Central High School Robotics Team Excels at “Bots at the Fair” Tournament

Phenix City, Ala.— Phenix City Schools is proud to announce the exceptional success of our robotics teams at the recent “Bots at the Fair” tournament. The competition brought together 24 teams from various schools, showcasing their robotics skills and innovation in the VEX Robotics Competition.

The day’s highlight was Team 36867D, composed of Brookelyn Bedford and
Taelynn Teel, who secured the prestigious “Excellence Award.” This
remarkable achievement places them as the overall top team in the tournament,
outperforming competitors from schools like LAMP, Vestavia Hills, Oak Mountain,
Pike Road, and Westminster at Oak Mountain. Their victory qualifies them for
the State Championship and positions them at an impressive 57th place globally
out of over 700 teams.

…Read More

eSchool Live@ISTE23 Preview

Just try to have a conversation about edTech these days without mentioning AI. It took about five minutes for Ryan Imbriale, PowerSchool’s VP of Education Solutions, and me before we cracked. To be fair, Powerschool’s announcement this week that it will integrate Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to use OpenAI’s large language models within the company’s Personalized Learning Cloud will probably be the biggest news to come out of ISTE next week. Have a listen and scroll down for some edited highlights:

The details:

Powerschool will use Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service to use OpenAI’s large language models within PowerSchool Performance Matters and PowerSchool LearningNav, part of PowerSchool’s Personalized Learning Cloud.…Read More

3 ways ChatGPT can reduce teachers’ workloads

Everybody’s talking about ChatGPT and how it’s going to impact K-12–and generally not in positive terms!

Granted, ChatGPT might make writing that 11th-grade essay on symbolism in “The Great Gatsby” a whole lot easier (which, to be fair, does make grading a whole lot harder). Aside from that, there are real positives to our new AI pal, and overworked teachers can embrace it as the gift that it is: a free personal teaching aide. The one who sketches out the lesson plans and assessments, finds source materials, and just generally carries out the grunt work.

In other words, ChatGPT can save teachers a whole lot of time.…Read More

New Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) Course for K-12 Educators Seeks to Change How AI is Implemented in Learning

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MindSpark Learning®, a nonprofit organization committed to elevating educators and being the direct intersection between education and industry, has launched its first Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI) course in a series. The RAI for Educators course is designed for K-12 and promises to revolutionize how they think of and implement artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom. MindSpark defines RAI with the following 5 pillars – RAI is community-centric; it is monitorable and secure; ethical and fair; justifiable and accountable; as well as explainable and transparent.

“Educators need an understanding of what AI is and is not. With this exceptionally valuable resource, educators get to learn about AI, by engaging with AI in a demystified manner. The course deeply addresses the question of the ethical and responsible use of AI within our world. Thus, educators who take this course will be engaging in the conversation that AI engineers are also having,” said Jason Beyer, the Director of Educational Technology at Jesuit High School, CO.

For years, MindSpark has provided educators with outstanding AI learning experiences tailored to K-12 schools and districts’ needs. MindSpark’s experiences have transformed tens of thousands of educators, and by extension, hundreds of thousands of students. A foundational partnership with IBM enabled MindSpark to establish IBM AI Education. This program introduced AI fundamentals and crucial K-12 classroom connections. Now, to keep up with a fast-paced industry, the needs of our labor market, and students, we are adding to an already impressive library of professional development in the AI space.…Read More

Designing fair and inclusive tests for non-native speakers

Roughly 20 percent of U.S. residents, which is approximately 67.3 million people (equal to the population of France), speak a language other than English at home, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. When it comes to taking tests not in their first language, these groups can be at a notable disadvantage – especially for tests that influence a test-takers’ future. 

Language is a significant barrier to fair and inclusive testing, particularly if language fluency is not relevant to the skill being measured by the test. This is why designing fair and inclusive tests for non-native speakers is a key component of equitable testing.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that migrants, on average, get significantly lower literacy and numeracy test scores than native speakers. About half of it relates to the language of the test, meaning that if the migrants were tested in their own language, about half the difference would disappear.…Read More

In post-COVID schools, let’s redouble efforts to support students

The other day, my friend’s high school daughter complained, “It’s not fair!” “What’s not fair?” her mother asked. “Everyone is cheating!” her daughter replied. “They started doing it during COVID, and now it’s a habit.” Unfortunately, academic dishonesty is just one example of the many negative consequences of the COVID pandemic.

In hindsight, we have ample evidence that remote learning during COVID increased hardships for PK-12 students, both academically and non-academically. Some students lacked necessary resources. In one study, even after all students were provided with a laptop computer, internet access, and headphones, low-income students’ school attendance and engagement were consistently less frequent than their higher-income peers (An, 2021). Food insecurity also increased during COVID, partly due to the hiatus of school breakfast, lunch, and take-home snack pack programs (Parekh et al., 2021). And worst of all, children at home during COVID were twice as likely to experience physical abuse and three times likely to experience emotional abuse during the pandemic than in prior years (Park & Walsh, 2022).

Without a doubt, remote learning during COVID was distressing for students, with 71 percent of parents in one study reporting that the pandemic had “taken a toll on their child’s mental health” (Abramson, 2022, para. 2). …Read More

Gen Z students are aiming for STEM careers

A majority of high school and college students chose STEM as their No. 1 preferred career path, according to a survey of 11,495 Gen Z students conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

The 2022 Career Interest Survey gives insights into what motivates an adventurous, civic-minded, concerned, vocal, tech-savvy, emerging workforce.

NSHSS is an academic honor society that recognizes and serves high-achieving student scholars in more than 26,000 high schools across 170 countries.…Read More

Inspiring STEM Creativity and the DIY Spirit with a New Virtual Field Trip from The Home Depot and Discovery Education

Silver Spring, MD (Friday, May 20, 2022) — To empower students to embrace STEAM and tackle DIY projects, Science Fair Central presents the Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip, which premiered on May 17th at 1 PM EST and is now available on-demand. Science Fair Central is an educational initiative from The Home Depot and Discovery Education that is helping STEAM-powered classrooms and homes across the country prepare students for the careers of tomorrow. With 10 million students from grades K-12 participating in science fairs and STEAM events every year, Science Fair Central provides students the tools they need to take their projects to the next level. 

The Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip introduces students to innovative DIYers who demonstrate how to set-up workshops anywhere and tackle real-life challenges that they are passionate about. The Home Depot is celebrating 25 years of the Kids Workshops, and the new Operation Build It Virtual Field Trip further supports these efforts. Suited for students in grades 6-12, this Virtual Field Trip provides educators with ready-to-use classroom activities and a valuable educator guide that makes this plug and play virtual experience suitable for almost any lesson plan. Watch the VFT here or on Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform. 

“At The Home Depot, we’re here to help people make, create, and explore every day. Science Fair Central, in partnership with Discovery Education, empowers students to connect with and grow their curiosity and creativity. This new virtual field trip is another way for students to explore the world around them,” said Lisa DeStefano, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Creative at The Home Depot.  …Read More

11 resources to avoid the summer slide

The summer slide, summer brain drain, summer learning loss–whatever you call it, it’s of even more concern to parents and educators with COVID thrown in the mix.

While many districts resumed hybrid or full in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year, many educators and experts are still concerned about learning gaps and learning loss.

It’s fair to say students have more than earned their impending summer breaks. Still, it’s not a bad idea to encourage students to keep reading and to give their brains a little exercise here and there.…Read More

Professional development should remain a pandemic priority

For Diane Lauer, Assistant Superintendent of Priority Programs and Academic Support at St. Vrain Valley Schools in Colorado, COVID couldn’t stop teacher training. In fact, her work became that much more important.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Diane breaks down her strategies for keeping faculty on point with technology and instruction. [Edited for clarity.]

eSN: Before the pandemic struck, would it be fair to say there was a general resistance amongst some teachers, who would be skeptical of various aspects of professional development? How have remote setups changed the way you teach those teachers?…Read More