(Looking Back and Looking Forward takes a look at the articles and posts I found interesting from the previous week, along with reflections about how the trends they point to might shape my thinking about education, technology, and culture.)

The past week brought additional waves of information and angsts related to what has become the usual hodgepodge of themes — AI (ChatGPT), headwinds for higher ed, alternative credentials, etc.

The systemic anxiety caused by real and imaginary changes assigned to generative AI reminds me of a series of workshops on computer-assisted language learning (CALL) that  I gave to Oklahoma foreign language teachers in the late 90s. The primary question on every teacher’s mind seemed to be, “Will I be replaced by a computer?”  My response to them was this. 

If all you’re doing is presenting and reprocessing information, regardless of how sophisticated it seems to be, then yes, a computer can and will replace you. 

Computer programs are better than humans at presenting information consistently. Computers are great a language practice drills. They never get tired, they’re never frustrated by wrong answers, they present information consistently, and they excel at providing positive feedback.

If, on the other hand, you’re committed to helping your student accrue wisdom and a greater understanding of the human condition through the study of language and culture, there will always be a place for you.

If your purpose is to help students grow up and grow out, then computers and any other new tool that can help you is exciting. Not only exciting but exhilarating and expansive.

And don’t we all want that? To see our students grow up and grow wise? I know I do. And any tool that can help me do that more effectively is exciting, exhilarating, and expansive. I don’t care how much I might have to change the way I currently do things.

Exciting. Exhilarating. Expansive.

I think that’s the best response to new teaching, learning, and working tools/ideas. With there be change? Yes. Disruption? Yes. But there will also be expanded creativity, new ideas, and different ways of seeing and experiencing the world. And MORE opportunities. Opportunities we haven’t yet thought of.

So, whether you’re thinking and worrying about things like this.

Or this.

Or this.

The Best answer is Excitement, Exhilaration, and Expansiveness!

Have a great week, everybody!

Further Reading

Higher Education

“F” grades don’t necessarily mean what we say. There’s better alternatives.

Disrupting Postsecondary Pathways Using Micro-credentials

The essential skills students need to acquire in college

Low-income students stand to benefit from stackable credentials

New College of Florida denies five professors tenure, defying student, faculty critics 

Queen Sacrifice at St. Cloud State University

The Renewed Interest in Scaling Non-Credit Offerings Driving Consolidated Admin

LISTEN — Class Disrupted S4 E14: How to Design a College Alternative 

Arkansas system board rejects affiliation with University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix Enrollments Over Time

New report finds increase in students with some college, no credential

Private colleges’ tuition discount rates continue to hit record highs

Enrollment declines threaten the economic futures of college towns

K-!2 Education

Educating Kids in Foster Care: Lessons Learned from a Unique School in the Bronx

Workforce and Organizational Trends

Low-income students stand to benefit from stackable credentials

Cengage Partners with Accredible to Offer Digital Badging in Intro to Computing Courses

ChatGPT is taking ghostwriters’ jobs in Kenya

Study: Generative AI boosts productivity, retention

Employee Says ChatGPT Carries Out 80% of His Work Duties

Another College Degree Isn’t Necessary to Switch to a Higher-Paying Job

Workforce and Learning Trends 2023

diversity > learning > trust

Is Your Leadership Style Like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk?

Online Learning, Learning Design, and Education Technology

How Testing Students Twice Can Improve Note-Taking Skills

Presenting Reclaim Cloud at OER23

Replacing Exams with Project-Based Assessment: Analysis of Students’ Performance and Experience

Do Chatbot Tutors Work Better When They’re Upbeat — and Female?

Study debunks myth of the fast learner

Interaction With a Television Character Powered by Artificial Intelligence Promotes Children’s Science Learning

Student assignments in a time of language modeling

On language, language models and writing

Questioning for retrieval: five mistakes to avoid – Improving Teaching

warning — effort required

How schools can respond to ChatGPT with inquiry-based learning

Is Education Losing the Race with Technology?: AI’s Progress in Maths and Reading

ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence in Higher-Education – a Quick Start Guide

High Impact Startups Spotted at ASU+GSV

Technology, Science, and Culture

Software Engineers Are Panicking About Being Replaced by AI

The Shining Promise and Dashed Dreams of China’s Live Shopping Craze

Amazon is building a ‘more generalized and capable’ LLM to power Alexa, says CEO

Cloud infrastructure revenue growth dips to 19% in Q1, but still hits $63B for quarter

The Age of Hyperpersonalized AI Communication

Comprehending the p-value in simple English with examples!

Do Chatbot Tutors Work Better When They’re Upbeat — and Female?

Study: Generative AI boosts productivity, retention

Meta Stock Price Jumps on Q1 Earnings Beat, Zuckerberg Touting AI

AI Technology Like ChatGPT Will Reshape Software Coding Jobs Forever

Microsoft Stock up After ChatGPT Investor Says AI Boosted Cloud Sales

Insider Q&A: OpenAI CTO Mira Murati on shepherding ChatGPT

Who’s winning the space race between the U.S. and China?

Grimes: I’ll Split Royalties With AI-Generated Music Using My Voice

ChatGPT and Generative AI in the Creator Economy: How to Prepare

3 Charts Show Apple’s Risks and Opportunities in India

ALA: Number of attempts to ban or challenge books doubles in 2022

AI Productivity: Using the AI Assistant in Todoist

This Is What Neuroscientists and Philosophers Understand About Addiction