810 Mary howard efficiency blog post

AI: The Future of Classroom Efficiency with Mary Howard

Discover the transformative potential of AI tools such as ChatGPT in education. Mary Howard, acclaimed author and pioneer in leveraging AI for teacher productivity, sheds light on innovative strategies.

What do you do when award-winning teachers tell you there is a way to save time? Mary Howard, author of Artificial Intelligence to Streamline Your Teacher Life: The ChatGPT Guide for Educators shares some quick tips to streamline teacher productivity with ChatGPT. Mary won ISTE's 2018 “Virtual Pioneer of the Year” and was a New York State Teacher of the Year finalist in 2018 and 2020. She is an actual classroom teacher and doesn't “do” hype, but I think she wants to help. 

In this show, she shares some ideas for streamlining and discusses the future of AI in VR and AR and how she thinks it can help us use these advanced tools even more. I hope this show helps you think about what you can do today and what is possible tomorrow.

Microsoft 's Free AI Course for Educators

Microsoft has an amazing artificial intelligence course for educators that will help you and your education team have the knowledge you need to understand the best practices for artificial intelligence in schools. AI is changing rapidly, and you'll want your team to take advantage of this free course from Microsoft today. Go to aka.ms/AIforEducators. I highly recommend this free AI course from Microsoft. So sign up today.
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10 Minute Teacher Podcast - episode 810

AI: The Future of Classroom Efficiency

Mary Howard, Teacher and Author of "Artificial Intelligence to Streamline Your Teacher Life: The ChatGPT Guide for Educators"

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Episode 810: Cool Cat Teacher YouTube Channel: Video with Closed Captions

Hi listeners! This season we're experimenting with full video (and human-reviewed captions). We release the audio via podcast, and the video is just being released on YouTube. Let me know what you think with a shout-out on social media @coolcatteacher or at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com. I'd love to hear from you!

Episode 810 - Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Resources Mentioned in Episode 809

Mary Howard - Bio as Submitted

Mary Howard ChatGPT teacher productivity

Mary Howard, award winning teacher and AI productivity author

Mary is a 6th grade ELA and Science teacher from Grand Island, New York has found success using digital tools that not only make learning fun for her students, but encourage critical thinking, collaboration, and create a life-long passion for learning. Whether the digital experience is related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or promotes literacy, Mary believes passionately in the potential that technology has for reaching and engaging ALL learners. In pursuit of this passion, Mary has spent the past 10 years presenting at dozens of technology conferences across New York State and has become a globally recognized speaker on the topics of augmented reality and virtual reality in the classroom. Mary shares her strategies through her blog, yoursmarticles.com. She has published numerous educational technology articles and has provided webinars on Virtual Environments, Virtual Reality, 3D Design, QR codes and engagement strategies. Mary’s accolades include recognition as the 2018 International Society for Technology in Education’s Virtual Pioneer of the Year and a Silver Presidential Volunteer Service award. She was a New York State Teacher of the year finalist for 2018 and 2020 and is a New York State Master Teacher. Mary recently authored the book, Artificial Intelligence to Streamline Your Teacher Life: The ChatGPT Guide for Educators.

When Mary isn’t elbows deep in her technology initiatives, she is a mother of 3 boys and devotes her free time to refereeing youth hockey and volunteering within the hockey community. She is an avid runner, Adirondack 46er and recently cycled across New York State on the Erie Canal.

Blog: http://www.yoursmarticles.com/

X.com (formerly Twitter): @mrshoward118

Transcript - Episode 810 with Mary Howard

00:00:00:02 – 00:00:03:11

John Davis

This is the Ten Minute Teacher podcast, with your host, Vicki Davis.


00:00:03:16 – 00:00:29:09

Vicki Davis

Today's sponsor is Microsoft Education. Stay tuned at the show's end to learn more about their (free) Artificial Intelligence Course for educators


Meet Mary Howard, 20 Year Classroom Educator in New York


I'm so excited today to be talking with Mary Howard. She's finishing up her 20th year of teaching sixth-grade ELA and Science. She's from Grand Island, New York. And Mary, we were just counting the episodes you've been on, so you may be my first fourth time.


00:00:29:11 – 00:01:05:13

Vicki Davis

Yes. And you had episode 293 where we talked about Open SIM (Bringing Literature to Life in Open Sim) back in 2018. We had episode 523 where we talked about augmented reality and your presentation at ISTE 2019. (Augmented Reality Ideas from Mary Howard’s ISTE19 Session) Then episode 667 we talked about Boom Cards, which is something super awesome, (Boom Cards: Engagement for Learning from a Distance) and then now you have see, you've won a lot of awards. The 2018 International Society for Technology and Education's Virtual Pioneer of the Year, civil presidential volunteer service Award, finalist for New York State Teacher of the Year 2018 and 2020.


00:01:05:23 – 00:01:16:02

Vicki Davis

And you've recently authored the book Artificial Intelligence to Streamline Your Teacher Life, The Chat GPT Guide for Educators. So you just keep innovating, don't you, Mary?


00:01:16:14 – 00:01:19:05

Mary Howard

I keep trying. It's been quite a journey. That's for sure.


How ChatGPT Can Streamline Things for Teachers


00:01:19:19 – 00:01:32:14

Vicki Davis

So when you talk about streamlining your teacher life, how can teachers streamline their life using chatbots? Or, so this is being built into a lot of other tools. So a chat bot type AI tool.


00:01:33:01 – 00:01:56:06

Mary Howard

It really is. If you haven't heard of ChatGPT or artificial intelligence, I'd be shocked because it is everywhere and it's growing really fast. My stance at this point is it can do so much for educators just to help them do their job. From writing reading passages to leveling reading passages to writing worksheets and app smashing it with other tools to do so many different types of activities in the classroom. (Note: Listen to Greg Kulowiec, the creator of the term app smashing talk about how it originated in a 2015 show I recorded on Every Classroom Matters, my previous podcast.)


00:01:56:06 – 00:02:11:04

Mary Howard

It really is probably the best thing, I think, to help teachers do their jobs that has come out in a really long time, but a good time. We know educators are leaving the profession in droves. They're overworked. Maybe this is it. Maybe this is the thing that can keep us in the profession.


How Can You App Smash with ChatGPT?

00:02:11:12 – 00:02:24:18

Vicki Davis

So when you talk about app smashing, that's, of course, when you combine one app with another, and you start using it together in new novel ways. What are some of your favorite apps to smash with the ChatGPT chat tool?


00:02:24:22 – 00:02:47:06

Mary Howard

It has come in so handy. I'm currently at the end of my school year as we're recording this. You get those last-minute panic attacks, right? Like, Oh, I need a Gimkit game. And so you can use it to do things like brainstorming a list of words or vocabulary, and you can export them out of there and you can pop them into, you know, Gimkit game or a Quizziz or a Kahoot game.


Editor’s Note: Kahoot now has generative text built into the tool so you no longer have to import. 


00:02:47:11 – 00:02:59:14

Mary Howard

And so it will do that for you, which is really quite amazing. You have to know how to tweak it a little bit to get it to happen. But I love it. I love that it's a couple pushes of a butto, and I have an interactive to do with the students.


00:02:59:20 – 00:03:24:00

Vicki Davis

Yes, because it will export to CSV. And I'm sure you have blog posts and I have a blog posting on how to pull that out. And you know, teachers, their jaw drops when they see, oh my goodness, it can generate. Now, we still want to urge everybody you are ultimately the human intelligence, the HI that needs to go with AI because you've got to check it in, not just take it and throw it in there.


If you want to take your questions from ChatGPT and pull into Gimkit (or any other tool) here’s how: How to Take Questions and Answers from ChatGPT to Gimkit.


Crossword Puzzles and Word Searches from ChatGPT

00:03:24:00 – 00:03:30:14

Vicki Davis

So what other tools can you app smash? You've got all the quizzes and all those types of tools, Any others?


00:03:30:17 – 00:03:42:21

Mary Howard

And I've been doing crossword puzzles, and I know that's not pretty. You know, it doesn't seem super high-tech, right? But, you know, just things like that, those last-minute crossword puzzles and word searches and things like that, it's been really great for those two.


00:03:42:23 – 00:03:45:18

Vicki Davis

So check ChatGPT will make a crossword puzzle and a word search?


00:03:45:18 – 00:03:56:02

Mary Howard

It's an app smash, right? So you can generate the vocabulary that you need for the crossword. Grab it out of there, and you can toss it into https://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/  and you've got yourself a crossword puzzle.


00:03:56:07 – 00:03:59:06

Vicki Davis

And then word search. What do you paste to get that to work?


00:03:59:06 – 00:04:04:05

Mary Howard

Actually, it's the same site. It's a digital word search creator. That's part of the Discovery puzzle maker.


00:04:04:10 – 00:04:22:03

Vicki Davis

You've just taught me something I did not know. Mary, Thank you. That's awesome. That'll have to go in my 80 days of HI. That's something new. 

Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality

So let's talk hands-on for a minute. So you've got a lot of expertise in augmented reality. You got a lot of expertise in virtual reality. Artificial intelligence is going to come to everything.


00:04:22:03 – 00:04:50:03

Vicki Davis

So there's a great book called The Future’s Faster Than You Think by Peter Diamandis. And he says in that book change becomes exponential when artificial intelligence jumps on the back of existing technologies. That's why he's predicting that the next ten years will be 100 years worth of technological change. So when A.I. jumps on the back of virtual reality in the classroom, let's just use your imagination for a second.


00:04:50:03 – 00:05:02:04

Vicki Davis

What do you think that's going to mean for us as teachers when we have VR plus A.I. working together in these simulation experiences for kids? What do you think you could do or that will be able to do?


00:05:02:05 – 00:05:27:19

Mary Howard

Let's imagine we've got an augmented reality heart, and you're holding the Merge Cube or something in your hand. And it's a heart. And this has always been, I think, the reason augmented reality doesn't get adopted by educators because it's like, okay, that's great, and that's really cool looking, but how do I teach with it? And so in comes A.I., and I think this is where I will be able to support us because it can give you those ideas just like it can generate that lesson plan when you're stumped.


Editor’s note: Want to learn more about Merge Cubes listen to Merge Cube Mania in Middle School with Karen Bosch and you can also print a merge cube out of paper and assemble it yourself. 

00:05:27:19 – 00:05:45:00

Mary Howard

Sometimes, you know, okay, ChatGPT, write me a lesson plan on the states of matter. Well, now you have an interactive, and here it is showing the three states of matter in augmented reality. And you say, okay, AI, how can I use this interactive structurally? So I think in my head that's kind of where I think the two will marry.


00:05:45:02 – 00:06:05:14

Vicki Davis

I see, like you said, the heart. And then what if AI could say, “point to a ventricle” and then you could point to that part, and it could actually know if you're pointing to the correct place? Right? So you could actually have a hands-on assessment that used to you'd have to do one at a time at your desk.


00:06:05:14 – 00:06:09:20

Vicki Davis

Is that imagining things too far? Do you think that that's something our might could help us do?


00:06:09:20 – 00:06:27:18

Mary Howard

I can see how that would be something or even just the resources to go along with it. Sometimes it's the back end. It's the thinking end where we get stuck as teachers, especially with augmented reality. You know, when I first discovered some of those tools, I started making scavenger hunts. They were fantastic. The kids loved them, and it was useful.


00:06:27:20 – 00:06:35:19

Mary Howard

But that takes time. You know, as a resource developer, we know it takes time, and some of it's just, let's alleviate that time.


00:06:35:19 – 00:06:51:11

Vicki Davis

Or I want to teach these parts the skeleton. Here's my picture of the skeleton; overlay these parts on the skeleton. When we're dealing with 3D space, it's just a new level of complexity versus the quote, worksheets, the paper, and the 2D world that we're used to right?


00:06:51:11 – 00:07:10:07

Mary Howard

A good example of that is just loving augmented reality so much. I have to plug this fun activity that I do. I teach a graphic novel in my ELA classes because I teach both science and ELA. and I used Cospaces. You're probably familiar with cospaces.edu is a fantastic augmented reality tool and virtual reality tool, for that matter.


Using CoSpaces and Augmented Reality to Teach Students Graphic Novels (and how AI could make it easier)


00:07:10:17 – 00:07:34:18

Mary Howard

But we took the Merge Cube and we turned it into an augmented reality experience like an overlay. So I was trying to teach the students the gutter and the panel and, you know, the inferring spaces on a graphic novel page. So they took this Merge Cube and they just put it right into this one panel on the graphic novel and up popped the augmented reality pointing in different spots, you know, saying this is a gutter, this is a panel.


00:07:34:23 – 00:07:49:20

Mary Howard

What do you think this character? Why do you think this character has a speech bubble decorated in this manner? And so it was a really great way to use augmented reality with a graphic novel that takes time to develop. And I feel like that is where AI could help us. It let's make these things for us.


How Do We Respond to the Fear Many Have About AI?


00:07:49:22 – 00:08:13:04

Vicki Davis

When we start talking about all this change, it's going to stress some teachers out, right? And you present, and you travel, and you speak, and you see the teachers are overwhelmed. We already have too much to do. We've come out of the pandemic. You've got academic integrity issues with a lot of the kids now. It's gotten worse because of tools like ChatGPT or SnapchatAI.


00:08:13:04 – 00:08:37:14

Vicki Davis

So we're seeing kids who are ace in our homework and fail in our tests. And so we're looking at all this stuff that's got to change. And then they're just going to say, But Mary, this overwhelms me. So what do you tell the teacher who feels overwhelmed about AI that will help them frame it or see it for what it is instead of this fear that seems to be coming from the media?


00:08:38:06 – 00:09:05:00

Mary Howard

There is a lot of fear and number one is we can't bury our heads in the sand. It is irresponsible to bury our heads as teachers in the sand because, as you said, the pace at which this is developing, we have to arm ourselves and prepare ourselves. 


Two Schools of Thought: Student Facing AI and Teacher Facing AI

There really are two schools of thought, in my opinion. You know, there's the how is it going to be used in the classroom either by students or by teachers, you know, students facing.


00:09:05:07 – 00:09:30:18

Mary Howard

And then, of course, there's the behind-the-scenes that you want to ease up your teacher life, adopt it, because it really is going to help you ease your teacher life. The student-facing side, I think, is where we need to be more responsible because we are facing so many like you said, academic integrity issues. We just had three of them, you know, just last week in my building, three very obvious entire pieces of writing written by students.


00:09:31:06 – 00:09:48:14

Mary Howard

And here I am in my own building, in my own district, preaching, you know, we need to know about A.I., and I'm working with a staff that doesn't want one more thing. And that's that is the biggest problem. It feels like one more thing, but we can't be irresponsible and try to ignore it because it's not going away.


00:09:48:16 – 00:10:21:13

Vicki Davis

And you don’t want the kid to get ahead of you. I mean, you just have to innovate like a turtle practice, try new stuff all the time, intentionally set some time aside to learn things, and just understand the world is just changing. It's just another tool, although a very powerful tool. And people like you, Mary, you're going to help us move forward. I like this student-facing versus teacher-facing piece because teacher-facing piece is where you can really get a whole lot of productivity, and we will learn how to do it for our students once we learn to help ourselves.


00:10:21:15 – 00:10:47:16

Vicki Davis

So thank you, Mary, for coming on the show. 


Free AI Course From Microsoft for Educators

Microsoft has an amazing artificial intelligence course for educators that will help you and your education team have the knowledge you need to understand the best practices for artificial intelligence in schools. 


AI is changing rapidly, and you'll want your team to take advantage of this free course from Microsoft today. Go to aka.ms/AIforEducators.


00:10:47:16 – 00:11:12:16

Vicki Davis

Now that aka.ms/AIforEducators sign up for this free course today so that you're ready to understand and use AI in your school in ways that are safe and work for schools.  I highly recommend this free AI course from Microsoft. So sign up today.

00:11:12:17 – 00:11:24:12

John Davis

You've been listening to the 10 Minute Teacher podcast. If you like this program, you can find more coolcatteacher.com If you wish to see more content like this, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @coolcatteacher. Thank you for listening.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Abigail August 28, 2023 - 4:26 pm

“The Future’s Faster than You Think” book sounds like an amazing read as a future teacher and wondering how AI will change the future of education!


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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere