ETS and Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) Join Forces to Scale Skills Transcript

mastery transcript consortium

ETS and MTC have joined forces to enhance skills assessment and learning records for learners.

The ETS & MTC partnership aims to shift focus from courses and grades to personalized learning experiences and skills transcripts for all learners. This collaboration is a significant step towards capturing and communicating capabilities more descriptively at scale. It provides a pathway to replace traditional transcripts with competency-based records for learners applying to colleges and jobs.

Microsoft’s AI Push Imperils Climate Goal as Carbon Emissions Jump 30%

ai power usage

Microsoft’s ambitious climate goal is at risk due to its focus on artificial intelligence. The company’s carbon emissions have increased by 30%, making it harder to reach its carbon-negative target by 2030. Microsoft plans to invest in green technologies to balance the environmental impact of its AI expansion.

Read more from Bloomberg News

Google Sheets’ new formatting feature has Excel switchers excited

google sheets

Google Sheets now offers one-click tables for easier data formatting, a feature Excel users have long enjoyed. Users can quickly convert data into organized tables with filters and sorting options. The update includes pre-set formatting options and group-by-views for efficient data management.

What Google has created here looks a little bit like the AI-generated tables from its I/O developer conference this week but perhaps a little more power user-focused, and you don’t need its Gemini integration. If the new feature has hit your account already, you can try it by selecting a block of data and clicking Format > Convert to table.

The Verge

Google unveils Veo, a high-definition AI video generator that may rival Sora

Google Veo generated images

Google introduced Veo, an AI video generator, at Google I/O 2024, capable of creating HD videos from text prompts like OpenAI’s Sora. Veo can edit videos from written instructions and generate cinematic effects, but it’s not widely available yet. Google plans to integrate Veo’s features into YouTube Shorts and other products, emphasizing responsible content creation with watermarking and safety filters.

Google says that Veo builds upon the company’s previous video-generation models, including Generative Query Network (GQN), DVD-GAN, Imagen-VideoPhenaki, WALT, VideoPoet, and Lumiere. To enhance quality and efficiency, Veo’s training data includes more detailed video captions, and it utilizes compressed “latent” video representations. To improve Veo’s video-generation quality, Google included more detailed captions for the videos used to train Veo, allowing the AI to interpret prompts more accurately.

Veo also seems notable in that it supports filmmaking commands: “When given both an input video and editing command, like adding kayaks to an aerial shot of a coastline, Veo can apply this command to the initial video and create a new, edited video,” the company says.


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Open Education and Innovations in Teaching and Learning: Future Directions

Panelists:

  • Steven Downes from the Digital Technologies Research Centre of the National Research Council of Canada.
  • Dr. Valerie Irvine from the University of Victoria.
  • Brian Lamb, Director of Learning Technologies at Thompson Rivers University.
  • Dr. David Wiley, Chief Academic Officer at Lumen Learning.

Key Topics and Insights

Current State of Open Education

Steven Downes kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on open education. He argued that generative AI has the potential to create and enhance open educational resources (OER), moving beyond traditional static resources to dynamic, AI-generated content that can adapt and respond to student needs in real time.

Challenges and Opportunities

Valerie Irvine highlighted the significant challenge of institutional culture change. She stressed that despite the proven benefits of open education, widespread adoption requires a concerted effort to shift mindsets at administrative and faculty levels. She also pointed out the potential for open education to support social justice and equity in learning, advocating for open access to research and teaching resources to foster broader educational impacts.

Brian Lamb expressed concerns about the commercialization and centralization of digital platforms, which can stifle the creative and collaborative spirit of open education. He reminisced about the early days of the open web, where blogs and wikis fostered a rich exchange of ideas and resources. Brian emphasized the need to build capacity for open practices within educational institutions to reclaim some of that lost potential.

David Wiley provided a perspective from the U.S., discussing how generative AI could transform access to expertise. He noted that while the initial focus of open education was on access to materials, the future could see AI providing real-time, personalized support to learners, thereby expanding educational opportunities even further. He also touched on the importance of integrating open practices with AI to ensure that educational tools remain accessible and beneficial.

Future Directions

The panelists agreed that integrating AI into education presents both opportunities and challenges. They discussed the need for robust systems to ensure the accuracy and reliability of AI-generated content. Steven Downes pointed out that, while AI can be a powerful tool, it must be developed and used within ethical frameworks to avoid perpetuating existing biases and inequalities.

Institutional Support for Open Education

A key theme was the role of institutions in supporting open education. The panelists called for more institutional support for open educational practices, including funding, resources, and recognition of the value of openness. Valerie Irvine and Brian Lamb highlighted the successful models of BCcampus and eCampusOntario as examples of how institutional collaboration can drive the adoption of open education.

Conclusion

The session concluded with a call to action for educators, administrators, and policymakers to embrace the potential of open education and AI. The panelists urged a collective effort to foster a culture of openness, support innovative teaching practices, and ensure that the benefits of these advancements are accessible to all learners.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

desk stuff

Greetings Starfighters,

Earlier this week, Austin Kleon sent out a wonderful article about the things we love and live with, especially all the little things we keep around our workspaces and homes that help keep us sane.

I started thinking about all the trinkets I keep around me and realized that I keep a metric buttload of stuff, some of it useful, some of it for inspiration, and some of it just because.

For instance, on top of my desk at home, I have a number of themed Mr. Potato Heads because they make me smile. But amid them, there is a Batman action figure from the 1989 Tim Burton film.

Of all the toys I had in my younger days, that one has been with me through move after move, relationship after relationship. Sometimes a space doesn’t really feel like mine until I have Batman standing silent guard over all.

Pictures and drawings from my daughter and wife also hang around, as do several creations from former students.

Several versions of Iron Man lay scattered about, along with more pens, pencils, and markers than should be acceptable for someone in his late 40s.

I also keep several quotes taped up around me as reminders and inspiration. They include:

quote
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I also have a copy of this print from Ryan Holiday featuring a great Hemingway quote hanging next to my desk at home.

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Oh, of course, there’s also my growing book collection (because I’m totally embracing the antilibrary theory).

Each item has some meaning for me, whether sentimental or silly and helps make my little areas of the world truly ‘mine.’

So, my question to you today is, “What do you keep around that makes a space truly yours?”

I’m opening up comments for this post on my Substack for everyone. Normally, only paid subscribers have access but let’s all get in on this bit of memory sharing, shall we?

Quote of the Day

“When we do the work for itself alone, our pursuit of a career (or a living or fame or wealth or notoriety) turns into something else, something loftier and nobler, which we may never even have thought about or aspired to at the beginning. It turns into a practice.” (Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro)

“When we do the work for itself alone, our pursuit of a career (or a living or fame or wealth or notoriety) turns into something else, something loftier and nobler, which we may never even have thought about or aspired to at the beginning. It turns into a practice.” (Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro)

Musical Interlude

Since my friend, John Nash, is in Las Vegas for the opening of Dead & Company at the Sphere, here’s a live performance of Sugaree from a few years ago.

Long Read of the Day

If you are holding a day job while you are writing your novel or poetry in the evenings after the kids have gone to sleep or the dishwasher has been unloaded or various tasks for the next morning have been completed, please do not be disheartened. Of course, writers need more space and support mechanisms of their own. This was clearly outlined by Virginia Woolf in her A Room of One’s Own. But my point is, if at this moment of your life, for whatever reason, you cannot completely dedicate your time to writing and have to do other things alongside, do not allow anyone make you feel like you are not a serious author.

We are storytellers. We are lovers of literature. We do not need labels or boxes. We are writers and that is all there is to it.

Amateur Writers vs Professional Authors

Video of the Day

If you haven’t heard, Francis Ford Coppola has a new movie he’s hoping to release soon. It looks bonkers. I hope someone picks it up and releases it because I want to see exactly how bonkers it is. I also hope Coppola is able to make some of his money back since he funded the film himself.

That’s dedication, folks.

Final Thoughts

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or want to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!