More than one in three teachers are using Artificial Intelligence to support their work – are you?
Chat GPT and related tools have spawned an explosion of interest since release in 2022, with competitors such as Google Bard, Meta’s Llama and Claude sustaining innovation. With the release of Microsoft Copilot as a free app and access to Chat GPT and DALL-E image generation via Bing Chat, use of generative AI tools has never been easier.
But we have been here before – the hype machine grinds into gear and then fizzles out as the latest fad comes into contact with time-poor and financially stretched teachers and schools (remember the nationwide rollout of interactive whiteboards, anyone?)
Bromcom presented at a conference hosted at John Moores University in Liverpool on 17th January 2024, with the title ‘AI and its place and future in educational settings’. This blog comes with attached slides and resources from that event.
As a brief summary, I see the potential for AI in schools along three broad dimensions:
- As a personal tutor, reacting and responding to individual student needs
- As a time saver and admin buster, supporting school staff with resource generation, assessment and analysis
- As a tool to promote inclusion, unlocking the potential of all students.
Bromcom has built-in tools to support staff with things such as communication and generation of homework, quizzes and lesson plans. Coming soon are the ability to ask the bot questions about school data (with full privacy protection) and for solving common customer support queries via an AI bot built into the system.
Using Chat GPT or similar platforms rests upon the dark arts of ‘prompt engineering’. But sometimes doing simple things like telling the AI to adopt the persona of a year 7 History teacher, or reducing hallucinations with telling the AI ‘don’t guess’ can significantly improve the results. I can recommend ICT Evangalist’s ‘Little Book of Generative AI Prompts for Teachers’ as a way to get started with prompts that are organised by subject.
I would also encourage teachers to use tools that are targeted towards teaching and learning, such as MagicSchool or Diffit that can create a wide variety of lesson resources and teaching activities – worksheets, bubble diagrams, scaffolds and more can all be generated from a single prompt, potentially saving significant time.
Finally, personal tuition can help to bridge gaps, particularly for children that may not be able to afford the in-person tuition from a human. Tools such as Seneca Learning Amelia, Tassomai Mai or Quizlet Q-chat can have interactive learning dialogues with students and are supported by carefully curated learning resources.
Please do see the presentation and resource attachments but also read Becky Allen’s ‘Five provocations on AI and schooling’ to keep perspective and be a critical user, weighing up the pros and cons of the latest disruptive technology.