6 tips to detect AI-generated student work

Key points:

  • AI has a place in the classroom, but students shouldn’t rely on it to write papers
  • Educators can use a few key strategies to identify AI-generated work
  • See related article: Debunking common myths about AI in education

As the school year starts, the excitement and stress about the potential use of generative AI has K-12 teachers and university faculty collectively stressed about these new tools and their potential impact on instruction. A recent professional development meeting about AI at a midwestern university set a new attendance record for such events.

There is no sure-fire way to identify text as generated by AI, and some of the early tools offered to do such have either been shown to be only somewhat effective or have been withdrawn from public use as not meeting their developer’s standards. A spate of AI detectors are available, including CopyLeaks, Content at Scale, and GPTZero, but most will note it is important to consider the results in conjunction with a conversation with the student involved. Asking a student to explain a complex or confusing portion of a submission might be more effective than any of the AI detectors.…Read More

Instructional audio can boost confidence in the classroom

Ask me what technology I’d most like to see implemented in every single K–12 classroom and I’d say instructional audio. As a long-time audiologist, I’m admittedly biased. But research bears out the benefits and I’ve seen the results firsthand in my 27 years (and counting!) working in public schools.

Here are some of the ways we know instructional audio technology helps build students’ confidence and benefits all student groups—as well as a few suggestions on how to get started.

Amplifying students’ voices…Read More

Could nearly half of cybersecurity leaders leave their roles by 2025?

By 2025, nearly half of cybersecurity leaders will change jobs, 25 percent for different roles entirely due to multiple work-related stressors, according to new predictions by Gartner, Inc. 

“Cybersecurity professionals are facing unsustainable levels of stress,” said Deepti Gopal, Director Analyst, Gartner. “CISOs are on the defense, with the only possible outcomes that they don’t get hacked or they do. The psychological impact of this directly affects decision quality and the performance of cybersecurity leaders and their teams.”

Given these dynamics as well as the massive market opportunities for cybersecurity professionals, talent churn poses a significant threat for security teams. Gartner research shows that compliance-centric cybersecurity programs, low executive support and subpar industry-level maturity are all indicators of an organization that does not view security risk management as critical to business success. …Read More

How to stave off teacher burnout with PD

Survey after survey confirms teachers feel stressed and burned out. Nearly 75 percent of teachers experience frequent job-related stress, compared to just a third of working adults. More than half of teachers have considered leaving the profession earlier than originally planned.

Exhausted and frustrated teachers face a growing list of adversities, including:

  • Insufficient funding
  • Overwhelming administrative work
  • Demanding parents
  • Hostile communities

Dire staffing shortages have added to an unprecedented level of strain. When educators pick up the slack from unfilled positions, their work obligations increase. But their plates merely grow more full — nothing is ever removed. Districts can’t afford to lose more teachers and must take steps to assist them.…Read More

4 tips to build a strong classroom culture this year

The past two years have been immensely difficult for our nation’s students and teachers. In the wake of the isolation and trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and behavioral challenges are on the rise as students continue to process unprecedented amounts of stress, anxiety, and grief. The decline in child and adolescent mental health has been so great that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association have declared it a national emergency.

These mental health issues have translated into increased disengagement, conflict, and bullying — and as a result, disciplinary action — in school classrooms and hallways across the country. 

As a Dean of Culture at a public school in Queens, New York, until recently, I saw these challenges first-hand. I also know that traditional discipline methods fail to address the root cause of behavioral issues. Many forms of disciplinary action are doing more harm than good. This is especially true when research shows that Black students are disciplined far more than White students for the same offenses, perpetuating and sustaining cycles of inequity in our schools. …Read More

6 classroom tech tools that help educators’ mental health

Many teachers are embracing the return to a standard classroom setting. Naturally, some are worried about how much stress will come with trying to get students settled into in-person classes again.

Educators must receive ample support for mental and emotional well-being, as the strain of returning to normal will likely impact their mental strength and emotional wellness. Classroom tech can help relieve some of the stress educators carry and help them successfully navigate mental health challenges.

Video Conferencing…Read More

How a higher-ed partnership transformed student mental health services at our school

It’s a given that students will experience stress as they move through school. Learning new concepts, completing assignments and taking tests, and navigating social experiences all contribute to normal stress. But today, our students are struggling with much, much more. And too much stress has dangerous implications for student mental health and well-being.

Anxieties related to lockdowns, school violence, COVID, and family issues have been shown to increase students’ stress levels and can leave them in such a state that they are unable to learn.

In my role as the principal of Salt Lake Center for Science Education-Bryant Middle School in Salt Lake City, I have witnessed first-hand the impact that elevated stress levels have had on our students’ well-being.…Read More

5 ways relationship mapping supports your students

When students have “positive and diverse” relationships, they are less likely to be at risk, more likely to boost their academic performance and persistence, and are also more likely to have access to a wider range professional opportunities, according to new research from the Clayton Christensen Institute.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, students without positive connections and relationships suffer when it comes to their well-being, academic success, and career potential. Schools often rely on existing faculty and staff to help grow students’ networks. And while mentoring and advising, volunteering, and new initiatives can positively impact students, these efforts are often institution-centric instead of student-centric–and they can burden staff who are already exhausted, along with placing added stress on tight budgets.

But according to Students’ Hidden Networks: Relationship Mapping as a Strategy to Build Asset-Based Pathways, taking an asset-based approach–leveraging the connections arising from people students already know–can help. A number of future-thinking groups are focused on equitably building students’ social capital and connections, and as they continue their work, helpful strategies and best practices have emerged for teachers and school leaders. The report is authored by Julia Freeland Fisher, director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute.…Read More