So, I’ve spent this week looking at and testing many AI tools. I know I’m a total beginner, but then again, I guess everyone is a beginner right now.
While all of these schools have been rushing to block ChatGPT, many don’t realize that generative AI tools are making their way into Google Workspaces and Microsoft 365. (If you have public website, your data can also be used to train tools like Chat GPT and some are trying to block their sites from being training data, as well.) For example, Microsoft CoPilot will be integrated into Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and all of the Microsoft Apps (I’m guessing One Note), along with the Notion-Like Microsoft Loop app that kicked off this week.
Everything, and I mean everything, will have generative AI tools built into it. I’m using Notion for many things because of the Notion AI tools added to the service. Add the new Notion buttons to it, and it has become an even more powerful tool that may finally pull me away from Evernote.
As I shared in my podcast this week, we've adapted our acceptable use policy to include AI considerations and allow its use with teacher permission and proper supervision.
Some questions to ask
- So, while universities and schools may block ChatGPT, will they remove Office 365 and Google Docs from their suite of tools provided to students?
- Will art schools block all AI art tools or encourage their use?
- Will school teaching podcasting allow AI tools for editing (like the Descript.ai app I depend upon so much now?)
- Will law schools block AI tools for contract writing when law firms likely use these tools to increase productivity?
I remember the 1990's when search began and everyone bemoaned how kids wouldn't think and how it was the end of education as we know it. Instead, we changed and started teaching in ways that required critical thinking that could not easily have the answers found on Google.
Now, we have schools again thinking this is the end of education as we know it. However, it is a genesis of an educational redefinition.
What is Web 3.0? Really, what is it?
We are on the true Web 3 change now. The semantic web is here.
While many have claimed that blockchain and bitcoin are Web 3 – I think that is either an oversimplification at best or a manipulation –at worst — to invoke FOMO fears to get people to buy crypto.
Here’s how I’ve explained it to my students:
- Web 1.0 – the read-only web – We searched the web.
- Web 2.0 – the read-write web – We went into the web and began writing and posting and sharing our lives on the web.
- Web 3.0 – the semantic web – The web comes into the world around us and it became something we converse and interact with in the world as we know it.
And I believe, unfortunately, although I’m not a fan, that likely Web 4.0 will be the web in us — the biological web. And while I’m not a fan of microchips in us, progress is also happening there, which means ethical conversations should become even more prevalent with our students.
When AI Fails
Training Data is Older
I did ask Notion to summarize the top three articles in edtech with hyperlinks. I received some great-sounding stuff on Microsoft Immersive reader and a new Google AR Service called “The Hidden World of National Parks.” The links didn’t work and as I researched, it looks like this AR experience debuted in 2020. So, it sounded authoritative, but it was wrong and not current. So, the training data is older.
New Articles May Not Be Read Thoroughly
As for me, the 10 Minute Teacher podcast went live this week with episode 798 as I wrote about the Practical Uses of AI in the classroom and the free lesson plan I used with my older students.
However, as I pasted in this article into Notion and asked AI to summarize it, I found things added to the podcast episode that I never discussed or that were taken out of context. For example, the summary suggested I talked about using AI for data analysis when in reality, I used AI to help generate real-world data to teach Excel to students. It is a subtle difference but one that is meaningful and results in a contextual issue. So, AI can just be wrong — although slightly so and in a way that only someone familiar with a topic may be able to see.
I guess in a desire to be fast, could AI be skimming or is it just unable to understand the context?
So, I wouldn’t use AI tools to summarize articles quite yet unless you read the article and can confirm the summary is accurate.
I will say, when I went back thirty minutes after asking the question, the answer summarizing the tool was much more accurate (included below.)
I have observed that many professors and teachers often ask students to summarize articles in their own words, I believe this practice will not be as effective in measuring understanding and reading comprehension with these summarization tools that are about to be built into everything.
When People Fail: Will The Integrity Gap Cause a Learning Gap?
Ethical students will be able to learn better and faster than ever. Using Socratic, they take a picture of their homework, and it gives them answers, how-tos, and instructions. It will help them with homework, for sure. Or, those who are not honest will copy the answers and move on without knowledge.
There will be a new divide — the learning and performance divide created between those who have integrity and those who do not. Unfortunately, if we are not cognizant of it, we could penalize students who have integrity. However, we can also penalize those students who do not have the moral compass to realize that to cheat and not learn is to deny themselves a learning opportunity.
The integrity gap is going to be a major issue as we move fully into Web 3. The digital divide is, of course, still an issue as well, which can further compound this issue, although with all of these technologies coming to smartphones (as well as emerging satellite technologies) there is less of a divide than there was pre-pandemic. However, we cannot miss that some students still have unreliable devices with little or no internet.
And the gaps grow even as the opportunities accelerate.
Because there will also be a gap between the performance of students using AI tools between visionary schools and schools that do not understand the opportunities that will be inherent in the effective use of AI. I remember the day when many schools banned calculators because they thought it would make kids not learn math – instead, we can now teach calculus in high school as a result!
Some Tools I'm Testing
I’ve been using ChatGPT, but honestly, as I read of the ChatGPT premium users having their data and credit cards exposed, I was reminded that even though ChatGPT is being used everywhere, the organization behind it is still very new and learning. And so are we.
Perhaps this is why edtech as a whole isn’t advocating the banning of ChatGPT.
Check out my podcast from Monday and the lesson plan I shared for how I used this tool with my seniors.
I've also been testing Google Bard. I find it interesting how it gives three drafts for each answer. I generated the question below on Saturday March 25 at 4:52 pm and it shared what Google is doing. I'll be testing Bard vs. GPT-4 as well.
While this tool may take some time, I've asked to test Microsoft Loop with a small group of us and hope to be able to test some of their copilot features in the future as they are built into Office 365.
What You'll Hear from Me About These Tools
Why I Took a Break for 4 Months
So, if you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you may (or may not) know that I've been a tad quieter than usual over the past year. I broke my foot — and actually walked on a broken foot for over a year. (A testament to my pain level, the fact that I haven't taken care of myself as a result of the substitute teacher crisis and struggles with pandemic teaching, or perhaps just plain old lack of self care — no excuses, it was my foot and I'm the only one who can take myself to the doctor. I'm also the only one who can workout — and I'm doing that.)
I had surgery on February 25, 2022. I was unable to walk until May 5, 2022, and was in PT until September. Then, after our daughter's wedding, I began working out six days a week — as of today, I've hit 150 workouts. I've lost over 20 pounds and have quite a bit more to go, but I'm now running again. It feels good to feel good, and my heart stats are looking good, and I feel like I'm alive again!
I've learned from my mistakes and my workout and self-care has to come first. In many ways, exercise is a form of worship for me as I rejoice in being able to walk (and run) pain free again. While it took a long time, my recovery has been pretty miraculous.
But I realized back in November that I had to take care of myself. I use an app called Welltory that gives me details on my heart health and the stats were not good. I lost a lot of heart health sitting for three months.
So, I became singularly focused on my health — as well I should.
What I'll Be Sharing Now and How to Follow
Now, I'm back to blogging and podcasting. You can expect a podcast to go up from me weekly and some conversations around AI and more topics relating to the changes happening in education here on the blog.
I started this blog as a total beginner in 2005. I'm now a total beginner again and that is ok. So, I'll just share my journey as I learn about these new tools. We are on the cusp of some amazing change and I'm excited to be beginning again at this time in history. Of course, I've kept teaching and this is year 21 for me!
I do commit that if I use AI tools, I'll disclose them as I have at the bottom of this post.
There are a couple of ways you can follow all of this. You can use social media and follow me, but know the algorithms don't always show you the content.
- If you want an email every time a podcast is released subscribe to my Podcast email newsletter then subscribe below.
- You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter which will re-start early next week.
- Subscribe to the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast in your podcatcher.
I plan to announce a cool journey along the lines of AI with podcast 800 coming up in 2 weeks so stay tuned.
In the meantime, have fun! So many cool tools to test. I'm excited and so full of joy!
AI Tools Used in this Post
- Notion (for collecting hyperlinks and testing summarizing capabilities)
- Google Bard
- Microsoft Start on my iPhone with Bing Chat enabled
- Canva – I used the text to images
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