Saide Current Awareness
29 May 2023
- Closing the loop in distance education using generative AI Source: TEDxTalks Dr. Ashwin Gopinath an Assistant Professor at MIT, working at the intersection of CMOS nanofabrication, molecular self-assembly, biology and machine learning, delivers a talk on using 'educational videos as well as other videos and to use them as seeds to train tailored chatbots so that individuals can not only watch the videos but also talk to it in near real-time to emulate the feeling of really connecting with the content."
- Report of 5th IDEA Monthly Online Virtual Meeting Source: Academic Papers Blog A blog post on highlights of the Indian Distance Education Association Virtual meeting which was entitled “Generative AI and Implications for Open Online and Distance Education” and keynote delivered by Dr Ramesh Sharma, Director, HRDC, Dr Ambedkar University, New Delhi, who is a well known scholar in the field of Open Distance Learning.
Education: South Africa
- Gauteng Department of Education announces 2023/24 budget plans Source: IOL Gauteng MEC of Education Matome Chiloane has revealed priorities that the department will focus on for the 2023/24 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) and consolidate on their five-year strategic plan.
- EFF slams Nzimande’s failure to ensure university graduates are employable Source: SABCNews The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Parliament has lambasted Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande for what they say is his failure to ensure more university graduates are capable of being employable in the job market.
- See the Language and Literacies section for SA news that dominated feeds in the past week
Language and Literacies
- JET responds to the 2021 PIRLS results Source: JET Education Services Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), an international comparative study directed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. PIRLS assesses and compares the reading performance of pupils in their fourth year of formal schooling across participating countries
- Sign language is set to become South Africa’s 12th official language after a long fight for recognition Source: The Conversation Sign language is on its way to become the 12th official language in South Africa after parliament recently agreed to amend the constitution to this end. The move will bring to fruition three decades of a struggle to empower the country’s deaf community. An official language has legal status in a state and serves as the language of administration (conducting day-to-day state business). Theo du Plessis, an emeritus professor of South African Sign Language and Deaf Studies, shares his insights.
- Inside a cold container in Nelson Mandela Bay, ‘Preposition Bear’ and ‘Granny Squad’ are on duty to help children read Source: Daily Maverick It’s an icy morning at the Shine Literacy Centre, which is run from a container in Gqeberha’s Walmer Township. But ‘Preposition Bear’, a large teddy bear with a pink hula hoop around his tummy, is already on duty.
- Why are learners reading worse in African languages? A response from the Department of Basic Education Source: Daily Maverick The Covid-19 pandemic was a temporary shock to the education of a generation of children. It was not reflective of a general decline in the functioning of the school system, so there is no reason South Africa should not return to its pre-pandemic trend of improvement.
- South Africa’s 10 year-olds are struggling to read – it can be fixed Source: The Conversation More than 80% of South Africa’s grade 4 pupils – who are on average nine or 10 years old – cannot read for meaning. That means they can’t answer basic questions about or draw inferences from a text they’re reading. This worrying statistic emerged from the 2021 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which were released by the country’s basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, on 16 May.
The Conversation Africa asked Karen Roux, a specialist in reading literacy and development of equivalent assessments, to unpack the results.
Open Education and Open Educational Resources
Skills and Employment
- NWU invites community partners to join network of experts Source: IT Web The North-West University (NWU) appreciates the essential work of non-profit organisations (NPOs) and their impact on support provided to surrounding communities. The university extends an invitation to all its existing community partners, as well as all other local NPOs – including schools, faith-based and local government organisations – to register for the Community Stakeholder Forum meeting. This exciting new forum aims to build capacity in communities through a network of expertise and collective community involvement.
- Airbnb empowers emerging tourism entrepreneurs Source: IT Web Airbnb has provided financial support of R2 million to the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH), to assist emerging tourism entrepreneurs from previously-disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their studies.
- Nursing students in limbo as Gauteng health can’t absorb them Source: TimesLive More than 100 nursing students who were given bursaries by the Gauteng department of health (GDoH) say they are in limbo as the department does not have funds to place them for community service and absorb them for employment.
The students from the Gauteng College of Nursing R. 171 programme began their studies in 2020 and were given bursaries by the department. They were the first group in the three-year nursing programme after it was introduced in 2020
Teaching and Learning- Local and Global
- Register for Africa Check’s free fact-checking and misinformation literacy programme for high school educators Source: AfricaCheck As learners move from one social media platform to the next, they are flooded with online information every day. Do you have the skills to help them distinguish between what is true and what is not?
- Education in Africa: placing equity at the heart of policy; continental report Source: UNESCO A joint continental report by UNESCO and the African Union. "In this comprehensive new analysis, UNESCO explores how these factors impact a child’s access to quality learning. It highlights the importance of addressing barriers to inclusion through actions such as making secondary education compulsory, building more schools, developing adapted curricula, improving the quality of teachers, and providing financial and academic assistance to children. The report aims to provide African governments with guidelines and advice as they try to overcome these challenges."
HERE’S A WAY I’M THINKING OF INTRODUCING AI TO MY INTERMEDIATE ELLS – PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK Source: Larry Ferlazzo. A blog post by an award winning educator, Ferlazzo, on introducing AI to his secondary school students.
- How Makerspaces in Schools Can Support Student Mental Health Source: EdSurge Makerspaces in schools are a place where the normal rules of classroom learning are tossed aside in favor of just a couple — have fun, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
As schools continue to grapple with a student mental health crisis, could makerspaces also present an opportunity to support students’ well-being overall? And even a creative way for counselors to get their young patients to open up?
- Teaching High School Students How to Budget Source: Edutopia Giving older students a plan for saving, spending, and sharing their money can help them make wise financial decisions in the future.
- Education in Zimbabwe should strive for inclusion – how the philosophy of ubuntu can help Source: The Conversation The notion of inclusive education began to emerge during the 1950s and 1960s. At first it focused on integrating students with disabilities into mainstream classrooms, but it evolved over time. Now it’s about including students with diverse backgrounds and abilities, such as those with emotional or cognitive challenges whose disabilities are often “invisible”.
- Kids in the digital screen age – an expert’s view on how much swiping and scrolling should be allowed Source: The Conversation It is practically impossible to prevent children from engaging with electronic gadgets, but setting some boundaries is vital if parents or caregivers want to limit the potential negative effects
- The Future of Your Lesson Planning: When a Culture Lesson Meets Artificial Intelligence Source: FLT Magazine This post discusses the process of planning a lesson on a Chinese culture topic through integrating AI digital educational tools such as ChatGPT and Canva The various steps of planning the complete lesson is presented, followed by an evaluation of the results. The that will be used in this lesson are ChatGPT and Canva.
- Understanding Pronouns: A Guide for Parents Source: EdHack.Com In today’s increasingly diverse and inclusive society, understanding pronouns is essential. Pronouns are an integral part of how individuals express their gender identity and personal preferences.
Technology Enhanced Learning
- AI-Powered Learning Design Dr. Phillipa Hardmans latest blog post on How AI is transforming the velocity & effectiveness of learning experience design
- Will AI Transform Educational Standards of Evidence? Source: Psychology Today Dangers of equivocal scientific evidence for rapid AI innovations and policies.
- Creating Community in Your Online Course Source: ASC Distance Education A compilation of resources to help with creating community in virtual learning spaces. Topics include pedagogical strategies, best practices for virtual learning tools, and student collaboration and discussion
- ChatGPT and other generative AI could foster science denial and misunderstanding – here’s how you can be on alert Source: The Conversation The authors of “Science Denial: Why It Happens and What to Do About It,” are concerned about how generative AI may blur the boundaries between truth and fiction for those seeking authoritative scientific information.
- Swotknot Introduces SwotBuddy, Aka “Winky,” Integrated ChatGPT Learning Assistant Source: Technology Today Scrappy startup Swotknot, ignites global interest with Cheatwithai.com linked to its ChapGPT enabled learning site and integrated WhatsAppp, study buddy “Winky” Swotknot, a new online educational platform launched its integrated ChatGPT AI learning and study assistant, SwotBuddy.
This small start up saw the opportunity to add value to students and educators alike while also recognizing that learning doesn’t always have to be serious to be effective. This philosophy and commitment to education allows Swotknot to play with new technologies in ways that old school educational sites just can’t.
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