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AI in Education: Something to fear or your helper is here?

Can educators benefit from AI during the current crisis in our education system?

By Iris ErdilePublished about a month ago 3 min read
AI in Education: Something to fear or your helper is here?
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Differentiation is a word that many teachers are acquainted with. It is a word that causes a certain amount of anxiety-no matter how much we try to differentiate our lessons, will it truly reach all of our students and their complex needs? Do teachers have enough hours in the day to prepare lessons that will truly reach all our students in the way they need to be reached? How can we possibly differentiate at different levels while still also remaining faithful to the core curriculum and its demands? Are we meeting everyone’s needs or paying lip service to everyone’s needs while meeting no one’s needs fully?

These are, of course, very valid questions, and even with the tools I am about to provide, I can say that I don’t have all the answers. Students are falling behind, their behavioural needs are all over the map, parents and caregivers are more stressed than ever, school staff are burning out, and there are many problems headed towards us at once. I would never claim to have the magic wand that can solve all of these problems for us overnight-these are a collective, societal problem, after all, so all hands are needed on deck.

What I can offer, however, is another tool you can put in your toolbox as an educator to help mitigate the complexities of teaching in 2024. And if this tool shaves even 5 or 10 minutes off your day, that’s 5 or 10 minutes you didn’t have before-extra time in the bank that you can use to work more closely with students, communicate with parents, make those extra photocopies, or email your administrators to lobby for additional and more sustainable resources.

Chat-GPT and other AI bots are magical tools. They can consult, compile, analyze and synthesize all of the known information on a particular topic, reformulating all of this data and information in new ways that meet our needs-in practically the blink of an eye! Of course, like any tool, AI also depends on the competencies of the person using it. After all, I can buy buy amazing paintbrushes and canvases, but that doesn’t mean my art will be as good as Van Gogh’s.

The quality of the prompt, and how specific the language is, will determine just how much AI can be of use to you. My prompts may sometimes seem very wordy-I get that. The reason for the wordiness of my prompts is that I am trying to be as precise as possible. Sometimes, a few key words and phrases make all the difference in the world in regards to the type of information an AI will be able to compile and synthesize. Remember that AI tools need to comb through the entire internet in order to find the information we seek. Being extremely precise is our prompts is one way to ensure that the AI prioritizes our needs correctly when it performs its services for us.

Feel free to try out some of my sample prompts below by inputting them into Chat GPT. Can you notice the quality of the response that is produced once a very specific prompt is provided?

How much prep time will you save once you enter a very specific prompt into Chat GPT?

Sample prompts for differentiation:

Provide sets of questions at three different levels for _______ (book or story). At the highest level, the questions should be text-implicit and should require metacognitive skills and the ability to relate a text to one’s own experiences. At the middle level, the questions should be a mixture of text-explicit and text-implicit questions and include short answer, multiple choice, and fill-in-the blank options as well. The third level of questions should only include text-implicit questions and can only include multiple choice or fill-in-the blank options.

Provide a differentiated math lesson that accords with the (local curriculum) at (grade level). This math lesson should involve (curriculum goal). This lesson should be targeted for three levels-one for students who are functioning at grade level, one for students who need adaptations such as fewer questions and increased visual aids, and one for students who are following a modified curriculum for the lesson, who will be working on (topic) at (grade level).

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About the Creator

Iris Erdile

Educator, activist, writer, artist, healer, mystic

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    Iris ErdileWritten by Iris Erdile

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