Artificial Intelligence in Education
In 1995 the great George Strait released his hit “Check Yes or No.” Now for those of you country fans out there, I don’t need to explain the song as I am sure it is now already playing in your mind. For those who don’t know the song, it tells the story of a 3rd grade boy who passed a note to his crush he sat next to “Emmylou Hayes.” The song paints a beautiful picture that many of us have experienced of passing a note to a crush with two options, “Check Yes” or “Check No.”
For an educator, this song paints a picture of a classroom of a student who is not focused on the lesson but distracted by his table partner and passing a note. We have all experienced passing notes in class. Then came the digital age. Students don’t pass notes much anymore, they are more creative. They open a shared google doc, they text message, then the all popular for a hot second in professional development, we would have a “backchannel” that would allow participants to ‘discuss and reflect’ on the learning (which we all know was really just wondering what was for lunch.
When we rolled out 1:1 laptops, there was a fear amongst these distractions. The reality is we have adapted, and with new artificial intelligence innovations, we will continue to adapt and leverage these technologies for us to be more efficient.
Strategies to use ChatGPT in Your Class
Artificial intelligence innovations such as ChatGPT can make our lives as educators much easier. Yes, students will use them, and likewise, we can use them as well to save us time and energy. In working with over 300 teachers and staff in the last 2 months, we have compiled a list of some helpful, time saving strategies you can use.
Generating Discussion Prompts. ChatGPT can be used to quickly generate thought-provoking prompts, discussion questions and strategies, helping to facilitate class discussions and debates. While in a project or looking at different perspectives, ChatGPT can suggest inquiry discussion prompts for students to have a socratic seminar or think pair share process.
Supporting Multi Language Learners. ChatGPT can be used to generate practice exercises and interactive activities for students learning a new language, helping to reinforce vocabulary and grammar skills.
Generating Summaries and Study Guides. We all know how much time it takes to develop summaries at developmentally appropriate levels. Now you can quickly summarize key concepts and ideas from a textbook, direct instruction lesson or workshop making it easier for students to review and prepare for assessments.
Writing Newsletters. Another very time consuming but important aspect of keeping open communication with parents and stakeholders. Ask ChatGPT to write a newsletter that gives parents the update on your next unit or project you will be teaching!
Using ChatGPT for Project Based Learning
In our project design we can often get stuck with the real world connections or the application of math concepts in authentic situations. Now with the new innovations, we can leverage the technology to support us in our project designs. The process has been really helpful for a group of middle school math teachers recently.
When planning with the teachers, they were stuck with different authentic ways to use scatter plots in real life applications. Here are just a few of the ideas:
- Quality Control: using data points to identify patterns and trends in product defections/errors.
- Market Research: to analyze the relationship between variables such as product features and customer preferences.
- Healthcare: to study the relationship between variables such as age and health status, or drug dosage and efficacy.
Those are all some great project ideas!
More Advanced Ideas
To this point, we have covered some easily accessible usages of ChatGPT and how to leverage it to simply your life. Now we transition to a bit more complicated ideas. In working with teachers, we have seen more advanced usage of the software and by far the most time saving. Feedback and assessment.
Giving Personalized Feedback that is on time and just for learners is important and almost doubles the rate of learning. The challenge is that it is very time consuming. ChatGPT can be used to quickly generate detailed and accurate feedback on student assignments, research and essays. You can even use a rubric to help them assess and provide next steps. Using a writing rubric, it can provide accurate assessment on a point scale to match your rubric! Game changer!
Feedback on Skill Development. One of the many reasons we do projects is the value we place on skill development. Oftentimes the feedback we provide students is subjective from class to class. Now we can use technology to provide feedback on a range of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, helping students to develop a well-rounded set of skills.
Language Development and Processing. Providing support for our multi language learners is vital. now we can use natural language processing to understand the meaning and intent behind student work, providing more nuanced and detailed feedback.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
There is always a fear in new technologies and how it is going to impact us in education. Just like when Emmylou Hayes received that note, she had a choice, to check yes or no. As educators, we can easily block the website (which then students will turn their wifi off, use data and access it anyways), or we as teachers can leverage the technology to work smarter.
As many of you might no, Emmylou Hayes check yes. As the song goes, “after 20 years of marriage she still gets to me/ Can’t believe it’s been that long ago/ When we got started with just a little note.” As educators, take the note and check “yes,” embrace the technology and leverage it to enhance learning in the classroom.