Today I showed seventh graders Chat GPT-4. We are writing ebooks, and the original topic of conversation was how we could use AI to be more creative. But when I realized that many didn't know anything about this tool, we took a trip into my GPT-4 account since they are not old enough to get their own account. Most had never seen it before. I asked them how it made them feel as they watched it write an endearing story about a boy and his Alaskan husky who saved their village from the salt monster. One brilliant young man explained it this way,
This technology is like when you get a fish from the store and he is in a warm bowl and you take him home and then have a different bowl for him to go into. So, you don't get the fish ready and just dump him into the new bowl. And if you're not careful or if the fish is unable to handle it, the shock of the temperature change could kill the fish. I sort of feel like that is where we are with technology like this, in some ways we're shocked and figuring out how we're going to swim.JP – 7th Grade Student
And my response to him was,
Now you know how you're going to succeed. You came up with a truly novel and unique answer to my question that was genuinely creative. You gave me a truly novel answer that I don't believe could be easily created by an AI bot.
When Google Was Going to Be the End of Education
I remember when Google emerged and everyone saying it was the end of education as we know it. But it wasn't. Instead of asking questions that kids had to go look up and copy out of the encyclopedia (remember when every parent bought a set for their kids), they had to stop using those questions because copying out of Google was just too easy.
Parents today often comment on how kids learn in middle school what they learned in high school. And how kids in high school learn what seems to be college material.
But Google wasn't the end. In many ways, it was the beginning of a whole new world.
A Whole New World
And so now, the shift that happened then is happening again with what some claim is the “fastest-growing software in history,” Chat GPT. It is rapidly being integrated into websites and tools. Generative AI is all the conversation.
- But what does it mean for the classroom?
- How do we teach and learn now?
- What's next?
- How do we handle plagiarism and academic dishonesty?
- How do we grapple with this whole new world and swim?
80 Days of AI and HI
So, this is a topic I want to explore. I'd also like to share the journey with those who want to learn together. So, today is the first day of 80 Days of AI and HI.
Well, HI stands for human intelligence. And without HI there would be no AI.
So, here's how I think of it.
HI was studied and read by AI using NLT (Natural Language Technologies) and Machine Learning. It started with human intelligence.
Then, as we interact with the AI, we use our human intelligence to create meaningful prompts, interact with AI, and in essence, we train it.
Greater human intelligence in the prompt makes a better creation by AI in the output.
The Virtual Mentor
So, for example, I came across this prompt in an amazing forum called FlowGPT (and joined.) I found this prompt and used it.
Prompt to Turn ChatGPT into “LAN GPT” – “the World's Best and Fastest Teacher”
About This Prompt…
So, I know that this prompt is not a nice way to phrase things (I hate the word dumb) but just to try it out, I pasted it in. Then, I asked GPT-4 (the newer version) to explain a couple of topics to me from growing my newsletter readership to teaching with AI.
Authoritatively Speaking Misinformation
As always, sometimes it just makes things up — but it says it in an authoritative way like it exists. For example, when I asked it about ways to use AI in the classroom, it said that I could,
This sounds nice. However, as far as I know, anything that does these things is in its infancy and isn't there yet.
Therein is the risk of not editing and fact checking the output, something guests on my shows have been talking about.
Reading is More Important than Ever
While these tools will eventually talk to us, the ability to read and write / type is the gateway. Continually, illiteracy has a cost. But now there will also be an illiteracy of how to use AI, something I don't want for my students.
Starting to Learn about AI
So, I learned so much from the podcast last week with the three authors of The AI Classroom: The Ultimate Guide to Artificial Intelligence in Education. In The Complete AI Classroom Guide podcast episode last week (which admittedly went WAY over the 10 minutes I usually have in the 10 minute teacher), we learned about prompt engineering and so much more.
So, here are some resources to get you started:
- The Complete AI Classroom Guide (podcast and transcript)
- Generative AI, Chat GPT and Learning – I began writing about my observations on the “integrity gap” and AI tools and more ethical considerations
- Practical Uses of AI in the classroom – in this show, I shared what I'm doing and share some free lessons on how I'm teaching Chat GPT to seniors, also how you can use Chat GPT to create rotation schedules, and more practical things you can do now with both Chat GPT and other AI tools
- AI Investigation Lesson plan – This was the plan I used just as I began learning about Chat GPT an is a Hyperdoc that you can adapt.
As I learn things, I'll be sharing reflections, learning, ideas, and student conversations (as appropriate and protecting privacy, of course.)
If I use AI like I did for the graphic behind this title above, I'll share it with you. I'll also be sharing the prompts that I find to be useful as well as workflows.
For example, we are working on the student broadcast this week. We spent a day brainstorming and outlining everything to happen in each scene. I didn't have time to draft the script; with spring sports, no one else did either, so I pasted the narrative into GPT-4 and asked it to make a script for a 5-minute news announcement from a group of fun loving humorous students in the student news broadcast team.
GPT-4 drafted the script. I prompted a redraft, asking GPT-4 to add puns, and then pasted it into our Group Google Doc script, which gave us a starting point. The students had a place to start and rewrote it, but I would say 50% of what was written was originally drafted by Chat GPT. In many ways, it took our creativity further by doing the grunt work for us. I did tell the students after they read it. Their jaws were open at the quality of the first draft, and while it wasn't near the final draft quality like I said, it gave us a starting point!
We saw GPT-4 as a partner, not as an enemy. It saved a day of production for us that we needed!
Feelings of Anger
But when I returned to the seventh-grade conversation today, over half the class admitted they were angry and bothered in some ways. They admitted that many in their generation became used to academic dishonesty in the “distance learning” situation during the pandemic and feel that many will abuse it.
I'm not going to go into the depth of the conversation we had today but we did discuss ethics, the integrity gap, and what this means for moving forward.
I want them to be ready for the soon coming day when these AI tools are built into all of Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) and all of the Google Suite.
There will be times we don't use technology in teaching and learning, but there are times I am convinced we can use it for good.
What about a hammer?
A student asked me, is this good or bad.
I said, OK, imagine I had a hammer in my hand. Would it be good or bad?
Another wise student said, “it is the holder of the hammer that determines how it will be used.”
And I can't think of better people to hold this hammer than teachers and educators who care about our kids deeply.
What is 80 Days of AI and HI
So, this is the first day of 80 days of AI and HI here on this blog. I've also got some conversations planned with experts — Steve Dembo will be tomorrow's featured guest.
Do you have something to share?
I've got so much to learn, so if you're learning something cool, feel free to use the contact us form on this site, or message me on Twitter @coolcatteacher. I'm excited to learn some new things but we're all learning. I hope some of what I share helps all of us but there are so many people sharing, that is for sure.
If you're on Twitter, feel free to share at #80DaysOfAIandHI and we can talk.
I don't want to get into the hype but focus on the real world stuff I'm seeing in my classroom.
I will say, some of the things I'm seeing seem very un-useful and – gasp, dare I say it — are written by ChatGPT without any editing at all by a human and are being posted on blog posts.
I might have a typo or two but this blog will be written by me.
Sure, I'll still be covering other things here on this blog and definitely in the podcast where I try to keep a variety of topics to promote broad thinking and show patterns across all subjects — something uniquely human.
So, here we go. As Dori said in Finding Nemo, “I'm swimming.”
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