Navigating the AI revolution: Education and ethics take center stage

When the University of Florida (UF) announced its new Artificial Intelligence Academic Initiative Center in March of 2022, some would say that was before AI in its current iteration was cool. 18 months and one supercomputer later, everyone will say they were right on time. 

UF Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives David Reed is in the middle of it. He is the campus focal point for academic activity at the university related to AI and data science, including the coordination and development of programs and certificates; the identification of opportunities for faculty and students to engage with AI; the co-organization of seminars and conferences; the development of an AI Scholars program; and partnerships with UF’s Career Connections Center, the Florida College System and private industry that will promote an AI-ready workforce and help businesses integrate AI into their current processes. 

I had the pleasure to discuss his work and its potential for higher education along with edtech veteran and visionary Andrew Pass. The toughest part of hosting this conversation was to end it. Have a listen:…Read More

Believing the hope, not the hype, of AI

How much longer will our newsfeeds be stuffed with headlines either extolling AI as the greatest thing since sliced bread or damning it as a sign of the coming education apocalypse? It’s going to be a while I’m afraid. In the meantime, I suggest you listen to this insightful interview with Dr. Eric Wang, Vice President of AI at Turnitin, who puts much of the hoopla into context. 

Turnitin has been working in AI since before it was cool—25 years this month. The company’s tools are built into popular learning management system (LMS) workflows across 16,000 institutions, in 140 countries, and used by over 40 million students at both the k-12 and higher ed level. In April 2023, Turnitin launched its AI writing detection tool, which as of July 2023 has processed over 76 million paper submissions.

Eric conjures a future where AI detection tools in education serve as a means to foster learning and growth rather than a gotcha app meant to punish or shame students. The goal is not to discourage AI use but to teach students how to use the tool effectively while valuing authentic human work. Click below to listen and scroll down for some takeaways and other resources offered by Turnitin.…Read More

The Future of Canvas

Drop the company name Instructure on the average educator and you may get a blank stare in return. Now mention the company’s flagship product Canvas and be ready for a flash of instant recognition. Founded in 2008, Instructure reports having more than 6000 customer organizations with more than 35 million users around the world in both K12 and higher education.

I had the opportunity to attend InStructure Con23 in Denver last month—the company’s first user conference since the pandemic—and met many educators, partner companies, and senior leadership including Chief Product Officer Shiren Vijiasingam, Ryan Lufkin, Vice President of Global Strategy, and CEO Steve Daly. We hit on a number of topics that will affect the way educators and students teach and learn, including post-pandemic behaviors, student security, the pursuit of equitability and education, and the future of hybrid learning. Plus of course, AI, AI and yes, a little more AI. This was the first Innovations podcast recorded in person, but it certainly won’t be the last.

More Highlights from InstructureCon23:…Read More

eCampus Live@ INSTRUCTURECON 2023

Breaking news out of day two at Instructure‘s professional learning event for educators and edtech users in Denver. The company announced a partnership with Khan Academy to integrate Khanmigo, Khan’s AI-powered student tutor and teaching assistantCanvas, into Canvas, the market-leading learning management system. We caught Instructure CEO Steve Daly just after the announcement to provide some context and provide a timeline for when Canvas will be updated with Khanmigo. Scroll down for more details and look for more in-depth conversations With Daly and other senior executives on the Innovation Insights podcast next week.

From the press release: This integrated solution will put the transformative power of generative AI into the hands of students and educators using the Canvas learning environment.

Generative AI represents an opportunity to enhance the role of technology in supporting educators and creating efficiencies in their day-to-day instruction. This new solution will harness this transformative moment by enabling educators with an integrated Khanmigo experience that supports human-driven, technology-enhanced essay feedback and grading, lesson planning and rubric creation. This solution is a large step forward in delivering personalization for each student while allowing busy educators to scale their excellence and impact in ways unimaginable a few short months ago.…Read More

Back office business: 5 big higher edtech deals this week

Key points:

  • There are new opportunities for students to access post-grad testing prep.
  • Universities worldwide are implementing new programs to advance both AI and robotics.
  • Online learning programs continue to expand even post-pandemic.

Spelman College, a global leader in the education of women of African descent, announced a new partnership with global educational services provider Kaplan that will provide Spelman students with free test prep courses for graduate-level admissions exams, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and OAT.…Read More

More than just AI—Kathe Pelletier of EDUCAUSE on the 2023 Horizon Report

Key points:

  • Expert panelists identified AI as a trend and key technology in higher ed, all before ChatGPT exploded
  • Beyond AI, however, are trends around students demanding more flexibility, plus political or environmental trends that might influence campus operations
  • See related article: IT leaders are critical for a positive student experience

Who knew this century could see an acronym as pervasive, and scary, as COVID-19? Congratulations AI (let’s assume I don’t have to spell that out for you). Its advent has taken over society’s consciousness—for better or worse. And the education space is front and center as either the greatest benefactor or the first victim of our new AI overlords.

Thankfully, the experts involved with the EDUCAUSE 2023 Horizon Report are on the case, clarifying and specifying the potential and pitfalls of not only AI but other ascending models of higher ed learning like Hyperflex. Their methodology as described in the report:…Read More

The essential human element of AI in education

World AI Week represents a unique moment to reflect on how AI has changed the way we work, live, and learn. Many brilliant minds and progressive companies are gathering for the World Summit AI (WSAI) in early October to discuss AI’s potential, and among the many topics of discussion, the role of AI in education will certainly be a hot topic.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has greatly shifted the landscape of technology in education. Overnight, learning worldwide became remote and distributed. What were once simple tasks like distributing and collecting homework or administering an in-class midterm became complex technological challenges, for which our collective tools fell short. However, we also made great strides in closing the gap, and along the way developed, improved, and scaled our technology and products in ways that we never thought possible. We’re proud of how our AI helped instructors by assisting in grouping similar answers to accelerate feedback, our state-of-the-art handwriting recognition that brings a new level of offline-to-online accessibility to our cutting-edge platform and our writing AI that helps students improve the way they write and use citations.

To continue to add a new perspective to this conversation, I asked a number of AI in education experts as well as two faculty members for their thoughts about AI’s role and potential in education.…Read More

4 key ways AI is impacting higher ed

What is the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education? A new report from The Learning House, Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Current Uses and Future Applications, outlines some of the ways AI is impacting higher ed and also examines implementation challenges.

The report also highlights important policy guidance and recommendations that are likely to accelerate AI innovation or, if unrealized, stifle its growth and adoption. For example, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) last updated in 2001, predates many common education technologies including smartphones, tablets, wireless data, MOOCs, and even online education programs in general. The brief also cites necessary changes to policies on data security and accreditation.

“Imagine a world where grading a full course’s papers takes 15 minutes, and teaching assistants, student advisers and enrollment counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Imagine a world where faculty can create immersive, real-world experiences for students without leaving the classroom, map out a class’s misconceptions about material down to discrete learning outcomes and select a series of intervention strategies targeted to each student’s unique learning needs,” the authors write. “Many of these elements have always been possible through extensive human effort, but AI will make this world available at scale, freeing up faculty and staff to deliver a more personal, tailored experience that better meets students’ needs and prepares them for success.”…Read More

3 takeaways from North Carolina Community College System’s AI projects

Colleges, universities, and community college systems are grappling with how best to plan, implement, and deliver artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to the maximum benefit of students, faculty, administration, and community stakeholders. As I interact with colleagues across the country, they all know it’s no longer a question of “if” but “how and when and to what end.”

While the needs of every institution are obviously going to vary based on size, student profile, public versus private, I would like to offer up some useful observations and takeaways based on our first steps in this AI journey at the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS).

About us: We’re the third-largest community college system in the United States, with 58 campus locations, more than 750,000 students, and more than 30,000 faculty and staff. The taxpayer investments in the system have been consistent, considerable, and continue to generate economic growth and development across North Carolina.…Read More

4 ways we can start using AI in higher ed to humanize teaching

Artificial intelligence (AI) has fascinating implications for instruction, and some educators are already using AI in higher ed to humanize teaching.

“We hear that AI will take away faculty—AI is, in fact, going to supplement the work we already do,” said Jennifer Sparrow, senior director of teaching and learning with technology at Penn State. In that role, she focuses on innovation and technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

Last fall, during EDUCAUSE 2018, Sparrow, along with Kyle Bowen, director of innovation for teaching and learning with technology, shared how we can use AI in higher ed to help with teaching from different points of view, including ideation, design, assessment, facilitation, and reflection.…Read More

Oops! We could not locate your form.