AI can be a boon to teachers in the classroom, helping generate new lessons plans and activities while engaging students in learning.

5 ways AI can help teachers in the classroom

AI can be a boon to teachers in the classroom, helping generate new activities while engaging students in learning

Key points:

  • As AI tools like ChatGPT grow in popularity, there’s no avoiding them in the classroom
  • Using AI to teach students about AI helps students approach it with the respect it deserves and emphasizes its use as a learning tool
  • See related article: Debunking common myths about AI in education

If you’ve spent any time tinkering with AI like I have, you’ve discovered what a powerful and versatile tool it can be for teachers in the classroom. Sometimes, it almost feels like AI gives us superpowers. Simply by using a collection of prompts, I can direct AI to write, draw, code, and perform any number of difficult tasks in ways I otherwise couldn’t. The only limit is your imagination!

This brings up some pressing questions, though, and as with any new technology, it will take time before we reach definitive answers. In the meantime, however, finding positive ways of integrating AI into education can give us a better understanding of its full potential, and maybe point us in the right direction for its future use. Here are just 5 ways AI can help teachers in classroom:

1. Lesson plans: Lesson planning has always included tons of busywork. Use ChatGPT so you can focus on content and pedagogy. A few tips: Customize it using adjectives like “fun” or “meaningful,” specify what format you’d like (for instance, the 5 Es), and ask it to generate multiple different versions of the same lesson plan so you can choose the one you like best. You’ll get polished plans in a snap!

2. Overcome blocks: Stuck on a thorny teaching challenge? Use ChatGPT like a trusted colleague and brainstorm solutions together. For instance, ask it how to engage a student who is checking out, or how to help a student who doesn’t understand a particular concept. Ask it for multiple ideas so you can choose the one you like best!

3. Collaborate with AI: Let your students use ChatGPT as a brilliant collaborator. They can brainstorm ideas together, get suggestions for revisions on their work, or overcome obstacles they’re encountering. When you require the use of AI tools, you shift them from being something forbidden to being a tool to be used wisely and well–a shift that can take place both in your mind and your students’!

4. Model, Model, Model: Students learn from seeing examples–and ChatGPT can give you a plethora of them! Whatever concept you’re exploring, have ChatGPT generate examples for your students to examine. You can create some models that are better and others that are worse, and allow students to compare, contrast, and evaluate them. You can have them notice shortcomings and work to provide improvements. One great principle is to create “B+ Exemplars”–examples that show lots of great features but allow students to make additional improvements.

5. Beat ChatGPT: For the rest of their lives, students will be asked to add value above and beyond what AI tools come up with–so this game is incredibly relevant! The concept is simple: Give ChatGPT a prompt you want your students to be able to respond to, see what it comes up with, and use that as a model for your students to shoot for. They can analyze what it did well and where it can be improved, and work to create a response that improves upon the computer’s.

By using AI to teach students about AI, we can ensure that they approach it with the respect it deserves and emphasize its use as a learning tool. There’s no denying that the landscape of education has changed again, this time in ways that are astounding and permanent. Nevertheless, with change comes the opportunity to grow. Let’s make sure that we’re using this time to change for the better!     

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