From daTeechur's Desk: The Computer Science Edition

Plus...Free Google PD, EduBeat, and Mental Health First Aid Training

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope this message finds you well. Computer Science Week starts next week, and I’m excited. I have fond memories of working with my students on Hour of Code, as well as learning more on my own about Raspberry Pi, and later artificial intelligence. There is so much to learn out there, but as with everything, I recommend approaching learning as a buffet, not a 10-course meal. Just take whatever is applicable to you, and go back for seconds whenever you are ready!

This week’s blog post is about my foray into AI-generated images to try to make the perfect avatar. Spoiler: eventually I found a great one using the Wonder app, but this blog post details my early attempt to find digital Me. Later, I share some other cool resources, including your last chance for free Google PD for your district!

(AI-Assisted Post) My Quest for the Perfect AI Avatar: The Chronicles of Sarah and SaraTheReacher (2023)

Hello, fellow tech enthusiasts! Today I want to share with you my journey to find the perfect AI avatar. As an advocate for digital equity, I found this to be an important and personal journey to embark upon.

The Beginning

I started my search after reading a blog post on using AI-created avatars to record videos. I was excited to see how well this would go, as I hate being on camera. I also wanted to see how AI could capture my likeness. Unfortunately, the first few attempts were… well, let’s just say they were more of a miss than a hit. The generated images looked nothing like me.

Enter SaraTheReacher

I dubbed these failed AI creations “SaraTheReacher,” as they were really a reach. It was almost comical how different they were from the real me.

A Glimmer of Hope

Early this morning, I uploaded an image to a tool called Midjourney and hoped for the best. To my surprise, the output was pretty good! Except, of course, for one glaring issue: the avatar had blonde hair. This was a significant departure from my natural hair, but it was still an improvement from the previous SaraTheReachers. I will name her Blondie.

Fine-Tuning the AI

I decided to provide the AI with more information. I told it explicitly that I was a Black woman with natural hair in a bun. I hoped that by doing so, the AI would generate an avatar that truly resembled me. But alas, the AI’s output was still nowhere near my likeness. It was as if my description only confused it more, sending it back to the realm of SaraTheReacher.

Lessons Learned

Although my journey to find the perfect AI avatar has yet to reach a satisfying conclusion, I’ve learned a few important lessons along the way:

  • AI is not perfect: As advanced as AI has become, it still has limitations, and we must remember to approach it with reasonable expectations.

  • Diversity and inclusivity matter: My experience has shown me that there is still work to be done in ensuring AI is more representative and inclusive of all people.

  • Patience and persistence: In the world of tech, there will always be challenges and setbacks. But with patience and persistence, we can continue to learn and grow from these experiences.

The Quest Continues

While I may not have found the perfect AI avatar just yet, my journey is far from over. I will continue to explore different AI platforms and solutions in hopes of finally finding an avatar that captures my true essence. And, of course, I’ll be sharing my discoveries and lessons learned with all of you.

To my fellow tech enthusiasts and advocates for diversity, let’s continue to work together to create a more inclusive and representative digital world. And remember, no matter how many SaraTheReachers we encounter along the way, we’ll always be one step closer to finding the perfect AI avatar.

Until next time,

Sarah (@sarahdateechur)


From “Join us on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, from 6-7 p.m. CT as we kick off CSEdWeek 2023. CSEdWeek is an annual program that inspires K-12 students to take an interest in CS. This year, our focus will be on the Impacts of Computing. “Impacts of Computing” refers to the positive and negative effects on various aspects of our lives, including education, privacy, security, and accessibility. A panel of 2023 CSHeroes will discuss these topics with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.

Speakers: Vanessa Jones and Dr. Abigail Joseph”

From Google Applied Digital Skills: Computer Science Education Week 2023
“These lessons will inspire and introduce your students to essential coding and computer science skills.”

Check out this post from our partners at IDEA!

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Finally, two things…

1) Reminder! If you missed our sold-out Navigating AI Together: An EduMatch Exploration event, recordings from the event are here! Sign up here.

2) I am so proud of my friend Mandy Froehlich who just became certified to train on youth mental health first aid. This is incredibly important work, as we all know as educators. EduMatch is now offering this service to interested parties. If you are interested in becoming a certified Mental Health First Aider, please see below and contact [email protected].

 Alright folks, that does it for me. Thanks so much for reading!

Have a video to share or interested in being a guest blogger? Email me at [email protected].

Stay connected, stay curious, and let the sharing begin!



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