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🚀 AI-Powered Learning Revolution
Discover how educators across diverse subjects are harnessing the immense potential of AI to revolutionize their classrooms.
As educational institutions increasingly integrate AI into their classrooms, we strive to deliver the most valuable and engaging content possible. We would love to hear from you! What type of resources do you hope to see more of in our upcoming newsletters?
Here is an overview of today’s email:
AI Tools that can help with lesson planning and resource generation for various subjects
Student Use Cases for ChatGPT in the Classroom
AI as a teaching assistant for both educators and students
If you have any resources you would like to share with our community of 4.6k+ educators in our future newsletters, please submit them below!
🚀 Practical AI Usage and Policies
Here are some creative ways educators can leverage ChatGPT and other AI tools in different subjects to enhance student engagement:
ChatGPT can be used to simulate history by generating interactive dialogues with virtual characters and environments based on historical sources and settings. Some possible applications of ChatGPT for history simulation as suggested by Benjamin Breen from Res Obscura include:
Role-playing as a historical figure or a common person in a specific time and place, such as a medieval peasant, a plague survivor, or a copper merchant.
Exploring different aspects of daily life, culture, politics, and religion in various historical contexts, such as Damascus, Paris, or Pistoia during the Bubonic Plague epidemic of 1348.
Wolfram Alpha is a powerful computational tool for teachers and students alike. The Wolfram Problem Generator utilizes AI to generate unlimited practice problems and helps teachers produce worksheets for the classroom. The program also recently launched its ChatGPT plugin that can help compute any math problem. This tool can be used as a calculator and a tutor to help students double-check their work and understand step-by-step how to arrive at the answer.
To learn more about Dr. Stephen Wofram’s vision of this tool and education in the AI space, check out our fireside chat with him from our recent AI x Education conference here.
Magicschool.ai (Free tool) offers an expansive toolkit for teachers that can help teachers with all sorts of tasks, from writing a syllabus to generating an entire lab experiment out of available resources. This enables teachers to creatively foster hands-on learning and scientific curiosity among students in the classroom.
Free AI-powered tools like twee can help teachers save time planning lessons and creating resources. For instance, twee can generate questions for any YouTube video in just a few seconds, which can be used to test the students’ listening and comprehension skills. It can also generate dialogues, stories, letters, or articles on any topic tailored to the student’s level to practice speaking, writing, reading, and grammar skills.
📝 Latest Research in AI + Education
Exploring the Potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence in Education: Applications, Challenges, and Future Research Directions (Read the paper ↗️)
It would not be completely ludicrous to assume that generative AI technologies are simply one among a trend of new-age technological advancements that promise to bring about drastic shifts in the status quo but eventually fail. However, GAI’s impact has already been more profound than most other ed-tech developments in recent years and we must also remember that it continues to be further developed as we speak.
What is important, however, is to understand the essence of how these tools work. They are very different from traditional search and use tools so learning how to effectively use them is a skill not easily mastered. For example, it can be frustrating to see ChatGPT idling on a trajectory of answers very different from what is expected. But, to use these tools, we need to get rid of the “search” mindset and adopt more of a “programming” mindset. These are large language models, and they depend on a clear set of unambiguous instructions to function effectively. Educators or students who wish to optimize the use of generative AI must better understand the design principles and development guidelines underlying these tools.
Gwo-Jen Hwang and Nian-Shing Chen, “Exploring the Potential of Generative Artificial Intelligence in Education: Applications, Challenges, and Future Research Directions,” Educational Technology & Society 26, no. 2 (2023).
Now the Humanities can Disrupt AI (Read the paper ↗️)
There is an inherent difference between how humans develop and perceive knowledge versus how Artificial Intelligence does the same. Our brains have undergone neural developments over 500 million years to help us perceive the world around us in both an objective and subjective manner. AI has no such advantage. It is trained on massive datasets that the human mind could not possibly browse even across multiple lifetimes.
Over the past year, there has been an influx of hype surrounding the introduction of AI in education and how these tools are effortlessly turning out at least B-grade essays for students to turn in. Educators are being asked to incorporate AI tools as a part of their syllabus to help students develop skills in this domain. There has been some pushback against this, but academia cannot be insulated from the dominant political economy for long. This could be viewed in parallel with many other developments. Just as previous generations regulated factories, railroads, and automobiles, policymakers and educators have a responsibility to regulate these new technologies such that accountability and transparency are requisites at all times.
Lauren Goodlad and Samuel Baker, “Now the Humanities Can Disrupt ‘AI’,” Public Books (February 20, 2023).
📣 Student Voices and Use Cases
AI tools like ChatGPT can help students improve their learning outcomes in various ways, such as generating feedback, tutoring, coaching, and self-learning. However, students need to be aware of the limitations and challenges of using AI, such as fabrication, bias, privacy, and accountability. This series of articles by Ethan Mollick and Lilach Mollick explores four student use cases for AI and provides practical recommendations and sample prompts for each one.
Check out their video crash course series on Practical AI for Instructors and Students here!
The AI Classroom Challenge continues! It’s a student-facing hackathon for the ways they use AI tools in their daily learning, and AI Consensus is offering 10 prizes of $500 each for the top 10 submissions. Through this Hackathon, AI Consensus aims to 1) collect real Use Cases from students into an accessible repository and 2) incentivize students to critically reflect on the role of AI tools in the classroom.
If you fill out this form, you will be able to receive helpful resources for easy sharing and stay updated about the results of the hackathon. You can learn about the full details of the hackathon here and feel free to contact AI Consensus at email@example.com for any questions you might have!
📰 In the News
AI could help serve as an army of teaching assistants for school teachers
Could assist overworked teachers instead of replacing educators
Feedback from experienced educators must be incorporated for AI tutoring tools to function efficiently
AI-led tutoring and educational tools seem to have opened up a seemingly endless ocean of opportunities, but we must proceed with caution when it comes to overly depending on them. They could (and in some cases, they already are) serve as great assistive tools for educators in performing tasks like evaluating student submissions or providing feedback on assignments but it would be presumptuous to assume that they could parallel the role of the educator itself. Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates and Khan Academy’s founder Sal Khan both seem to agree with this point of view, insinuating that AI tools could be a great teaching assistant, but maybe not a teacher itself.
The New York Times
Generative AI tools have been hailed as game changers in education by prominent tech leaders, but teachers have been skeptical about their efficacy
Teachers feel it is important to ask critical questions about AI alongside mastering its use
Students in a New York school realized that content generated by ChatGPT contained errors and was over-simplistic
Generative AI seems to have massive disruptive potential, especially when it comes to the education sector. However, it would be dangerous to hop on the AI bandwagon and blindly accept its capabilities without first testing its accuracy. For instance, ChatGPT is a revolutionary tool trained on a dataset so large that it is difficult for us to comprehend. Yet, it seems to be producing over-simplistic content that reminds high schoolers of material learned in the fourth grade. Critically analyzing every aspect of what these tools spit out is as important as learning how to harness these tools for our benefit.
As always, here is the result of the poll from our previous newsletter edition. Once again, we observed a fairly even distribution among educators but this time in their confidence that their classroom is equipped to uphold AI policies and guidelines.
And that’s a wrap! If you enjoyed our newsletter and found it helpful, please consider sharing this free resource with your colleagues, educators, administrators, and more.