Perhaps it’s no surprise that EdSurge’s most popular podcast episode of 2023 focused on ChatGPT. In fact, three of our top 10 episodes of the year explored various aspects of how new forms of artificial intelligence are impacting teaching and learning.

In what has become an annual tradition, we’re sharing your favorite episodes of the year, as determined by the number of listens to the 44 fresh episodes we produced.


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Another big theme that emerged was a spike in student disengagement. We produced a three-part series on the issue called “Attention Please,” and two of those episodes made our list. It’s worth a listen if you missed it, with scenes from a visit to a state university where I sat in on several classes to talk to professors and students firsthand about the issue.

We also did some live podcast events last year, including tapings of podcasts in front of audiences at SXSW EDU in Austin and at the ISTE Live conference in Philadelphia. (EdSurge is an independent newsroom that shares a parent organization with ISTE. Learn more about EdSurge ethics and policies here and supporters here.)

We’re excited to bring you more episodes this year, including more installments in our new series about growing public skepticism about higher education and the impact that is having on the choices students make after high school. If you have a suggestion for a topic or guest for 2024, please send that my way at jeff@edsurge.com.

Thanks for listening!

10. How Hollywood Stereotypes About Teachers Stifle Learning

Romanticized depictions of teaching in popular culture fail to capture the way teaching actually works — and they create an unattainable model that stifles the impact of teachers and professors, argues Jessamyn Neuhaus, who teaches courses about popular culture and runs the Center of Teaching Excellence at SUNY Plattsburgh.

9. Joyce Carol Oates Says Teaching Creative Writing Is Like Training Boxers

Acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has a passion for working with students, but it’s one she has trouble putting into words. Maybe, she allows, it’s “like a chess grandmaster might play chess with a really brilliant 12-year-old and come close to losing — the experience is somehow pleasant in itself.”

8. Why All of Us Could Use a Lesson in ‘Thinking 101’

Human brains are wired to think in ways that often lead to biased decisions or incorrect assumptions. A Yale University psychology professor has gathered highlights of what research says about the most common human thinking errors into a popular class at the university that she recently turned into a book.

7. Inside the Quest to Detect (and Tame) ChatGPT

Even before ChatGPT was released, AI experts were exploring how to detect language written by this new kind of bot. We talk with one of those experts, plus others who are seeking to build guardrails to help educators successfully adapt to the latest AI technology.

6. How to Best Teach Immigrant and Refugee Students, and Why It Matters

Schools are finding better ways to teach recent immigrant and refugee students. A new book by a high school history and civics teacher collects innovative strategies, and argues that getting the issue right is crucial for building a strong democracy.

5. Lessons From This ‘Golden Age’ of Learning Science

Experts have described this as a ‘golden age’ of discovery in the area of learning science, with new insights emerging regularly on how humans learn. So what can educators, policymakers and any lifelong learner gain from these new insights?

4. Hoping to Regain Attention of Students, Professors Pay More Attention to Them

Getting and holding the attention of students is more difficult since the pandemic, according to many college instructors around the country. So they’re looking for inspiration from other sectors — including video game design and elementary school classrooms — to keep lectures interesting. The episode is part two of a narrative series we did on student disengagement.

3. ChatGPT Has Colleges in Emergency Mode to Shield Academic Integrity

Many professors are expressing frustration and even “terror” over ChatGPT, the latest AI tool that students may be using to write their papers for them. That has academic honor committees scrambling to revise policies and provide resources to instructors.

2. How Instructors Are Adapting to a Rise in Student Disengagement

Professors are finding that they can’t just go back to teaching as they did before the pandemic and expect the same result. It takes more these days to hold students’ attention and convince them to show up. Check out part two of our series reported from the back of large lecture classes to see how teaching is changing.

1. What Will ChatGPT Mean for Teaching?

A new AI chatbot can spit out long-form answers to just about any question, in a way that sounds eerily human. Students are already figuring out they can use it to write their essays, and educators are pondering how to adapt. This episode originally ran in January of 2023 and was early in describing the classroom impacts of these new technologies.

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