Friday 5: The pivotal role of school libraries

Key points:

School libraries have evolved from stereotypical hush-hush environments to bustling resource centers where students not only learn to locate and evaluate information, but where they develop critical skills guided by digital media specialists.

Let’s take a look at what makes libraries such critical parts of the school environment:…Read More

5 ways to teach like a pirate

Key points:

Learning is a dynamic process, one in which learners must be actively engaged. However, studies suggest that a significant percentage of students feel disengaged in their learning, posing a challenge for educators. As teachers strive to adapt their instructional methods to nurture student curiosity and drive deeper student engagement, the principles outlined in Teach Like A Pirate offer valuable insights. 

A few years ago, I read the book Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess, and the ideas resonated with me and changed my perspective on instructional practices. In his book, Burgess emphasizes the importance of Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask/Analyze, Transform, and Enthusiasm (P.I.R.A.T.E.) in teaching. Central to this approach are the hooks – strategies that captivate students’ attention and foster excitement for learning. Here, we explore five effective hooks I’ve shared with the educators I support that are inspired by the book, along with specific examples of their implementation: …Read More

Districts call for guidance in developing classroom AI policies

Key points:

To date, only six states have formulated a comprehensive AI policy absent federal guidance for districts to look to, according to findings from The 2024 Administrator AI Report: Perceptions, Practices, and Potential in Education, a new report from digital curriculum solution provider Imagine Learning. The report aims to identify administrators’ perceptions on the benefits and advantages of generative AI and benchmark its current rate of adoption.

Although several organizations, such as the CoSN, ISTE, and the Council of the Great City Schools have released generative AI guidelines and best-use practices for K-12 educators and districts, according to the report, 47 percent of administrators are planning to implement comprehensive policies on their own and 54 percent have indicated they would also like help from education solutions providers to reduce risks and concerns associated with generative AI.…Read More

2024: The year of generative AI

Editor’s note: This story on generative AI originally appeared on CoSN’s blog and is reposted here with permission.

Key points:

As we step into 2024, the educational landscape is just beginning to feel the transformative shift brought on by generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI). This year marks a significant milestone in integrating advanced AI technologies into educational practices, heralding a new era of teaching and learning. Gen AI is set to revolutionize the way we approach education.…Read More

How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact the Way We Teach?

Key points:

Artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize the way we teach, introducing transformative changes that will redefine pedagogical approaches. From personalized learning experiences to streamlined administrative tasks, AI in education is reshaping the traditional landscape.

This paradigm shift not only enhances teaching effectiveness but also empowers educators with data-driven insights and innovative tools. As AI becomes more integrated into education, it challenges traditional teaching methodologies, paving the way for a future where teaching is dynamic, adaptive, and personalized. Let’s explore how AI is set to impact the very essence of how we educate and prepare students for the challenges of the digital age.…Read More

Teachers want AI in education–but need more support

Key points:

The majority of teachers are enthusiastic and eager about the potential of AI in education and incorporating AI in the classroom, but remain unsure of where to start, according to a new study from Canva.

What is the importance of AI in education?

Teachers recognize the transformative potential of AI tools for education, but still need support and professional development to effectively incorporate it into their teaching practices.…Read More

Rising ransomware attacks on education demand defense readiness

Key points:

Ransomware attacks continue to wreak havoc on the education sector, hitting 80 percent of lower education providers and 79 percent of higher education providers this year. That’s a significant increase from 56 percent and 64 percent in 2022, respectively.

As “target rich, cyber poor” institutions, schools store massive amounts of sensitive data, from intellectual property to the personal information of students and faculty. Outdated software, limited IT resources and other security weaknesses further heighten their risk exposure. In a ransomware attack, adversaries exploit these vulnerabilities to infiltrate the victim’s network and encrypt their data, effectively holding it hostage. After encryption, bad actors demand ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key required to retrieve their files.…Read More

The science of reading, beyond phonics

Key points:

Schools across the country have been shifting their reading strategies to incorporate knowledge and best practices they have learned from the science of reading. More than 30 states have written legislation that requires schools to utilize scientifically researched instructional strategies.

The largest change most states will see as a result is a dramatic increase in explicit phonics instruction. As a result, an increasing number of students will be able to access grade-level texts.…Read More

Ello, World’s Most Advanced AI Reading Coach Recognized by Common Sense Media as Top AI Tool

SAN FRANCISCO (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ello, developer of the world’s most advanced AI reading coach, announced today that Common Sense Media rated the Ello app as one of its top 10 AI products for ethical use, transparency, safety and impact.

Ello received an overall ranking of 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 for privacy and kids’ safety in Common Sense Media’s first-ever AI-ratings system. Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a company that displayed Responsible AI practices, especially its machine learning fairness that contributed to the app’s high rating. Ello was also recognized for the unique design of its AI reading tutor, the selection of diverse and engaging books that it offers, and the positive ways the AI tutor motivates young, struggling readers. Ello’s detailed Participatory Disclosures provided a strong basis for its positive evaluation against the “ Common Sense AI Principles,” the AI ratings system, developed with input from a range of AI experts. To read more about Common Sense’s AI rating and review of Ello, please visit

“Ello worked directly with parents, children and educators to build our AI reading tutor to ensure the experience is educational and safe while also addressing diversity and representation in children’s reading,” said Dr. Elizabeth Adams, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Ello. “Nearly 70% of American children read behind grade level, and the latest AI technology can help address this issue by providing 1:1 reading support while still putting privacy and safety of kids first. We are honored that Common Sense Media recognized Ello as a responsible AI application.”…Read More

How immersive technology can empower students (and teachers) to learn

Immersive, experiential technology is transforming how both students and teachers learn. Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) provide deeper engagement, opportunities for collaboration, and hands-on learning that places newly acquired knowledge and skills in context.

For students, immersive technology can make abstract concepts tangible through interactive visuals. But immersive technology is useful for teachers, too, powering professional learning that helps educators translate research and theory to actionable practices through dynamic examples.

When purposefully designed, augmented reality opens equitable pathways to deep student learning.…Read More