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School District Under Investigation by Education Dept

The Department of Education has launched an investigation into the death of Oklahoma teenager Nex Benedict, who died on Feb. 6 — one day after getting into a fight in the school’s girls bathroom. Friends and family said Benedict, who was 16 years old, used he and him pronouns as well as they and them pronouns. Relatives of the 10th-grader said Benedict had been bullied over their gender identity. His death has drawn national attention as activists and trans students have blamed the state’s antagonistic policies…

Phone-free legislation on the rise at schools

In California, a high school teacher complains that students watch Netflix on their phones during class. In Maryland, a chemistry teacher says students use gambling apps to place bets during the school day.Around the country, educators say students routinely send Snapchat messages in class, listen to music and shop online, among countless other examples of how smartphones distract from teaching and learning.The hold that phones have on adolescents in America today is well-documented, but teachers say parents are often not…

Making AI education more accessible

USC researchers have created a low-cost, accessible learning kit to help college and high school students build their own "robot friend." Credit: James Kim / USC From smart virtual assistants and self-driving cars to digital health and fraud prevention systems, AI technology is transforming almost every aspect of our daily lives—and education is no different. For all its promise, the rise of AI, like any new technology, raises…

What is Eyes on Education? Rokita Launches Site to Pillory Teachers

Imagine “Libs of TikTok,” but created by a state government to pillory public school teachers.  That’s the gist of a new project launched by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R), who has created a portal called “Eyes on Education” that encourages members of the public to tattle on teachers they believe are pushing woke content on kids. Eyes on Education enables self-styled whistleblowers to submit evidence to the state of “objectionable curricula, policies, or programs.” And the site presents a selection…

Music education, support networks, and continuity are key factors regulating adolescents’ arts participation, says study

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain How do young people find their way to music-making? Researchers Anna Kuoppamäki from the University of the Arts Helsinki and Fanny Vilmilä from the Finnish Youth Research Network identified factors that had a significant impact on the formation of the musical life courses of the young people interviewed in their study.

University of Michigan Says It’s Not Selling Student Data to AI Companies

On Thursday morning, news broke that someone was going around selling student data from the University of Michigan to tech workers that build AI chatbot tech. An employee at Google DeepMind, the company’s AI research hub, said they’d gotten an offer for recordings of lectures, student discussions, and office hours, as well as essays written by seniors and grad students all available for a paltry licensing fee. Now, the University says it was all a misunderstanding, that students gave their consent, and there’s nothing to…

Newsom’s top education advisor bares his mental health struggle: ‘You’re not alone’

The boy hated himself.Six months into his first year in high school, he dropped out. For more than a year, he isolated himself in his Huntington Beach bedroom where he became addicted to video games and anonymously vented his anger online with racist and misogynistic screeds, haunted by suicidal thoughts and fantasies about hurting others. His health deteriorated as he binged on pepperoni pizza, grew obese and developed terrible rashes. Then Ben Chida ventured out of his room.Today, Chida, 38, is Gov. Gavin Newsom’s…

Using conversational agents in education

Bibliometric analysis of search results. Credit: British Journal of Educational Technology (2023). DOI: 10.1111/bjet.13413 Artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies are driving the use of pedagogical conversational agents with empathic capabilities. They are virtual tools (e.g., chatbots) that are able to evoke an empathetic reaction in the student while helping them develop their skills.…