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AI Making Us Human, AI Meets EdTech, Divergent Economic Worlds and more

The most exciting ideas in education, hand-picked and summarized for you

It’s March Madness in the sports world in the United States. In the tech world, it’s AI madness.

Ed3 is here to curate the best from the week and explore what it means for education. Welcome - and πŸ‘‹ to several new subscribers! This week I get to curate and share. Generative AI Unleashed is live! This course helps you understand, use, and β€œgo pro” with AI.

I had a blast building it with the Metacrafters team, Arjen, and Linus. Check it out and start free.

Now, let the games beginβ€¦πŸ€

On AI and Humanity πŸ€–

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Artificial intelligence (AI) took yet another leap forward this week with the release of GPT-4 and Midjourney 5. Basically, AI got a whole lot better.

What does this mean for teachers and education?

I sat down with Serj Hunt to explore the topic. We went β€œunplugged” with an unscripted conversation that uncovered one big idea:

AI can make us more human.

Imagine a classroom where the teachers spend less time on test prep and knowledge transfer and more time pushing students to use the knowledge they have learned from their AI tutor. Imagine if teachers had more room for social and emotional connection with students.

AI feels robotic and a step away from human interaction. Our industrial education system is robotic. We have been moving away from the one-on-one apprentice or Aristotelian tutoring models of the past for a century. This powerful change enabled education to scale, improving literacy and expanding opportunity. Along the way, we lost a bit of that human touch.

AI can help us scale education to improve outcomes AND bring back the focus on the humanity of the teacher-student relationship. That’s a future worth exploring.

🎧 Find the podcast and YouTube video here:

😞 We need a whole lot more humanity to go with our tech.

Recent surveys continue to show disturbing trends in young adult happiness (it’s going way down) and mental health problems (going way up). This podcast offers a great summary and discussion.

Probably not coincidentally, we see a big change around the time of the emergence of social media. 😬

On AI and EdTech πŸ‘Ύ

🐀 Both Duolingo and Khan Academy are working on adding a simulated touch of humanity to their products by releasing new AI features.

Duolingo Max gamifies language learning and provides deeper explanations for answers, much like you would hear in a classroom when you ask: why?

Khan Academy's AI tool, Khanmingo, is a tutor. I especially love how they programmed it not to give answers but instead to ask follow-up questions like a good tutor.

πŸ”€ These tools show the world of adaptive learning is possible for all - good news, consider previous research we shared on its dramatic impact on learning outcomes.

🀯 The early use cases of GPT-4 in education and across other industries are mind-blowing (see also emoji). This thread gives a good overview.

On Divergent Worlds 🌎

πŸ›« The rush of technology is drastically reducing the cost of goods for almost everything it touches. The parts of the economy where tech has less influence are seeing a massive rise in costs. Notice education as a leader in this inflationary economy.

As Andreessen notes:

We are heading into a world where a flat screen TV that covers your entire wall costs $100, and a four year college degree costs $1 million, and nobody has anything even resembling a proposal on how to fix this."

Marc Andreeseen, β€œWhy AI Won't Cause Unemployment”

On Portfolios and Video Games 😎

πŸ§‘β€πŸ« Technology could reduce this inflationary trend in education by helping students build portfolios of their skills throughout their lives.

Ender is doing just that. They help kids (aged 8-15) be employable by 18 with a portfolio of projects that demonstrate skills, starting with Minecraft competitions. My friend Bhaumik is giving demos and looking for feedback if you want to see it in action. Sign up to help here.

Text of the Week πŸ’¬

We text a brilliant mind each week to learn what they are thinking. This week we talked to Bethany Crystal - a brilliant education strategist and leader.

Fresh on the heels of attending ETH Denver and speaking at Schelling Point, we asked her: What education ideas stood out most at Schelling Point?

Here’s what she said:

Thanks for reading. Invite your friends to subscribe!

πŸ‘‹ A special thanks and welcome to several new subscribers from recent speaking events with 2U, Butter, and ETH Denver. Let’s keep learning together!

Have a great weekend.