Tag: news

Beyond AI Creativity in School

After the initial chest constriction and moment of panic, I started to think rationally about the latest artificial intelligence (AI) news: Google engineers made a machine that can compose music. It’s the stated goal of Google’s Project Magenta to make “compelling” music and art. The example I listened to, with variations on a theme of the first notes of “Twinkle Twinkle,” sounded like music to me, with simple patterns that drew me in and more complex patterns that held my attention, a nice balance of elaboration and simplicity, every dimension of composition calculated by algorithms. But could it ever generate an inspired performance?

From Ernest Edmonds' "Light Logic" exhibition 2012. Edmonds is a pioneer of interactive, computer-generated artwork.

From Ernest Edmonds’ “Light Logic” exhibition 2012. Edmonds is a pioneer of interactive, computer-generated artwork.

Cognitive Scientist, Margaret Bowden, on MIT’s Technology Review, calls this algorithmic art made by AI “combinational creativity,” essentially imitation remixed. She points out that AI’s processing is “hugely limited by relevance blindness.”

The processing that leads to contextual relevance will be a monumental leap for AI, and I won’t speculate about how soon or how likely it will be that engineers can get machines across such a chasm. Although Project Magenta piques my interest, as a teacher helping to develop students’ talents, I have much more optimism about the potential of children and youth to make that same leap from imitation to inspiration. Continue reading

National News

Playing Games Develops Social Skills for Students

It is often said that life is not a game, but a new program funded by the Copperas Cove Education Foundation teaches students lifelong skills through gaming.

How does a teacher’s race affect which students get to be identified as ‘gifted’?

Black students are more likely to be identified as “gifted” when they attend schools with higher proportions of black teachers, according to a new study, and Latino students are more likely to be called gifted when they go to schools with more Latino teachers.

The study doesn’t get at why there is such a correlation, but it adds another layer to a long-simmering debate about why black and Latino children are less likely to be called “gifted” than their white and Asian peers.

Skip A Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It’s Not So Easy

There may be benefits to allowing advanced students to enter kindergarten early, to skip a grade or take a course above their grade level, according to two recent reports. However, 20 states have policies that prohibit early enrollment in kindergarten, one study found.

IDEA Applies To ‘Twice Exceptional’ Students, Too

The U.S. Department of Education recently sent a reminder memorandum to states saying districts must provide services to “twice exceptional” students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Federal officials say they have received complaints that some districts are reluctant to evaluate students with intellectual gifts, who also have emotional or mental-health issues.

TAG program pushes county students to reach next level

A Virginia school district meets the needs of its students in gifted education through various enrichment and in-classroom supports. Elementary students work with gifted-education specialists during the school’s intervention period, and specialists work with middle- and high-school teachers to enhance their regular classroom lessons.

N.J. district revives gifted-education program

A New Jersey school district has re-established its gifted and talented education program with the launch of a middle-school program. Students have been engaged in hands-on learning projects such as engineering a bridge and writing a book.

How poverty can affect gifted education

Educators and researchers are reviewing testing profiles and programs to better meet the unique needs of students with intellectual gifts who also live in poverty. This article highlights some of the challenges and programs aimed at serving such students.