Are Algorithmically-Generated Term Papers the Next Big Challenge to Academic Integrity?

edsurge | February 12, 2020

There’s a new application of AI in education, and educators aren’t going to like it. A growing number of companies now let students outsource their homework to a bot—or, more specifically, an algorithm that writes term papers for them based on chosen keywords. For instance, after subscribing to a service called EssaySoft, you can tell its essay generator to write a paper on, say, “symbolism in the great Gatsby” (or whatever you need for class). Then you enter how many words you want the final paper to be, select other specs from drop-down menus (set research depth to “low” if you want the machine to return an answer as fast as possible), and click “Generate Essay.”

Spotlight

The future of learning is here. As schools and educators consider how to approach the rapidly changing realities of education, new research suggests today’s kindergartners will graduate better prepared for their futures if they have a strong social and emotional foundation, developed in a personalized learning environment. This new research draws on multiple sources, including a collaboration between Microsoft and McKinsey & Company's education practice and voices of the students themselves, rarely heard in most research. Find out how you and your school can stay on the cutting edge of the changing classroom and best prepare your students for success now and into the future.

Spotlight

The future of learning is here. As schools and educators consider how to approach the rapidly changing realities of education, new research suggests today’s kindergartners will graduate better prepared for their futures if they have a strong social and emotional foundation, developed in a personalized learning environment. This new research draws on multiple sources, including a collaboration between Microsoft and McKinsey & Company's education practice and voices of the students themselves, rarely heard in most research. Find out how you and your school can stay on the cutting edge of the changing classroom and best prepare your students for success now and into the future.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Datadog is Now Certified with AWS Education Competency Status

Datadog | May 27, 2022

Datadog, a leading cloud application security and monitoring platform, announced on May 25th that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Education Competency status. The status makes Datadog an AWS partner and certifies that Datadog has proven technical competency and effectiveness in developing mission-critical systems to manage the workloads of higher education, K-12 primary and secondary, and research and publishing industry customers. "At the Center for Translational Data, we leverage AWS to develop and operate large-scale data platforms to support research for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and veterans' health, to name a few. We operate a data ecosystem comprising over a dozen data commons that make over 10 PBs of data available to the research community. Datadog is a key component of our mission to have our data readily accessible by providing our team with the insight and visibility required to efficiently and effectively monitor our distributed and complex systems. Platform Engineering practices DevOps, SRE and SecOps, and Datadog is a critical tool to help maintain velocity while remaining accountable and responsible for the platform. We've gained incredible insight on our platform that has led to resolutions of long-standing issues (including capacity and performance)." - Bill Winslow, Director of Platform Engineering at theUniversity of Chicago The AWS Competency Programs enable customers to choose technology partners that have in-depth expertise and industry experience. Datadog's membership in the AWS Partner Network (APN) has been solidified as a result of the status. The firm’s track record of delivering customized solutions meet the AWS architectural standards and promotes excellence in the operational needs of educators and educational administrators. "By delivering real-time monitoring and security capabilities for AWS workloads, we maintain uptime for educational institutions so they can provide the best experience possible to their students, teachers, and administrators. Our team is proud to support these institutions and help them achieve their goals by leveraging the agility of the cloud." - Yrieix Garnier, VP of Product at Datadog

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Stanislaus County Office of Education Selects PowerSchool Unified Insights™ for Improved Data Warehousing and Analytics

PowerSchool | August 01, 2022

PowerSchool , the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced the Stanislaus County Office of Education (STANCOE) in Modesto, California, selected PowerSchool Unified Insights™ Student Essentials for enhanced data warehousing and analytics capabilities within STANCOE’s 25 school districts. The organization’s addition of Unified Insights Student Essentials will support STANCOE’s ongoing Global Data Project by providing an integrated data system capable of housing student data and information. Further, STANCOE’s use of Unified Insights Student Essentials will enable the organization to gain a greater perspective regarding learning trends in order to make more data-informed decisions. “Our Instructional Support Services Data Team spent two years researching, reviewing, and discussing potential solutions that would fulfill both the warehousing and analytics needs of our county office and the districts we support aligned with the vision of their Cradle to Career Partnership program. “We desired a data warehouse that updated nightly via a direct connection with the student information system, paired with a dynamic analytics system to visually display data in a meaningful way. We are confident that by implementing PowerSchool’s Unified Insights solution with its excellent warehousing capability and the detailed dashboards that we have found our ideal solution.” Rex Tschetter, Director II, School and District Support, Stanislaus County Office of Education STANCOE’s goal in selecting Unified Insights Student Essentials was to gain the capacity to provide data analytics services that can empower school district leaders to monitor the impact of program decisions toward improving outcomes for students. With Unified Insights Student Essentials, STANCOE can pull role-specific dashboards for STANCOE’s partner districts and site leaders, grade-level teams, classroom teachers, and Differentiated Assistance support teams to inform decisions and support the ongoing monitoring of their impact. By utilizing Unified Insights Student Essentials across multiple school districts, STANCOE is creating a framework that marries data from various sources into a unified system, allowing the data to be disaggregated at appropriate levels (e.g. by district, school, grade level, and student group). These capabilities increase the district’s capacity to base decisions on real-time data as they grapple with questions related to decisions such as course offerings, daily schedules, class sizes, curriculum implementation, student support services, and professional development offerings. “The implementation of PowerSchool’s Unified Insights Student Essentials will be a unifying force leading to mutually beneficial partnerships between Stanislaus County school districts,” said Craig Greenseid, Chief Revenue Officer, PowerSchool. “Ensuring schools have the proper resources to make better data-informed decisions is one of our top priorities, and we look forward to seeing Stanislaus County utilize our Student Essentials platform to do just that.” STANCOE is located in Stanislaus County, California where it serves over 110,000 students spread across 25 school districts, 16 charter schools, and seven schools operated by the county office itself. Its Global Data Project is a collaborative effort between multiple divisions within the county office, including Stanislaus Cradle to Career Partnerships, Child & Family Services, Educational Options, Special Education, and Instructional Support Services. The Stanislaus STATS (Strategic Targeted Assistance to Students) branch of the county-wide project focuses its work on supporting TK-12 education programs. Using a gradual phased approach, the Stanislaus STATS Project seeks to establish productive partnerships with districts across the county. About PowerSchool PowerSchool is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 45 million students globally and more than 14,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

New Zealand Based EdTech Company WuKong Education Announced the Upgrade for Its Technological Interactive Exercise Product

WuKong Education | August 12, 2022

WuKong Education, a New Zealand based EdTech company, announced a new round of upgrades for its technological teaching assistant product "WuKong Interactive Exercise". Fully embodying WuKong's "7-step Learning Method", namely the seven key steps of "Previewing - Learning - Reviewing - Consolidating - Reflecting - Examing - Applying", the upgraded product effectively combines the process of "learning" and "practising" to strengthen students' learning effects with diversified, interesting and scientific learning forms, so that learners can firmly grasp what has been learnt and really enjoy the learning process. WuKong has initiated the research and development of its interactive exercise product in July 2021. In September 2021, the product was put into use in the graded reading courses of WuKong Chinese, a famous Chinese curriculum product under WuKong Education. In October 2021, it was applied to WuKong Math as well. Since the launch of the product, its functions experienced several rounds of upgrades and have been continuously optimized according to various learning and teaching needs. This round of upgrades further enriched the contents in the question bank. Furthermore, based on AI interaction, voice recognition and other technologies, in-class knowledge can be integrated into the lively and interesting interactive homework display page, so as to effectively satisfy students' personalised learning needs and after-class reviewing needs. The product can also meet the demands of 1-on-1 class, small class, large class and other classroom types, as well as students at different learning levels. On the other hand, the upgrade of interactive exercise product also provides convenience for teachers. Teachers from WuKong can leave feedback on the homework submitted by students in real time through the product's voice interaction function, which improves the efficiency of online teaching, shortens the process of homework feedback, and enables teachers and students to communicate more effectively after class. "Since 2019, our IT team has invested millions of funds in the research and development of technological platforms and data platforms. We have built the industry's leading teaching quality management system and intelligent learning situation tracking and analysing system. Based on the continuous expansion of the market and the increasing needs of our learners, we have developed a set of relatively mature teaching content systems and technology platforms to meet users' personalised learning needs." - Cicy, Chief Education Officer of WuKong, said during the London EdTech Week We believe that for the majority of parents today, the most precious thing is to nurture their children's interest in learning. WuKong hopes to fully stimulate their children's interest and thinking in learning by means of technological empowerment. As one of the world's most popular education technology companies, our expectation is to help children grow happily and wisely, and to be a trusted companion in the learning process for families around the world said Cicy. Mrs. Zhang, a Tsinghua University graduate who is currently teaching in WuKong Education, expressed her reflections on the upgraded product: the WuKong Interactive Exercise can customize the exercise layout, automatically distribute homework in the system. Once the students submitted their exercises, I can also receive instant notifications and provide them with real time voice with feedback, which is really convenient and makes me feel like I'm getting closer to my students! Practical cases of the integration of technology and education are not rare in recent years, and technological innovations have brought more possibilities to the online education industry. Under this background, more and more EdTech enterprises are injecting investments in their scientific and technological research and development, hoping to bring more intelligent education products and services to learners. WuKong Education is among this marching army as well.

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