Is facial recognition in schools reassuring–or invasive?

In the wake of all-too-common school shootings, school and district leaders are confronted with decisions about how to prevent–or respond to–violent incidents. Some are turning to facial recognition in schools as a way to track visitors and keep schools safe.

Technology is a double-edged sword, and it’s no different when applied to school security. Some argue that advanced emotion-detecting AI technologies and facial recognition in schools infringe on privacy and can’t always identify people correctly or aid in prevention, while others see the technologies as yet another tool to keep students and educators safe.

Schools in Florida’s Broward County plan to use an experimental surveillance system in order to boost safety and security efforts in a district now known for the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 were killed.…Read More

5 things standing between K-12 schools and innovation

Sustaining and scaling innovation is one of the top hurdles K-12 district leaders face as they strive to bring new and bold ideas to education, according to a new CoSN report.

Hurdles are more than just “pesky obstacles” to innovation, the authors note in Driving K-12 Innovation: 2019 Hurdles. These challenges slow down progress and force educators to make sure they’re prepared for the leap to innovation.

The report is the first of three in a series focusing on hurdles, accelerators, and tech enablers that spur K-12 innovation. The series, which will culminate in a toolkit to inform strategic planning and tech integration, honors the legacy of the Horizon K-12 reports.…Read More

Why our district is investing in AI, AR, VR, and MR

For most of our students, it’s hard to imagine communicating without email or text message. The number of ways our students learn, share, and communicate has grown exponentially in the last few years. Each generation has sought to make the transfer of information faster and more efficient than the generation before them, but the world today is changing at a faster and more immediate pace than at any time in our history.

New technologies like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Expeditions and Pioneer programs will be the next generation’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Voice technology allows for screen-free interactions and gives students much-needed life-skills practice in the areas of forming questions and focused listening. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) enables students to learn by doing, which increases student engagement, helps with retention, and enhances learning outcomes.

The power of Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI-powered, voice-controlled digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have made their way into millions of living rooms but are just now being used in some classrooms. Unfortunately, a steady supply of misinformation and misunderstanding in the news media has made school leaders turn their backs on what may be the most cost-effective classroom technology of the last half-century.…Read More

10 technology trends that will revolutionize 2019

The next year will focus on technologies that influence how users interact with the world, according to Gartner in its list of top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019.

A strategic technology trend is “one with substantial disruptive potential that is beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years.”

The IT research and analyst firm announced the upcoming trends at its annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in October.…Read More

It’s not your grandfather’s SAT prep

From a rise in test-optional schools to redesigns that move away from being a test of “how well you can learn how to take the tests,” the last few years have seen significant shifts in both the approach to—and importance of—the SAT and ACT.

When students sit for their tests, they’ll look just like students from generations past: nervous, fidgeting with their calculators, and a little tired from an earlier-than-usual wake-up call. But the ways they’ve prepared for the test today look very different, and in the near future, will look even more distant than the traditional dry methods students have used to cram. Here are a few of the study trends I’ve seen in my role leading Quizlet, a learning platform used by 30 million students each month.

Test-prep anywhere
Think back to the test prep book you studied with. It most likely weighed down your backpack as you carried it around all day before you had a chance to crack it open during study hall. There simply wasn’t another good way to prepare outside of textbooks.…Read More

3 ways districts can use AR and AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality, and cognitive science research sound like science fiction for today’s classrooms, but this technology is available today. Innovation and technology are as integral to education today as chalkboards were in the past. And with the introduction of emerging, new, and proven technology-enhanced innovations, teachers are creating new ways of teaching and improving student learning, leading to a shift in pedagogy.

Here are three of the latest innovations our district is using.

Lumilo…Read More

AI helps younger students better understand math concepts

To truly become proficient in math, students need a solid foundation built on conceptual understanding. However, the benchmark assessments students take at the end of the year—designed to measure procedural fluency—often look very different from their coursework and cause more anxiety than anything else.

With the introduction of Common Core Standards, building a solid foundation that promotes conceptual understanding and differentiation for young math students is more important than ever. Administrators and educators are increasingly looking for supplemental technologies to help them deliver more personalized learning that can result in higher-order thinking and true learning.

How artificial intelligence can help
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are essentially serving as a personal assistant for each student in the class and helping teachers with small-group instruction, a best pedagogical practice. When students are working independently, these intelligent tools can adapt pacing based on the student’s ability (the way a teacher would) and provide targeted, corrective feedback in case the student makes mistakes, so that the student can learn from them (the way a teacher would). These tools also gather actionable insights and information about a student’s progress and report the data back to the teacher. Thus, teachers can use the analytics to create an individual action plan for each student.…Read More