The Educator's Notebook

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

Educator’s Notebook #433 (December 10, 2023)

    • New York Times
    • 12/15/23

    “The course will launch for credit next fall, and is currently being taught as a pilot program in 700 schools across 40 states… African American studies is an interdisciplinary field, melding history with the study of contemporary politics, culture and law.”

    • Sense and Sensation
    • 12/15/23

    “While AI can help students analyze text, identify detail in an image, and structure a work of writing, only the student can apply this understanding to her world. Only the student can integrate new understanding into his school community and personal relationships. Only the student can practice new habits based on new ideas and understanding enabled by AI.”

ARTS

CREATIVITY

CURRICULUM

HEALTH

    • EdWeek
    • 12/15/23
    • Your Local Epidemiologist
    • 12/15/23

    “In case we parents didn’t have enough to manage this fall, norovirus—think stomach cramping, intense episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, and occasional fevers—has entered the chat. Levels are higher than this time last year but still far below last year’s peak. Be sure to wash those hands!”

    • Campus Safety
    • 12/15/23

    “At least 16 of the 20 largest public school districts in the United States now offer online mental health counseling for their students, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. The contracts for those school districts total more than $70 million. The switch to online therapy is in response to the skyrocketing need for mental health services among students.”

    • After Babel
    • 12/15/23

    “On any measure related to anxiety or depression, girls have higher absolute rates (the total number of individuals), often two or three times higher, as you see in Figure 1. For suicide it’s the opposite: as a new research brief from AIBM makes clear, the rates for boys are much higher, and their high rate is the deepest sign of a crisis for boys.”

HIGHER ED

HUMANITIES

LANGUAGE

READING/WRITING

    • ASCD
    • 12/15/23

    “Decades ago, studies conducted by reading researchers demonstrated the importance of knowledge to comprehension, as Hugh Catts (2021–2022) has noted. Knowledge, they found, helps readers supply information that authors inevitably leave out—in other words, it helps readers make inferences; take in, analyze, and retain new information; and make predictions. Having knowledge about a topic also increases motivation to read about it.”

STEM

WORKPLACE

Z-OTHER

A.I. Update

    • Harvard Business Review
    • 12/15/23

    “From a human resources perspective, companies need to strategize on how to retain employees and prepare for higher turnover among workers whose skills complement AI. Standard tools remove how much a company needs to invest in an employee to bring them up to speed. They can increase, however, the resources devoted to hiring and retention.”

    • aiEDU
    • 12/15/23

    “In Part V of Discourse, Descartes makes an aside to explore the difference between humans and automata (machines). Automatons were a curiosity of the time, mechanical creations made to move and mimic people in some way. This led some ambitious and imaginative inventors to claim and strive towards building automatons that would be as capable as humans. This of course led to some conjecture that one day, these automatons might be the equals or even superior to humans. As you might imagine, this idea, dismissed by many as impossible, was also the subject of some philosophical and religious soul searching.”

TECH/AI: EDUCATION

    • Edutopia
    • 12/15/23

    “TeachFX’s data reports now identify more than 20 different insights, such as whether teachers are building on what students say, whether they’re asking open-ended questions that push student thinking forward, and how often they’re using academic language in lessons. The technology then analyzes the content of the files that teachers upload, picking out specific words and phrases. Instead of providing only a staid analytics report, the tool also presents its findings conversationally, pointing out strengths and weaknesses the way ChatGPT might.”

    • Tech & Learning
    • 12/15/23

TECH/AI: ETHICS AND RISK

    • Schneier on Security
    • 12/15/23

    “I am going to make several arguments. One, that there are two different kinds of trust—interpersonal trust and social trust—and that we regularly confuse them. Two, that the confusion will increase with artificial intelligence. We will make a fundamental category error. We will think of AIs as friends when they’re really just services. Three, that the corporations controlling AI systems will take advantage of our confusion to take advantage of us. They will not be trustworthy. And four, that it is the role of government to create trust in society. And therefore, it is their role to create an environment for trustworthy AI. And that means regulation. Not regulating AI, but regulating the organizations that control and use AI.”

    • Guardian
    • 12/15/23

TECH/AI: GOVERNMENT AND LAW

TECH/AI: INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT

Issues

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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