What I’ve Been Reading

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  • Brandon Sanderson’s Secret Project #3, Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, was a fun dive into a new corner of the Cosmere
  • Street Data has added so much to my thinking and work toward my dissertation
  • The Civil Rights Road to Deeper Learning has also been an excellent companion in the past few weeks
  • I finished up the Licanius Trilogy this week. What a complex, mind-bending journey into a new realm of fantasy and magic. I came away with a couple of favorite characters and a new way of thinking about how to write epic fantasy.

If you’re on Goodreads or Storygraph, let’s connect and see where our reading journeys take us.


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!

5 Questions Students Should Ask About AI-Generated Content

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Do your students enjoy interacting with AI chatbots? Are they fascinated by the idea of AI-generated content, such as articles, poems, or even code? Do you want to help your students learn how to discern the difference between human and AI-generated content? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider integrating AI literacy education into your lessons.

AI literacy expands traditional literacy to include new forms of reading, writing, and communicating. It involves understanding how AI systems work, how they generate content, and how to critically evaluate the information they produce. AI literacy empowers people to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators, and active citizens in an increasingly digital world.

Think of it this way: Students learn print literacy — how to read and write. But they should also learn AI literacy — how to “read and write” AI-generated messages in different forms, whether it’s a text, an article, a poem, or anything else. The most powerful way for students to put these skills into practice is through both critiquing the AI-generated content they consume and analyzing the AI-generated content they create.

So, how should students learn to critique and analyze AI-generated content? Most leaders in the AI literacy community use some version of the five key questions:

  1. Who created this AI model? Help your students understand that all AI models have creators and underlying objectives. The AI models we interact with were constructed by someone with a particular vision, background, and agenda. Help students understand how they should question both the messages they see, as well the platforms on which messages are shared.
  2. What data was used to train this AI model? Different AI models are trained on different datasets, which can greatly influence their output. Help students recognize how this often comes in the form of new and innovative techniques to capture our attention – sometimes without us even realizing it.
  3. How might different people interpret this AI-generated content? This question helps students consider how all of us bring our own individual backgrounds, values, and beliefs to how we interpret AI-generated messages. For any piece of AI-generated content, there are often as many interpretations as there are viewers.
  4. Which lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented — or missing? Just as we all bring our own backgrounds and values to how we interpret what we see, AI-generated messages themselves are embedded with values and points of view. Help students question and consider how certain perspectives or voices might be missing from a particular AI-generated message.
  5. Why is this AI-generated content being produced? With this question, have students explore the purpose of the AI-generated content. Is it to inform, entertain, or persuade, or could it be some combination of these? Also, have students explore possible motives behind why certain AI-generated content has been produced.

As teachers, we can think about how to weave these five questions into our instruction, helping our students to think critically about AI-generated content. A few scenarios could include lessons where students interact with AI chatbots or any time we ask students to create AI-generated projects. Eventually, as we model this type of critical thinking for students, asking these questions themselves will become second nature to them.


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!

Beyond Homework: The Evolution of the Flipped Classroom

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As the landscape of education continues to evolve in response to global disruptions and digital advancements, blended learning models have surged in popularity. Among these is the flipped classroom model, a strategy that leverages video instruction to mitigate potential obstacles that make it challenging for students to access information presented live. However, I often hear the question, “Can I use the flipped classroom if I don’t assign homework?”

Catlin Tucker

Catlin Tucker explores the evolution of the flipped classroom model and discusses its potential beyond traditional homework assignments. The author reflects on how the concept has transformed over the years and provides valuable insights into its current state.

Tucker emphasizes that the flipped classroom is no longer limited to a mere reversal of in-class and at-home activities. Instead, it has evolved into a more dynamic and interactive learning experience. The traditional model involved students watching video lectures at home and completing practice exercises in the classroom. However, Tucker suggests that educators can now take advantage of various digital tools and instructional strategies to enhance the flipped classroom approach.

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The Shift to Student-Led: Reimagining Classroom Workflows with UDL and Blended Learning
  • Tucker, Catlin R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 270 Pages – 11/09/2022 (Publication Date) – Impress (Publisher)

One key takeaway from the post is the importance of leveraging technology to make flipped learning more engaging and personalized. Tucker suggests incorporating interactive videos, online discussions, and collaborative projects to foster deeper student engagement. By diversifying the resources and activities, educators can create a more inclusive and interactive learning environment.

Another significant point highlighted by Tucker is the need for intentional planning and scaffolding in a flipped classroom. Educators should design clear guidelines and structures to support students in their independent learning endeavors. This involves providing explicit instructions, organizing content in manageable chunks, and offering continuous guidance throughout the process.

Tucker also explores the concept of differentiation within the flipped classroom. She suggests tailoring instructional materials and activities to meet the diverse needs of students. By providing a range of resources, teachers can support students with different learning styles and abilities, promoting an inclusive and equitable learning environment.

UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Novak, Katie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 234 Pages – 05/28/2021 (Publication Date) – Impress (Publisher)

In conclusion, Catlin Tucker’s blog post emphasizes the evolution of the flipped classroom beyond its original concept of homework flipping. By embracing technology, intentional planning, and differentiation, educators can create a more engaging and student-centered learning experience. The flipped classroom has the potential to transform traditional teaching practices and foster deeper understanding and collaboration among students.

Link to the original blog post: Beyond Homework: Flipped Classroom


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!

Flying the Kite High Against Digital Colonialism: FOSS in the Era of EdTech

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In 2001, the Kerala government launched an EdTech project, IT@School, that was successfully pressured to resist digital colonialism. Recognizing how Microsoft, the tech super-giant of the day, threatened to undermine digital self-determination, activists and teacher’s unions pushed the Kerala government to make Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) mandatory in public schools. While IT@School and its successor, KITE, are scarcely known outside of India, their success over the past two decades presents an important model for resistance to Big Tech.

Michael Kwet

In this thought-provoking article by Michael Kwet, the author highlights the importance of avoiding digital colonialism and emphasizes the role of free and open-source software (FOSS) in promoting global digital justice. The article specifically focuses on the context of educational technology (EdTech) and its potential implications for marginalized communities.

Kwet defines “digital colonialism” as a phenomenon where powerful technology companies from developed countries dominate and control the digital infrastructure and services of less-developed nations. This leads to a dependence on foreign corporations, resulting in a loss of control over data, infrastructure, and decision-making processes. Kwet argues that this creates a new form of colonization where power and influence are exerted through digital means.

One solution proposed by Kwet is the promotion and adoption of free and open-source software (FOSS). FOSS refers to software that is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. It operates under a transparent and collaborative model, allowing communities to take ownership and control over their digital tools. Kwet believes that by embracing FOSS, countries can regain autonomy over their technological systems, reducing their reliance on foreign entities and fostering local innovation.

The article also highlights the global digital justice movement, which seeks to address the power imbalances and inequalities created by digital colonialism. This movement advocates for the rights of marginalized communities to access and control their own digital infrastructure, ensuring that technology is used to empower rather than exploit. The global digital justice movement emphasizes the need for fair and inclusive digital policies that prioritize the interests and well-being of all individuals, particularly those who have historically been marginalized or excluded.

Kwet warns against the pitfalls of relying solely on proprietary software and foreign corporations for EdTech solutions. He argues that this approach perpetuates the dominance of global technology giants, perpetuating digital colonialism and hindering local development. Instead, he encourages governments, educators, and technologists to explore and implement FOSS alternatives that empower communities, promote knowledge-sharing, and foster digital sovereignty.

In conclusion, the article emphasizes the importance of avoiding digital colonialism in the realm of EdTech. It encourages the adoption of FOSS as a means to promote global digital justice, empower marginalized communities, and regain control over digital infrastructure. By embracing these principles, societies can strive toward a more equitable and inclusive digital future.


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!

“The Precipice” – A Call to Action for Modern Education: Embracing Existential Risk and Our Students’ Future

"We need to take decisive steps to end this period of escalating risk and safeguard our future. Fortunately, it is in our power to do so. The greatest risks are caused by human action, and they can be addressed by human action." (Toby Ord, The Precipice)

In the sphere of educational research, we continually aim to find ways to deepen student learning, foster student agency, and promote equity. As we delve into this task, we encounter a range of theories and viewpoints, all of which provoke thought and prompt reevaluation of our established norms. A recent encounter with Toby Ord’s book, “The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity,” has stimulated such reconsideration, expanding the discourse on the role of education in navigating existential risks.

Ord’s masterstroke lies in the urgent need to address existential risks—threats that could cause our extinction or irreversibly cripple our potential. These risks include natural hazards, such as asteroids and supervolcanoes, but are mainly human-made perils, like nuclear war, climate change, and potential drawbacks of advanced AI. Our task is to translate this narrative into the context of our educational mission.

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Precipice
  • Ord, Toby (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages – 03/23/2021 (Publication Date) – Hachette Books (Publisher)

Reimagining education involves recognizing that the stakes have never been higher. With humanity on the precipice, the school system must incorporate deeper learning, fostering an understanding of complex, real-world issues such as climate change, artificial intelligence, and geopolitical tensions. Students need to grasp the gravity of these issues, discern the links between them, and understand how their actions can contribute to solutions.

Ord’s ideas also resonate strongly with the need to enhance student agency. As we navigate this precipice, the active participation of students in their learning becomes paramount. They must be involved in problem-solving, decision-making, and value formation regarding the issues at hand. Incorporating project-based learning and collaborative problem-solving into the curriculum are ways to prepare our students to address existential risks and steer humanity away from the brink.

The theme of equity is an undercurrent in “The Precipice,” particularly when considering who suffers most from these existential risks. It’s a stark reminder that educational equity is more than just an ideal; it’s a necessity. Students from all backgrounds must have equal opportunities to understand and confront existential risks. To achieve this, we must remove barriers to high-quality education, ensure diverse representation, and empower students with the skills, knowledge, and tools to shape the future positively.

Toby Ord’s “The Precipice” is not a book about education per se, but it holds an urgent lesson for all educators. Our current education system, with its emphasis on standardized testing and rigid curriculums, falls short of preparing students for the existential risks we face. But by embracing deeper learning, promoting student agency, and ensuring educational equity, we can better prepare our students to navigate and shape their futures in this uncertain world.

To paraphrase Ord, we are the stewards of humanity’s future. It’s our responsibility to educate our students with this in mind. Let’s not shrink away from this precipice but rather use it as a springboard to leap toward a more informed, engaged, and equitable education system. It’s not just our students’ futures at stake – it’s the future of all humanity.

FAQ

Q1: What are the main themes in “The Precipice” by Toby Ord?

A1: The primary themes in “The Precipice” include existential risk, the future of humanity, artificial intelligence, climate change, nuclear war, and the responsibilities of our generation to future generations.

Q2: What does Ord mean by “existential risk”?

A2: By “existential risk,” Ord refers to potential threats that could cause human extinction or drastically hinder our ability to reach our potential. These threats could be natural (like asteroids and supervolcanoes) or human-made (such as nuclear war, advanced artificial intelligence, and climate change).

Q3: How does Ord propose we should respond to these existential risks?

A3: Ord suggests that humanity needs to recognize these risks and take coordinated, strategic action to mitigate them. He emphasizes the need for comprehensive research, international cooperation, ethical decision-making, and the prioritization of long-term sustainability over short-term gains.

Q4: How does the book relate to the concept of “student agency”?

A4: Although not directly about education, “The Precipice” can be related to student agency in the context of preparing learners to navigate, understand, and act on existential risks. It advocates for empowering students to become active participants in their learning, equipping them with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to confront these global challenges.

Q5: What is the connection between the book and the concept of educational equity?

A5: The existential risks outlined in the book have unequal impacts on different populations, reflecting the broader issues of global inequality. In an educational context, this underscores the importance of providing equal opportunities for students of all backgrounds to learn about, understand, and address these risks.

Q6: How can “The Precipice” be used to inform educational practices and policies?

A6: “The Precipice” can guide educators towards integrating deeper learning about real-world issues into the curriculum. It encourages the promotion of student agency, collaborative problem-solving, and project-based learning. Moreover, it underscores the necessity of ensuring that all students, irrespective of their backgrounds, have equal access to quality education and the tools needed to shape the future positively.


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!

101 creative ideas to use AI in education: A crowdsourced collection

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The open crowdsourced collection by #creativeHE is a dynamic compilation of 101 innovative uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education, created in early 2023. This collection embodies collective creativity and the spirit of experimentation, offering a range of ideas in their nascent stages that could potentially revolutionize learning, development, teaching, and assessment. It emphasizes the importance of diverse perspectives and a collaborative community of practice, providing numerous examples of inventive AI applications in education.

As educators design new learning experiences and unique engagement opportunities, this collection serves as an inspiration to push boundaries, collaborate radically, and innovate for a transformational student experience. The collection is expected to grow as educators continue to experiment and evolve their practices in the realm of AI in education.

Read the full report here.


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!

UK universities set out plans to use AI in teaching

The Russell Group, a collective of 24 public research universities in the UK, has published new principles outlining how its institutions will responsibly and ethically use AI technologies like ChatGPT.

The guidelines, agreed upon by all the group’s vice-chancellors, include training staff to help students use AI tools and adapting teaching and assessment methods to incorporate AI technology. The group believes this could enhance student learning experiences and prepare them for real-world applications of these technologies.

However, there are concerns about students using AI to complete coursework and assessments, which some academics view as undetectable cheating. As a result, all Russell Group institutions have updated their academic codes of conduct to reflect developments in AI and clarify when its use is inappropriate. Read the full article here.

A comprehensive AI policy education framework for university teaching and learning

The study titled “A comprehensive AI policy education framework for university teaching and learning” aims to develop an AI education policy for higher education by examining the perceptions and implications of text-generative AI technologies. The research collected data from 457 students and 180 teachers and staff across various disciplines in Hong Kong universities, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Based on the findings, the study proposes an AI Ecological Education Policy Framework to address the multifaceted implications of AI integration in university teaching and learning. This framework is organized into three dimensions: Pedagogical, Governance, and Operational. The Pedagogical dimension focuses on using AI to improve teaching and learning outcomes, while the Governance dimension tackles issues related to privacy, security, and accountability. The Operational dimension addresses matters concerning infrastructure and training.

The framework fosters a nuanced understanding of the implications of AI integration in academic settings, ensuring that stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities and can take appropriate actions accordingly. The study highlights the importance of students playing an active role in drafting and implementing the policy. The research also addresses the growing concern in academic settings about the use of text-generative artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT, Bing, and the latest, Co-Pilot, integrated within the Microsoft Office suite. The study found that nearly one in three students had used a form of AI, such as essay-generating software, to complete their coursework. This has led to calls for stricter regulations and penalties for academic misconduct involving AI. Read the full study here.

Teaching AI Ethics

Leon Furze’s blog post titled “Teaching AI Ethics: The Series” presents a comprehensive guide to understanding and teaching the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The series, initially a single post, has been expanded into nine detailed posts, each focusing on a unique ethical concern related to AI, including bias, discrimination, environmental issues, truth and academic integrity, copyright, privacy, datafication, emotion recognition, human labor, and power structures.

Designed primarily for K-12 education but also applicable to tertiary-level discussions, each post provides case studies, discussion questions, and lesson ideas to facilitate a deeper understanding of these complex issues. The aim is to equip students with the necessary knowledge to navigate the ethical landscape of AI in an increasingly digital world.


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!

Unveiling the Power of Technology in Education: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Indispensable Role of Technology in Learning

Today, we’re witnessing a transformative phase in the educational landscape, significantly driven by technology. From creating engaging and immersive learning experiences to empowering educators and students with access to limitless resources, technology plays an indispensable role in modern education.

The progression from traditional chalk-and-board classrooms to interactive digital learning environments is not just a shift in teaching methods. It’s a change that enhances student engagement, collaboration, and personalized learning while opening avenues to global knowledge repositories.

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Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms
  • Hunter, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 218 Pages – 03/23/2015 (Publication Date) – Routledge (Publisher)

Technological Integration: A Step-By-Step Implementation Guide

For any educational institution planning to embrace technology, it’s crucial to understand the implementation process. This will ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of technology integration.

Step 1: Establish Clear Goals

Begin with a clear vision of what you wish to achieve. Establish the learning outcomes and the ways technology can enhance those. Whether it’s increasing student engagement, encouraging collaboration, or personalizing learning experiences, having clear goals will guide your technological integration.

Step 2: Assess the Infrastructure

Assessing the existing infrastructure is the next critical step. Determine the state of current resources, including hardware, software, and internet connectivity, and identify areas of improvement. This will ensure that the technology integration aligns with the institution’s capabilities.

Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning: (A Quick Guide to Educational Technology Integration and Digital Learning Spaces) (Solutions for Creating the Learning Spaces Students Deserve)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McLeod, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 80 Pages – 09/21/2018 (Publication Date) – Solution Tree Press (Publisher)

Step 3: Professional Development for Teachers

Equip teachers with the necessary training to navigate the new technology. Professional development programs ensure teachers are comfortable using the tools, making their teaching more effective.

Step 4: Evaluate and Choose the Right Technology

Research and identify the technologies that align with your goals. Whether it’s learning management systems (LMS), interactive whiteboards, or student response systems, evaluate each based on their utility and compatibility with your institution’s needs.

Step 5: Gradual Integration and Constant Evaluation

Integrate technology gradually into the learning environment and constantly evaluate its effectiveness. This will ensure that the technology enhances the learning experience as intended.

Teach and Learn with Technology: Theory and Application of Classroom Technology Integration
  • Outka-Hill, Jill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 244 Pages – 11/15/2022 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)

The Impact of Technology on Student Engagement and Collaboration

The integration of technology in education can greatly enhance student engagement. Interactive tools and multimedia content cater to various learning styles, making the learning process more engaging and inclusive.

Additionally, technology fosters collaboration among students. Digital platforms enable students to collaborate in real-time, irrespective of their geographical location. This cultivates a sense of community and encourages peer-to-peer learning.

Technology and Personalized Learning

One of the significant benefits of technology in education is the opportunity for personalized learning. Digital platforms provide adaptive learning experiences tailored to individual students’ needs, thereby making learning more effective and enjoyable.

The Way Forward

With the growing influence of technology in education, it’s important for educational institutions to adapt and evolve. While the path to technological integration may seem daunting, it promises a future of enhanced learning experiences, better student engagement, and personalized education.

The future of education is undoubtedly intertwined with technology. It’s time to embrace this change and leverage the endless opportunities that technology presents to enhance learning experiences. With a strategic approach to implementation, we can ensure that technology serves as an effective tool in our mission to educate and inspire the next generation.


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!