“Four eighth-grade English language arts teachers, initially most concerned about their students’ disinterest in reading, stopped assigning any particular book and instead gave students wide access to books written for young adults, let them choose what to read (or not), and gave them time to read and openly discuss the books. We studied these classrooms for two years and followed some students two years into high school… Here’s what we learned. The students, most of whom reported previously reading little or nothing, started reading like crazy—in and out of school—and their reading achievement improved. While this was the initial motivation for the teachers, it became the least interesting outcome. Students reported becoming better people, a change also noticed by their parents and peers. Reading engaging narratives about characters with complicated lives, they reported, helped them become more empathetic, less judgmental, more likely to seek multiple viewpoints, morally stronger, and happier. Yes, happier. They reported improved self-control, and building more and stronger friendships and family relationships.”
“If we follow the tale, this all might be ok in the end. Eucrates learned his lesson — when asked to perform the magic, he says, “if it once becomes a water carrier… we shall be obliged to let the house be flooded with the water that is poured in!” His lesson is much like the cautionary words of Mustafa Suleyman, founder of Inflection AI, in an interview with the Center for Human Technology: “The challenge for the next century is going to be what we don't do rather than what we do.” Perhaps we can learn this lesson, too. But what does that look like in practice, and how do we learn it collectively?”
“What all this means is that human thinking can be made explicitly visible if we invite students to do work complex enough to be worthy of our unique, organic cognitive capacities. Based on this research, I recommend the following indicators as a way to verify and evaluate an assessment or performance task's level of complexity:”
“Educators faced with the reality that they cannot fix everything may be suffering from compassion fatigue. That could be summed up as a “combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion.” (p.6) That’s why the authors address you first in each module before focusing on students and the school.”
“The prestige disciplines in the humanities— law, economics, government—enjoy broad cultural understanding and appreciation of their social value. They could teach the more niche disciplines—literary studies, philosophy, the arts—how to be more publicly engaged. At the same time, the enterprise of the humanities in general benefits from a wide cultural understanding that these disciplines are on the same team.”
“Bose, who performed for the duchess of Gotha, designed an experiment that turned ladies into electric Venuses. For this demonstration, which he called “Venus electrificata” and which Franklin later renamed the “electric kiss,” a lady stood on an insulated stool while a gentleman tried to kiss her, only to receive painful sparks from her lips. Gentlemen, in their turn, could perform their virility by “inflaming spirits,” that is, setting fire to alcohol with electrified swords. For those who preferred a less aggressive model of masculinity, Bose designed an electric “beatification,” which made a luminous halo appear above a person’s head.”
“Additional studies have found that K-12 students’ concentration, focus, and test scores improve when they have plants in the classroom.”
““With Open Empathic, our goal is to create an AI that goes beyond understanding just words,” Schuhmann added. “We aim for it to grasp the nuances in expressions and tone shifts, making human-AI interactions more authentic and empathetic.””
“I was talking [with my son] about how bad AI detectors are, and that they should all be banned and I was complaining that one of my students told me that his professor was actually marking down students if their work showed up in the AI detector in TurnItIn when, out of the blue, he offered the following: “Your student should use Claude AI. Everyone knows that Claude doesn’t show up on AI detectors.”
“Values centered on individual experience, such as personal agency, enjoyment, and stimulation, are undeniably important and central requirements for any social media platform. It shouldn't be surprising that reward hacking only on individual values will lead to challenging societal-level outcomes, because the algorithm has no way to reason about societies. But then, what would it even mean to algorithmically model societal-level values? How would you tell an algorithm that it needs to care about democracy in addition to agency and enjoyment?”
“Microsoft is already seeing cyber criminals and government hackers “using AI to refine the language that they use in their phishing attacks … and make them somewhat harder to detect,” Tom Burt, the company’s corporate vice president of customer security and trust, told reporters during a recent briefing.”
“U.S. District Judge William Orrick dismissed some claims from the proposed class action brought by Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan and Karla Ortiz, including all of the allegations against Midjourney and DeviantArt. The judge said the artists could file an amended complaint against the two companies, whose systems utilize Stability's Stable Diffusion text-to-image technology. Orrick also dismissed McKernan and Ortiz's copyright infringement claims entirely. The judge allowed Andersen to continue pursuing her key claim that Stability's alleged use of her work to train Stable Diffusion infringed her copyrights. The same allegation is at the heart of other lawsuits brought by artists, authors and other copyright owners against generative AI companies.”
“Generative AI greatly reduces the degree to which access to expertise is an obstacle to education… We haven’t even started to unpack the implications of this notion yet, but hopefully just naming it will give the conversation focus, give people something to disagree with, and help the conversation progress more quickly.”
“While everyone benefits from feedback on their writing, not everyone has access to an expert editor or teacher, and many students get feedback only rarely. So we created a GPT to provide specific, actionable feedback… Then, rather than just writing the essay for the student, the GPT returns an edited, marked in red copy of the Word document with advice based on rubrics. This is obviously a prototype, but the fact that writing instructors can now create a GPT that can provide personalized advice in their personal style, and then give that GPT away to people all over the world to improve their writing, is exciting.”
“We’re rolling out custom versions of ChatGPT that you can create for a specific purpose—called GPTs. GPTs are a new way for anyone to create a tailored version of ChatGPT to be more helpful in their daily life, at specific tasks, at work, or at home—and then share that creation with others. For example, GPTs can help you learn the rules to any board game, help teach your kids math, or design stickers. Anyone can easily build their own GPT—no coding is required.”
“They differ from the regular ChatGPT in a few important ways. First, they are programmed for specific tasks. (Examples that OpenAI created include “Creative Writing Coach” and “Mocktail Mixologist,” a bot that suggests nonalcoholic drink recipes.) Second, the bots can pull from private data, such as a company’s internal H.R. documents or a database of real estate listings, and incorporate that data into their responses. Third, if you let them, the bots can plug into other parts of your online life — your calendar, your to-do list, your Slack account — and take actions using your credentials.”
“Starhaven recently wrote, "My new morning driving routine involves chatting with ChatGPT through my car speaker/Airplay, as if I were hanging on the phone with my mum." He talked about working through ideas vocally. "Sometimes you just wanna share your unhinged thoughts with a friend—though, maybe not at 7 in the morning," he wrote. "So when OpenAI rolled out this feature a few weeks back, I found the perfect solution to my problem and, incidentally, a creative way of surviving the drudgery that is Belgian traffic jams.”"
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