Your district’s cyber safety needs help–here’s how to fix it

Key points:

There is no question that cybersecurity threats such as ransomware continue to pummel the education system, with the White House estimating that at least eight K-12 school districts faced “significant cyberattacks” during the last school year alone, resulting in loss of learning time and even full school shutdowns. With open networks, tight budgets, and a lack of proper cybersecurity training for teachers and students, there are many factors that lead schools to become prime targets for attacks. 

On the heels of the White House’s multi-pronged plan to help bolster K-12 schools’ cybersecurity, it is crucial that schools recognize the importance of strong cyber posture within the education system and take the steps necessary to bolster their digital security, despite limited resources and an increasing number of complex cyberattacks.…Read More

3 lessons on perseverance from a honey badger

Key points:

  • A classroom that values perseverance is a safe space for students to take chances
  • Setting goals is another key part of creating an environment of perseverance
  • See related article: 3 ways teachers can drive student growth

Have you ever heard the story of Stoffel the honey badger? Stoffel was rescued by a wildlife rehabilitation center after being injured by a pride of lions and quickly became infamous for his many escape attempts.

No matter what his caretakers did to deter him, Stoffel always found a way to escape his enclosure. First, he taught his fellow honey badger how they could work together to open the door to their habitat. Then, he began using tools and objects to scale the walls when his caretakers weren’t looking. At one point, he even built a small ramp over the wall using accumulated mud and debris. Suffice it to say, Stoffel knew a thing or two about perseverance.…Read More

School safety concerns are on the rise as classrooms open

Key points:

More than half of teachers and parents are more worried about school safety than in previous years, according to the 2023 K-12 School Safety Report from Motorola Solutions, which captured sentiments from 1,000 K-12 parents and 1,000 K-12 educators across the United States.

The research reveals the most pressing concerns for those closest to school safety and highlights their perceptions about emergency preparedness plans, communication practices, school safety technologies, and training for teachers and students. …Read More

The future of AI in education points to holistic learning environments

Key points:

  • Artificial intelligence won’t replace educators–but it can enhance their abilities
  • AI in education has the potential to streamline tasks across the board to improve workflows
  • See related article: Embracing AI for limitless learning potential

In the past year, AI has become the shiny new technology across industry sectors. In fact, in education specifically, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way teachers can support students and their individual journeys. But the problem with AI today is the misunderstanding of its potential–especially when it comes to AI in education. 

AI in education isn’t about replacing human educators, and it certainly doesn’t mean that students are off the hook with AI-written essays and assignments. Educators and administrators need to understand the power of AI and how it can–and will–open once-closed doors not only for students, but also for school staff in supporting their students’ journeys and their futures.…Read More

How to teach writing skills in the ChatGPT era

Key points:

When ChatGPT appeared in November 2022, most educators felt it could become a threat and change the whole niche forever. No wonder: This language model algorithm is smart enough to produce logical and grammatically correct texts for any prompt.

Today’s digital-savvy students welcomed ChatGPT with open arms and began using it for writing assignments. According to a new study from Academic Help, 67 percent of students use AI for creating texts – the basis for their essays and other papers.…Read More

Cybersecurity, like charity, begins at home 

Key points:

  • Cybersecurity is a risk to anyone with a device–no matter their age
  • Children are uniquely vulnerable, and strategies like password managers and open communication can help shore up strong cybersecurity practices
  • See related article: Preparing for ransomware attacks begins with education

We are living at a time when many of the most advanced, profitable, technologically-sophisticated companies in the world are barely treading water when it comes to cybersecurity. With that being the case, what chance do our children have of staving off these threats?

More than half of U.S. children now possess their own smartphone by the age of 11. And long before they have a device of their own, they’re using their parents’—to play games, to watch movies, to do their homework. That’s not to mention the panoply of devices they interact with at school, at friends’ homes, at after-school activities — on and on and on.…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

10 powerful practices for new principals

As a principal, you have the privilege of leading a school and making a positive difference in the lives of countless students. You have the power to create an environment of education, respect, and integrity. You are also responsible for ensuring that your students receive the best possible education and that their educational and social outcomes are improved through your leadership. Leading with integrity and improving student outcomes is a task that requires dedication, hard work, and a willingness to be open-minded and creative.

The following are 10 strategies for new principals to lead with integrity and improve student outcomes:

1. Establish a Vision: Establishing a clear school vision is the first and most important step for a new principal to lead with integrity and improve student outcomes. This vision should be based on the core principles of integrity, respect, and excellence and should be shared with your school staff, students, and parents. This vision will guide the school and should serve as a rallying point for everyone to strive towards.…Read More

Can we make STEM more accessible for girls?

Are girls really underrepresented in STEM? Yes. 

In the U.S., the workforce is pretty evenly split between men and women, but in STEM fields men make up 73 percent of the workforce to women’s 27 percent. Why?

It’s easy to want to find a well-meaning solution for this disparity, or even to brush it off as unimportant. But achieving a gender parity in STEM fields (particularly computer science, engineering, and programmers, among others) isn’t just a feel-good social justice crusade. The number of open tech jobs far outpaces the population of traditionally qualified candidates—data projections have pointed to a global shortage of 85 million tech workers by 2030.

It’s not a matter of encouraging girls to pursue STEM programs just for the heck of it, to prove they can and earn a good paycheck—it’s a matter of graduating enough highly-skilled workers to meet economic demand.

Still, the imbalanced statistics for the genders in STEM are damning. What can K-12 schools do to play their part in preparing the next generation for a talent-hungry workforce?

Let students lead…Read More