4 big benefits of professional development for adolescent reading instruction

Key points:

The mission of our English Language Arts Department is for staff, families, and community members to work in partnership to ensure that all students have adequate and equitable access to high-quality literacy instructional experiences that will prepare them to graduate ready to transform their communities and beyond.  As part of our theory of action, we believe that if we support teachers in developing and delivering aligned, rigorous, and engaging literacy instruction (including targeted professional development for reading instruction), and if we use varied, intentional, and common literacy assessment data coupled with individualized student learning, then we will achieve equitable outcomes in which every student thrives, and every school is high performing. 

Our district was already engaged in a professional development program for literacy in grades K-3 when we learned about a new offering that had been created specifically for adolescent reading instruction. We were instantly interested, knowing that we had interrupted and unfinished teaching and learning, especially in grades 4 through 8 as a result of the global pandemic.  …Read More

Education suffers the highest rate of ransomware attacks

Key points:

Education reported the highest rate of ransomware attacks in 2022, and over the past year, 79 percent of higher-ed organizations surveyed reported being hit by ransomware, while 80 percent of K-12 organizations surveyed were targeted—an increase from 64 percent and 56 percent in 2021, respectively.

These statistics come from The State of Ransomware in Education 2023, a report from cybersecurity provider Sophos.…Read More

Create a Common Language

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Debunking common myths about AI in education

Key points:

  • Many educators are unsure of the role generative AI will play in their classrooms
  • Despite this hesitation, there are some compelling reasons to use AI to augment teaching and learning
  • See related article: How ChatGPT made my lessons more engaging

Artificial intelligence is not a completely new concept in education; it has been used for years. Consider spelling and grammar checks that are built into word processors and autofill suggestions in search engines. What has become new to us this year is easy access to generative AI models, which can generate text and images with simple prompts.

In response to these new tools becoming available to the public, many teachers found themselves resisting AI, considering the ways in which it could complicate verifying academic honesty in student writing and artwork, acknowledging the inaccuracies that AI can generate, the human biases that impact the dataset AI uses, and more. …Read More

4 pieces of advice for aspiring tutors

Key points:

  • You don’t have to be an expert to be a tutor–you just need a willingness to learn as an adult
  • Working with a reputable tutoring organization is essential
  • See related article: 6 keys to effective tutoring

What do directing planes to land successfully on the runway and directing students to read successfully in the classroom have in common? A lot, as I found out during my transition to tutor following three decades of managing the flow of aircraft around the country. 

When I joined the Air Force in 1988, I became an Air Traffic Controller. I didn’t know it then, but this job would lead me down a path that included an eight-year military career and 22 years at the Department of Defense. During my 30 years of service, I managed both the training, and standardization and evaluation departments before becoming the tower chief controller.…Read More

ISTELive, Abbott Elementary, and a push for Black educator representation

Key points:

  • Black male teachers are desperately needed in U.S. schools
  • Getting more Black teachers–and Black male teachers–means suggesting education career paths early on and understanding students’ cultural experiences
  • See related article: 5 ways the homework gap is worse for students of color

Representation matters, and when students have educators who look like them, it does wonders for their learning experience. At ISTELive 23’s opening mainstage event, featured speakers sat down for a chat about the challenges around representation and getting more Black educators—particularly Black male educators—into classrooms.

Director of ISTE Certification Carmalita Seitz sat down with Joyce Abbott, the inspiration behind Abbott Elementary’s name and a recently retired educator; Tyler James Williams, 2023 Golden Globe winner for best supporting actor as teacher Gregory Eddie on Abbott Elementary; and Sharif El-Mekki, CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development to discuss just how much representation matters for students and teachers.…Read More

Defending against the most common cyberattacks

Key points:

K-12 schools are facing an increased risk of cyberattacks due to a combination of competing factors. School districts have sprawling networks where availability often takes precedence over security, but are constrained in managing those networks by limited resources and overstretched IT teams.

Meanwhile, the increased use of cloud-based email and remote learning technologies, along with inadequately managed virtual private networks (VPNs), have made schools an attractive target for the types of basic attacks that larger organizations are better prepared to defend against.…Read More

How asynchronous tech can bridge the digital divide

When pondering the future of education, it’s understandable that most of us will slip into Utopian scenarios. Think Garrison Keiler’s Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” The reality, of course, is always going to be different. 

So it is when discussing the idea of digital equity. Every student deserves the right to high-bandwidth, solid-state, always-on access to the Internet, right? Reality check: A 2021 report from Common Sense Media found that 15 to 16 million K-12 public school students in the U.S. live in homes with inadequate internet or computing devices. This represents around 30 percent of all public school students in the U.S.

That doesn’t mean those students can’t get the education they deserve. I had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan Ross, CEO of Olivia Technologies, about their attempts to address this issue through synching techniques that don’t require access to the Internet outside the school campus. Their solution has been deployed in schools in Texas and Hawaii, where in certain areas, over 30 percent of students do not have reliable internet connectivity. …Read More

Open LMS Partners With Copyleaks, Adding Advanced AI-Driven Plagiarism and AI Content Detection

Raleigh, N.C. — Open LMS, a leading global provider of open-source learning management systems (LMSs), today announces its new partnership with  Copyleaks, the leading AI-based text analysis, plagiarism identification, and AI-content detection platform. This partnership comes at a critical time when AI-generated content is becoming more prevalent in all industries, particularly academia.

Copyleaks uses advanced AI to detect AI-generated content, including outputs from cutting-edge AI tools such as ChatGPT-4. It also detects various forms of plagiarism while accounting for a wide range of common detection-evasion tactics such as hidden characters, paraphrasing, and even image-based text plagiarism. Through these methods, the tool provides institutions and organizations with a deeper understanding of the composition of submitted content while exposing attempts to deceive detection software.

Open LMS and Copyleaks’ partnership adds a powerful tool to clients’ arsenals as conversations around AI-generated content intensify.…Read More