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Ed tech must reads: column #74

First published in Campus Morning Mail 28th March, 2023

AI is having an iPhone moment from Twitter

Last week I presented a small webinar about the latest in GenAI tools at work, which went well but would have been significantly easier if there hadn’t been major announcements in the field every day for the weeks leading up to it. ChatGPT, Google, Microsoft, Midjourney, Nvidia, Baidu, Adobe, Canva, and even Opera all having their little “oh and one more thing” moment. This thread from Lennart Nacke summarises the most recent updates nicely.

Will ChatGPT Kill the Student Essay? Universities Aren’t Ready for the Answer from The Walrus

This article published on Friday has popped up in my feed numerous times and is clearly resonating with people in this space. Irina Dumitrescu puts forward some thoughtful ideas about the nature and value of writing and what we stand to lose as we adapt to the GenAI behemoth by moving away from the idea of first drafts. She suggests that it is this (human) generative work that is some of the most powerful in terms of learning, even when academic writing assessments tend to be highly formulaic by their nature.

Chaos and calm in the lecture theatre: Transforming the lecture by creating and sustaining interactivity at scale part 3 from USyd Business Education Research Group

Meanwhile, in the physical world, educators continue to grapple with declining attendances in lectures and the need to consider what is next. This article from Peter Bryant is the third in a series considering the value of the lecture and it offers some concrete suggestions for transitioning to interactive experiences centred around active learning. (As a GenXer, it does my jaded heart proud to see a model drawing on the soft-loud-soft stylings of the Pixies and Nirvana)

A framework for quality standards in digital design from the UTS LX Lab

The Learner Experience (LX) Lab at UTS has been quietly chugging away for some years now doing great work in the digital learning design space (alongside its sister teams). This post from Anthony Burke, Matissa Strong and Rory Green describing their new framework makes the case that students deserve as good an online experience as they get in person and offers practical guidance on how to ensure this. The underlying principles are that learning is Authentic, Aligned, Active and Social.