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Ed3 Weekly Issue #66: Gardens, Chains, and Web3
Exploring the wonderful world of artificial intelligence, digital credentials, and learner ownership
Hello web3 and education friends,
This week we will cover:
💡 An examination of 'walled garden' AI and its implications for personalized learning
👥 A study on teacher and parent attitudes toward the use of AI in K-12 education
🌐 An exploration of how Web3 technologies are transforming education and work
🎓 A look at how blockchain is enabling secure, verifiable digital resumes in North Dakota
As we immerse ourselves in the paradigm-shifting implications of AI and Web3, we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of a new era in education – one that's digitally-enhanced and personalized, and secure.
Reflecting on the latest advancements presented in this week's articles, we see a narrative unfold where AI transitions from a mere tool to an active participant in learning. Chatbots like 'Stretch' and 'Khanmigo' are not only reshaping pedagogical approaches but also demonstrating the potential of AI to democratize and personalize education at scale.
The future of education doesn't stop at AI; it extends to the rise of Web3 technologies. These breakthroughs, underpinned by blockchain, are about to redefine the traditional boundaries of academic records and credentials. Think of a future where every achievement, every credential, is securely recorded, verifiable, and portable. North Dakota's initiative is a peek into this future, where skills and experiences are recognized, validated, and accumulated to foster lifelong learning and better job matching.
Yet, these developments carry implications far beyond technology integration. The dawn of the Web3 era brings forth the need to reconsider our education system and the skills we impart to our future generations. The decentralized, trustless nature of Web3 demands a new breed of digital literacy, data privacy awareness, and computational thinking.
In the face of this, we as educators, must not just adopt these technologies but understand and shape them to create an equitable, accessible, and learner-centric education ecosystem. This week's resources offer insightful perspectives on these trends.
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In an effort to enhance the accuracy and safety of AI technologies in education, this article shares a new approach called the "walled garden." Unlike expansive language models like ChatGPT, which utilize vast swaths of the internet, potentially including unreliable information, walled garden AI focuses on a curated and reliable information database. One example is 'Stretch,' a chatbot being developed by the ISTE and ASCD.
This new breed of AI doesn’t come without its complexities. The emergence of 'Khanmigo,' a chatbot from Khan Academy, illustrates the potential of such AI as a tutor. Instead of giving direct answers, Khanmigo guides students through problem-solving, personalizing instruction based on their interests. Although these tools are still in their nascent stages, they provide a glimpse into a future where AI may serve as an invaluable aide to both educators and students in crafting personalized, evidence-backed learning experiences.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice / T74 / Getty
This article discusses new findings from Impact Research about teacher and parent attitudes on the potential of AI in K-12 education. Amid controversies surrounding the chatbot's creation, public recognition of the AI tool is increasing. Approximately 80% of registered voters, 71% of parents, and 73% of teachers know what ChatGPT is.
Parental acceptance surpasses teachers' acceptance, with 61% compared to 58%, while students' favorability sits at 54%. Its use is growing in classrooms, with 42% of students and 63% of teachers admitting to utilizing the AI tool, and 40% of teachers reporting weekly usage. The majority of teachers using the tool (84%) vouch for its positive impact, and nearly two-thirds of parents endorse its use in schoolwork. These statistics signify an increasing acceptance of AI tools in the educational landscape.
Image provided by Michigan Virtual
This article discusses how Web3 technologies are profoundly influencing the future of education and work, particularly in three areas: verifiable credentials, learner-employment records, and essential skills for the Web3 era.
Verifiable Credentials: Through blockchain technology, learning organizations can issue verifiable, immutable credentials, increasing transparency, reducing friction, and decreasing potential fraud.
Learner-Employment Records: Leveraging blockchain, learners can maintain comprehensive, unchangeable records of their educational and professional accomplishments, sharing them selectively with future educators, employers, or educational institutions.
Critical Skills for the Web3 Era: As the web evolves, there's a need to reevaluate the essential skills taught to students.
NaughtyNut/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
This article describes how North Dakota has launched a blockchain-powered digital wallet allowing high school graduates to store and share their credentials such as transcripts and diplomas. The blockchain system, known as the Open Credential Publisher, ensures the automatic validation of credentials, streamlining processes for students and potential employers. The initiative is part of a broader effort involving eight states, focused on creating secure, verifiable digital resumes that emphasize skills for better job matching.
In addition to storing academic credentials, the program has the potential for recognizing practical skills and experience. North Dakota is working with community colleges to issue digital credentials for specialized programs, such as cybersecurity, transforming them into stackable credentials that can equate to degrees. This approach enables students who don't complete a full course to still benefit from their partial studies and opens new pathways for career progression and skill matching.
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