AI’s pivotal role in authentic PD

Many people envision artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in education with a sci-fi twist, but in reality, AI is already embedded in promising new tools that address student learning, real-time feedback, and continuous professional development (PD).

AI-powered learning tools can offer students immediate feedback and a customized learning experience. And when used in PD, time-strapped educators can better reflect on their instructional practices and target areas for improvement.

Edthena, a provider of video-powered PD tools, is harnessing AI in its new AI Coach platform. The solution helps schools and districts give teachers access to supportive coaching to improve teaching effectiveness. AI Coach uses artificial intelligence to guide teachers through coaching cycles aligned to common growth areas.…Read More

3 considerations for differentiation in the classroom

Differentiated classroom instruction has always been part of U.S. public education, but today’s focus on tailoring each lesson for each student can overwhelm teachers. There are, however, best-practice approaches to differentiating instruction that enable educators to provide customized learning experiences for students without creating an unmanageable burden for teachers. Here are the top three considerations for doing differentiation in the classroom right.

1. Redefine ‘differentiation’

Too often, educators are encouraged to implement a personalized approach for each individual student instead of recognizing the benefits that groups of students can enjoy from similar modifications to the curriculum. Teachers can adopt a manageable approach to differentiation in the classroom by identifying clusters of student needs and then classifying the most beneficial ways to differentiate instruction for these groups. The goal is to understand what will work for most students, while creating more than one entry point or path for individual student learning.…Read More

Here’s what helps–and hinders–K-12 innovation

A personalized, learner-centered educational experience is one of the main drivers of K-12 innovation and extraordinary student outcomes, according to CoSN’s annual innovation survey.

The survey includes three categories: accelerators that pave the way for teaching and learning innovation in schools, hurdles that hinder it, and tech enablers are tools that districts can leverage to surmount hurdles and embrace accelerators.

Accelerators of K-12 innovation include:
1. Personalization: As the consumer sector has exploded with new ways to customize user experiences and products, schools are also finding ways to provide customized learning and support at the individual level.
2. Social and emotional learning: A core function of education is building skills and understanding mental, social, and emotional well-being, including empathy, grit, persistence, flexibility, and adaptability.
3. Learner autonomy: Learner autonomy is all about student agency, encompassing anything from letting students choose how they access content, to how they organize their learning, to how they exhibit their learning.…Read More

One child at a time: Custom learning in the digital age

Imagine you’re at a dinner party, American RadioWorks reports. Someone mentions Crazy Horse and you think, “Who was Crazy Horse again?” So you whip out your Smartphone and you look it up. (Crazy Horse was the Lakota leader who took up arms against the United States government and won the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.) If you’re a student at an American public school, you probably don’t have the option of looking up the answer on a Smartphone or a computer. To answer the question you’d probably use a textbook, ask your teacher — or wait until you got home to use the computer there. While the Internet has profoundly changed the way most people get information and learn new things, most students in the United States do not have regular access to the internet at school…

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