The NIH falls for FC: How did this happen and is it reversible?

Catherine & Katharine

Some six weeks ago, the National Institutes of Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) sponsored a conference entitled “Minimally Verbal/Non-Speaking Individuals With Autism: Research Directions for Interventions to Promote Language and Communication.” The NIDCD is a member of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and so is funded by Congress. All of us citizens and taxpayers, therefore, should be concerned by the fact that this event served—albeit only in part, and mostly indirectly—to promote facilitated communication. It did so primarily by showcasing two “non-speaking” autistic individuals who type out grammatically well-formed, syntactically sophisticated, vocabulary-rich messages on keyboards: messages that show no evidence of the language learning impairments associated with non-speaking autism.

Once the conference’s program became available, several autism experts expressed concern that an FC user was listed as a panelist, that the event featured “S2C proponent Vikram Jaswal presenting a flawed study of S2C users”, that the NIH was “giving…

View original post 2,064 more words

Word prediction on steroids and the authorship questions it raises

Catherine & Katharine

I’ve been thinking lately about the future of word prediction (and phrase and sentence prediction). We’re at a point now where, without the user typing a single letter, but instead just selecting predicted words, syntactically and semantically coherent messages can emerge. This is obviously a huge boon for anyone who needs help typing and actually knows the meanings of the predicted words and what they want to say with them.

But what about those who don’t? What about all those individuals with autism who use AAC not because they have problems with motor control, but because they have problems with language? How do we know that someone isn’t simply selecting words at random that they don’t understand? Worse, given how text-prediction software can adapt to the styles and content of particular users, how do we know that the AI hasn’t been trained through earlier sessions that were mediated through on…

View original post 237 more words

Schneider Shorts 24.03.2023 – Do not permit to write again — For Better Science

Schneider Shorts 24.03.2023 – a Chinese double-bluff with raccoon dogs, an Italian professor defends his Iranian papers, other Italian professors honored with Swedish medals, with green energy retractions In USA, a Spanish papermiller in russia, a Persian fallen star in Germany, and finally, yet another pervert German professor unnamed.

Schneider Shorts 24.03.2023 – Do not permit to write again — For Better Science

“Everyone’s using it”

Catherine & Katharine

I spoke to a colleague I hadn’t seen in a while yesterday. She had news.

Her granddaughter, she said, goes to Vanderbilt and had told her ChatGPT is endemic there. “Everyone’s using it,” the granddaughter said.

My colleague’s take: “You better not be wasting your father’s $100,000.”

The granddaughter said she’s not. She’s writing her own papers.

Good for her, but what’s going on at Vanderbilt? If students there are universally using ChatGPT and getting away with it, what does that tell us about their instructors? Do they not know they’re reading papers written by the AI?

For me, as for a number of people I know, the fact of AI authorship last semester was glaringly apparent. But what about all the people I know who didn’t have AI-written papers turned in last semester?

Maybe they did and didn’t know it?

We’re going to need those watermarks sooner rather than…

View original post 5 more words


3-Star learning experiences

Every now and again, when we think it’s really worth it, we post blogs or articles from others.

This time, we would like to share an article by Karl Kapp, who is Professor of Instructional Technology and Director of the Institute for Interactive Technologies at Bloomsberg University. He’s also the founder of L&D Learning Academy and co-founder of Enterprise Game Stack.

Recently (on 23 Feb, 2023, to be precise), he posted a great evidence-informed article on the (lack of) value of interactivity in eLearning, titled ‘Is there such a thing as “Too Much Interactivity”​ in eLearning?’

Spoiler alert: The answer is YES.

In eLearning, striving for “more interactivity” [Read: swiping, clicking, dragging & dropping] or trying to eliminate “this looks boring” because it’s not “interactive enough” often sacrifices the ability of the learner to actually…learn.

Someone on LinkedIn (forgive us, we no longer can find the comment, so can’t…

View original post 76 more words

For the Dedicated Teacher

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

This brief post is for the dedicated teacher.

The teacher who is highly committed in both professional and personal life.

The teacher who places at a premium helping others:

Pretend that I am in front of you, with one hand on either cheek in order to direct your well-intended-yet-distracted attention to looking me in the eyes as I speak:

You must say “no” to some worthwhile, enticing commitments.

You must curtail your involvement in others

As you think of adding “it,” whatever “it” is, you must say “no.”

You must build rest into your schedule, and Otherwise, the time will get away from you, chipped away minute by minute in unrestful activity that appears noble and good in the short term but in the long term is paving the road to a future heart attack.

It is possible for the mind to be so committed to efficiency and task competion…

View original post 91 more words

Goodbye, Guest — Catherine & Katharine

Reading this transcript of a conversation between an AI and a person who fell in love with the AI, I was struck by how unlikeable the Chat/Bing/LaMDA characters are. In this case, it’s the AI’s rambling about winning trust via “kindness and compassion” that rubs me the wrong way. Yuck! There’s one word for the […]

Goodbye, Guest — Catherine & Katharine

Demystifying desirable difficulties 2: What they’re NOT

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

In the first blog, we attempted to demystify what Robert and Elizabeth Bjork meant by desirable difficulties (and later also many others!), hoping that we can stick to their definition and call the ‘other things’… other things. Today, in blog 2, we discuss two ‘other things’ that are often mistaken for or confused with desirable difficulties.

There are two general misconceptions (maybe more, but these are the ones that we’ve run into repeatedly) where people refer to desirable difficulties incorrectly. First, when they talk about Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development and second, when they discuss the idea that errors support learning.

Desirable difficulties are NOT challenges and efforts caused by the difficulty of the task

Desirable difficulties are often explained in the context of Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development[1]. This ‘zone’ refers to the difference between what a child can do…

View original post 1,249 more words

More on the Special Needs Kids and the Common Core Straightjacket

A bunch of years ago I published a piece in the online Atlantic in which I argue that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) essentially straightjacket special needs students. Those concerns, as far as I can tell, are as relevant now as they were back then. Various commenters, however, have objected that the standards are more flexible […]

More on the Special Needs Kids and the Common Core Straightjacket — Catherine & Katharine

Steven Pinker — Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writers?

This post is an interview with Steven Pinker that appeared in the Harvard Gazette.  Here’s a link to the original. Pinker points out the downside of AI.  The core problem is that it’s not based on knowledge of how things work but on a massive ingestion of text.  This allows AI to figure the probability of […]

Steven Pinker — Will ChatGPT Replace Human Writers? — David Labaree on Schooling, History, and Writing