Wednesday, May 8, 2024

What Role Does AI Play In My Life As A Teacher? #AIedu #EdChat

AI is the buzzword right now in education circles. There are plenty of "experts" that claim to show you how to do AI right. I think it is a little early to declare yourself an expert on this topic. However, there are some teachers that are AI Explorers. I think of these people as teachers looking for ways to leverage tools to enhance the work they do and support the varied learners in their classroom. 

I think it is important for teachers to constantly think about equity in all parts of education, and that includes how AI can and will be used by students and staff. There are some great conversations going on about these issues. Dee Lanier and Ken Shelton have shared amazing things on these topics and you should check them out if you want to learn more. 

For me, I have explored lots of different uses of AI for myself and for my students. I'd like to share a few of the ways I have used two tools to help me in those areas. 

MagicSchool AI

I have used MagicSchool for most of the school year to help me create rubrics, level text, and create meaningful lessons. It is nice to be able to quickly create something like a rubric in a couple of minutes when it used take a full prep period. Being able to automate these types of tasks that require minor tweeks makes my job as a teacher easier and more efficient. I can spend the extra time providing more in-depth feedback to students and more 1:1 time with students who might need some extra help. Being able to quickly create multiple versions of the same article for students to read with the text leveler to help the wide variety of students with varied reading levels is a huge time saver. It supports inclusivity for all of the students so they can still read the article, understand the content, and participate in the group discussion. I love using these tools to make so many things, that once took so much time, easier to get done and allow me to focus on the students. 


SchoolAI is awesome because I love to use it create Spaces. Spaces are ways for teachers to set up AI chatbots to support students with very specific projects. I have created one for every single project my students have done this last trimester. SchoolAI has helped students with their coding projects, design projects, and creative thinking. I set the chatbot up in a way to ask student's questions and push their thinking instead of just giving them the answers to the problems. This has been a great tool to help students learn how to best prompt chatbots to get the most out of a single question instead of having to create multiple questions over time. 

These two tools are awesome to use in the classroom and really help make my life easier as a teacher. Most importantly, when used correctly, AI tools can support inclusivity. AI can allow students and teachers to create items that meet them where they are and help them where they need to go. As a dyslexic, neurodivergent learner, I struggled in many of my classes because I could not get past the opening paragraph and would just give up. Having texts leveled for me and written in ways that can support how I take in and process information would have made school so much easier for me in the long run. Having a AI Sidekick to guide me though the toughest parts of my Math, Science, Social Studies, and other classes would have helped eliminate the anxiety I would feel. 

Be wary of the self-proclaimed experts and pay attention to the AI Explorers who are living and learning with AI on a day to day basis if you want to see how you can use these tools to support your students. 

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