on this video, I now have ideas for an activity, a lesson plan connected to my standards, and a presentation, all setting students up.”

    • New York Times
    • 08/24/23

    “First, I encourage educators — especially those who teach in high schools and colleges — to assume that 100 percent of their students are using ChatGPT and other generative A.I. tools on every assignment, in every subject, unless they’re being physically supervised inside a school building… My third piece of advice — and the one that may get me the most angry emails from teachers — is that teachers should focus less on warning students about the shortcomings of generative A.I. than figuring out what the technology does well.”

    • New York Times
    • 08/24/23

    “As the school year begins, their thinking has evolved.”

    • Meta
    • 08/24/23
    • Goodwin Law
    • 08/24/23

    “On August 18, 2023, the US District Court for the District of Columbia (the Court) ruled in Thaler v. Register of Copyrights that an AI-generated work “absent any guiding human hand” is not protected by copyright, explaining that “[h]uman authorship is a bedrock requirement of copyright.” …This said, the Court was mindful of AI-focused questions that are sure to arise (and may arise more quickly given this ruling). The Court noted that “[t]he increased attenuation of human creativity from the actual generation of the final work will prompt challenging questions regarding how much human input is necessary to qualify the user of an AI system as an ‘author’ of a generated work, the scope of the protection obtained over the resultant image, how to assess the originality of AI-generated works where the systems may have been trained on unknown pre-existing works, how copyright might best be used to incentivize creative works involving AI, and more.”

    • Harvard Business Review
    • 08/24/23
    • New York Times
    • 08/23/23
    • EdWeek
    • 08/21/23

    “Nearly 4 in 10 teachers expect to use AI in their classrooms by the end of the 2023-24 school year. Less than half as many say they are prepared to use the tools.”

    • One Useful Thing
    • 08/20/23

    “Now, I need to be very clear here: I don’t mean expert prompts, produced through elaborate “prompt engineering.” I have written before that prompt engineering is overrated. For most uses, you can build a good prompt mostly by asking the AI to do something in back-and-forth dialogue, combined with trial and error, and a few small tricks (I will get to those shortly). No, I mean the prompts of experts – prompts that encode our hard-earned expertise in ways that AI can help other people apply. Prompts that we can use to do our work easier, or, if you are inclined, to gift others with your own abilities.”

    • MIT
    • 03/10/23

    “Inequality between workers decreases, as ChatGPT compresses the productivity distribution by benefiting low-ability workers more. ChatGPT mostly substitutes for worker effort rather than complementing worker skills, and restructures tasks towards idea-generation and editing and away from rough-drafting. Exposure to ChatGPT increases job satisfaction and self-efficacy and heightens both concern and excitement about automation technologies.”


Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.

Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.

Peter Nilsson


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