Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Ever Growing AI

The explosion of both AI (artificial intelligence) tools and AI counterpoints comes daily like a firestorm. 

This summer I did a one day professional development day, led by a colleague, I've read a book for educators, on it, I've read some articles (and stockpiled some resources), I've written about it a few times, and I've experimented with ChatGPT and Canva's Magic Write

Even after using ChatGPT a bit, every time I go in an play around with prompts, I'm shocked at how freaking fast it is able to compile the response. Even with a prompt as meaty as this:
Create a 40 week technology curriculum for fifth grade using the ISTE standard. Classes run once a week. Lessons should be minutes 45 minutes long. Each lesson will begin with a 10 minute warm up using typing exercises in Please do not create any stand-alone keyboarding lessons in the 40 lessons. Each curricular item can take place over multiple sessions (no more than 4) and can include coding using, 3D printing activities including Tinkercad, high/low/no tech maker activities and design thinking, the Google Suite of tools, LittleBits, Canva, and digital citizenship. Lessons should be hands-on and engaging for fifth graders. Please include any age-appropriate 1-5 minute videos that could be included in the mini lesson presented to the students before individual or group work time. With videos, include the link or the reference where the video titles can be found. 
What it spit out (in record time) was highly impressive. Will I use it exactly like that? No. Not at all. But it gave me a bountiful brainstorm and a good foundation of ideas from which to start creating my 5th grade Tech/Maker Lab lesson flow. Along with some other pointed questions around Tinkercad or LittleBit activity ideas, it has given me a wealth of ideas to pull from. Ideas that are more pointedly directed than a mere Google search or finds over on Pinterest boards. It saved me a huge amount of time here this summer as I did what we teachers do in the summer!

But, I will say, I'm definitely glad I teach at the elementary level. Ramifications for me as a teacher of younger students are certainly different than it is for middle and upper school kids. 

From my reading and self-education, here are some of the biggest take-aways:
  • Explicitly teach students both the merits/downfalls of using AI and how to use it while looking at the response with a critical eye.
  • Highlight to students that AI programs are designed to collect data
  • Provide students opportunities to practice double check sources, identify misinformation, and see bias that may be built into 
  • Discuss ethics & detail what plagiarism looks like in your classroom.
  • Set clear expectations on how to research and cite your sources.
  • Redesign assignments to be more challenging, handwritten, or performance based assessments.
  • Know that tools to identify cheating have mixed success, can be biased against certain cultures, and can be accessed by students as well.
  • Create activities & formative assessments along the way so that you are able to know the voice of your student.
  • Create questions tied to class discussions (no AI can replicate your classroom conversations, nor were "they there.").
  • Check revision history on shared word document assignments (like Google Docs) that have been shared with you--if multiple paragraphs appear all at once, that could be a "cut and paste" copying situation.
Artificial intelligence & websites such as ChatGPT are tools our students may potentially need to know how to use in future jobs. At the end of the day, AI is a tool--just like calculators, encyclopedias, computers, and the internet are tools. You need to know when to use each one and how to use each one appropriately. It is a powerful productivity tool that can jumpstart thinking and potentially free up intellectual space for greater creativity through the extension. For that reason, it is important for educators to teach students how to think critically, to research and cross-check internet "facts," to consider perspective, and to use empathy. These skills also need to be explicitly taught--and those are skills that you can't pop into a search and simply acquire that way.

No comments :

Post a Comment