From the Ask a Tech Teacher crew, here’s a topical article on how to use AI in your education journey:
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Education
Technological innovation is now casting its shadows over the education sector as well, making learning experiences better than ever before. Better engagement, reduced pressure on students, and easy accessibility to learning are some of the many benefits that the education sector is receiving through technology.
In the last decade, technology and software delivery has improved tremendously due to the support from third-party solution providers like GitLab, Cloudbees, and Jfrog. Artificial intelligence is just one of the major technologies that is changing how we perceive learning and education.
AI in education is expected to grow 41% by 2025. With this rise, we are preparing for a global adoption of artificial intelligence in education. Moreover, artificial intelligence will allow education providers to offer a more customized experience to different learning groups. Let’s discuss how artificial intelligence is changing the education sector:
I’ve used flipped classrooms in my Middle School classes. After the initial excitement that something changed, it fell into a routine with not much better results than any other teaching method. But not worse, either. I tossed it into the category of something to try when whatever I was using didn’t work.
That’s why this article from EdSurge caught my attention:
A new meta-analysis looked at the effectiveness of flipped learning, a model that asks students to watch lecture videos before class so that class time can be used for active learning. The authors argue that while the approach can be done well, there’s lots of hype and failed attempts.
This is a question I get often from teachers: Technology is always an extra layer of work in my classroom. How can I blend it into what I already do without taking time I don’t have? When I first addressed this issue fifteen years ago, it was all about replacing traditional classroom tools with one on a computer. For example, book reports were typed on the computer instead of handwritten, or math facts were practiced with a math game instead of flash cards. But that quickly became cumbersome. Teachers didn’t know how to use the digital tools and there was never enough training to untip that balance. At the end of the day, paper-and-pencil was easier, faster, and perfectly understood. Soon, even the most stalwart tech-infused teachers discovered it was just as effective to use traditional tools and pull out the tech stuff for special occasions.
What happened? How did such a good idea go so wrong? The problem was four-fold:
- students didn’t have the technology foundation to smoothly incorporate digital tools into projects. Too often, the effort to provide evidence of learning suffered as students (and teachers) became mired in efforts to get the technology to work. Where is the tool? How do you do **? Why is the program not working?
- teachers didn’t have training in the tools. Even schools that made herculean efforts to train teachers in technology found themselves flailing. Even teachers who understood the tool would struggle with the inadequate infrastructure, the undependability of the technology itself, and the non-intuitive nature of so many of the programs they wanted to use. As a result, they used tools they understood rather than those best-suited for the project and learning.
- projects always–really, always–took longer using technology than the traditional low-tech approach.
- school infrastructure often struggled to support the exciting plans that tech-savvy teachers wanted to try. Computers froze or the network became over-burdened or the internet went down just as students required them the most. The money required to fix these problems was measured in the thousands of dollars–tens of thousands. Too many schools just didn’t have that budget.
This is a topic every teacher I know is talking about. BAM Radio has a couple of podcasts you’ll enjoy:
Millions of schoolchildren walked into their classrooms at the start of the academic year missing one crucial element that should have set them up for success: the prior knowledge they needed to take on a new grade level. In search of answers, we asked education psychologists, technologists, and teachers how artificial intelligence help make learning recovery more effective and less stressful.
We are discovering many engaging ways to use ChatGPT to engage teenage students in the classroom. My guests agree that once you begin to experiment with the platform, the more your mind begins to find additional possibilities.
I published this several years ago, but with the current dissatisfaction of many parents with traditional education, it’s worth revisiting.
Purpose Driven Learning (or PDL) is a concept coined by Michael Matera and Adam Moreno to summarize the philosophy that each learner’s inner strengths can be unlocked by focusing with purpose and drive. By following the guidelines for Purpose Driven Learning, teachers avoid the biggest pitfall in many lesson plans — that they are theoretic without meaning in the real world. With PDL, resources are relevant, lessons are personalized, and real-life connections are placed under a bright light. In the end, learning is changed from pedantic to powerful and students learn to reliably connect academic studies to the world outside the schoolhouse.
The Goal of PDL
In a phrase:
…the goal of Purpose Driven Learning is NOT about a curriculum that lasts a year. It’s about creating life-long learners who fuel their future passionately with knowledge.
This applies to both 1) education pursued with the goal of college or career, and 2) the critical preparation of students to succeed in life. Purpose Driven Learning, faithfully delivered with buy-in from students, will result in students willingly participating in even the boring lesson pieces (like worksheets or podcasts) as well as exciting applications like simulations and student-devised projects.
Problems implementing Purpose Driven Learning
Engaging PDL in your classroom is seen by some as teaching students what they want to learn at the expense of what they need to learn but this isn’t true. Done right, students come to understand that real knowledge relies on a solid foundation of data upon which they build their personal interests. For example, students who want to join America’s Space Force must first be grounded in the basics of science and math.
Educators who wish to use PDL often run into three roadblocks:
School Standards. Because state and national standards are often devised to serve the majority of students, they may not well-serve your students. But they do provide a necessary foundation without which the goals of your particular group can’t be met. That means that standards are taught first and additional learning is scaffolded afterward. Standards are in fact the foundation that underpins your students’ ability to achieve their PDL goals.
You became a teacher not to pontificate to trusting minds, but to teach children how to succeed as adults. That idealism infused every class in your credential program and only took a slight bump during your student teacher days. You graduated sure you’d never teach to the test or lecture for 90% of a class.
Then you got a job and reality struck. You had lesson plans to get through, standards to assess, meetings to attend, parents to council, and state-wide tests that students must do well on. A glance in the mirror said you were becoming that teacher you hated in school. You considered leaving the profession. Until a colleague mentioned the inquiry-based classroom, where teaching’s goal was not the solution to a problem but the path followed. It’s what you’d hoped to do long ago when you started–but how do you turn a traditional entrenched classroom into one that’s inquiry-based?
Here are 11 ideas. One or more will resonate with your teaching style:
In case you are not familiar with neural networks or have not used AI-based tools, you will be surprised to learn that solutions like ChatGPT tend to use the principles of transformer architecture. The core idea is an analysis of the lengthy bits of text where the system analyzes the keywords and sequences used to create a natural language flow. It also makes learning through ChatGPT and similar tools suitable for learning purposes and even works with autistic and dyslexic students who require more profound assistance with memorization, spelling, and pronunciation training. What makes it truly different is the level of customization and flexibility that becomes possible with the latest version builds.
Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Jodi Williams, discusses:
A New Approach to Learning Through AI Tools
- New Approach to Customer Assistance.
Although the use of Chat GPT and similar offerings are best known for their use as an intelligent chatbot implementation, it is way more than that! It is also a great way to learn about the demands of the customers, keep track of things, and keep them engaged while you seek information or choose the best products by looking through the database. The most important is to input correct information and keep things at a conversational level. If you want to explore things deeper, consider custom research paper writing help and see what phrases and linguistic constructions will work best for your needs.
When I grew up, teachers ran the classroom and parents stepped back, but a lot has changed in thirty years. COVID hit schools hard, closing them down and forcing parents to become teachers. Most schools are again open, but parents found that their children learn better when education is a three-legged stool: Parents, teachers, and kids.
Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Drew Allen, is an active working parent with some ideas on the new reality of parents-as-educators:
Managing Your Kids Needs as Educator and Parent
If you’re a teacher and you have children yourself, you face a somewhat different set of challenges than parents who aren’t teachers or teachers without children. Whether you work at the elementary level, with older kids or college students, managing the responsibilities you have to kids both at work and at home can be daunting. However, there are several things you can do to make this easier. If you aren’t an educator, many of the tips below will still apply.
There can be something whiplash inducing about bouncing between the role of teacher talking to parents and parent talking to teachers. Even as you know there are certain behaviors that you dislike in a parent during a conference, you can find yourself displaying them yourself. Above all, you may know how unhelpful it is as a parent to lean on your professional authority when you’re talking to other teachers about your kid. Resist this temptation or you could end up pushing the educator away, leaving them reluctant to involve you further in your child’s education. It’s also important that you give the educator authority when your child asks for help with their homework or other tasks. Of course, you can help them, but try to defer to their teacher unless there is some good reason not to.
Simona Johnes, editor-in-chief of Science and Literacy, an educational blog for teachers and parents, did some research into a topic that is of growing concern to my fellow teachers: Robots in the classrom. Here’s an interesting article comparing the pros and cons of robots vs. humans:
I recently came across an article published by Ohio State University that mentioned how several industries are using robots to get their jobs done, and the use of robotics is only expected to grow. This led me to thinking about the industry that I am currently employed in, education, and how this may affect my fellow teachers around the world. I began researching the topic and found a few articles about robots and artificial intelligence replacing teachers soon.
It was no surprise to see that educators are furious at this idea, and while I agree that human connection is important, I do think that there are several pros to having help from a robot in this tough industry from time to time. For example, robots can create a learning experience based on the personality of every single student, and this does not take much time or effort. I will explain more about what robots can help with throughout the article as well as explain why human teachers are still a necessity
After reading this article, you will officially know:
- 6 advantages of a human teacher
- 5 pros of a robot teacher
- Who is better Human of Robot teachers?
6 Main Advantages of a Human Teacher
Students learn best when they are relaxed, happy, and feeling loved. It is challenging to include those characteristics in classes when you are concurrently trying to achieve school goals, comply with curriculum timelines, juggle parent concerns, and blend your lessons with those of colleagues.
This is where mindfulness becomes important. It reminds teachers that the fulcrum for learning is the student’s emotional well-being.
Let’s back up a moment: What is mindfulness? Buddha once said:
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
If that’s the plan, mindfulness is the path. It teaches students how to quiet themselves — get to a place where their mind is settled sufficiently to pay full attention to the task at hand. Experts offer many suggestions for incorporating mindfulness into your classroom experience. Consider:
- pause and take a deep breath before beginning an activity
- reflect on an activity as a group
- reflect on the student’s experience and background and how that relates to the topic
Here are five ideas on how to incorporate mindfulness into your classes: