Embracing AI for More Engaging Learning

I’m going to begin this post with a confession. I have had reservations about artificial intelligence (AI) in the past.

I started out with an open mind in the early days of AI. At that time there were lighthearted AI stories circulating, including one about a computer program that beat the world chess champion at his own game. Roomba was invented, and I didn’t hate the idea of a vacuum being able to clean on its own. But then it started to get a bit personal. Companies were using AI to create targeted advertising. And, love them or hate them, Siri and Alexa became part of our everyday lives.

As a teacher, the thought of bringing AI into my classroom was a little intimidating. What would that actually mean? Will it disrupt the way I run my class? These concerns are valid. And they motivated me to learn more about AI and how I could integrate it into my own lesson plans.

It turns out there are several ways teachers, and their students, can truly benefit from incorporating AI into the classroom:

AI and Creating Content

AI can help align lessons with curriculum standards. Not only that, it can break down complex concepts into student-friendly language. And it’s easy to use.

Imagine you’re a third grade teacher who wants to simplify the process of photosynthesis to make it easier for your students to understand. You can use an AI  tool like ChatGPT to create a short story starring a tree, the sun, and a child that turns science into something relatable and fun. Letting ChatGPT create the story for you saves you time, while still providing you with a great tool that amplifies the learning experience.

Here are some additional insights into using AI to write effective learning prompts that promote student choice.

AI and Selecting Resources

We have a wealth of learning materials at our disposal, such as articles, videos, podcasts, and interactive simulations. But sometimes it’s an overwhelming and time-consuming effort to find resources that will resonate with students while aligning with curriculum requirements. Using AI to create lists of relevant materials allows teachers to quickly find up-to-date and engaging resources that are tailored to students’ needs.

Example of using ChatGPT to search for additional resources to pair with the novel Children of Blood and Bone.

AI and Offering Choice

Understanding and accommodating the diverse learning styles of each of our students is key to an inclusive education. AI offers the flexibility to customize activities, providing students with choices that cater to their unique strengths, promote creativity, and foster critical thinking. These personalized learning experiences can be empowering.

In my role as an English language arts (ELA) instructor for a high school leadership program, I used AI to create a differentiated reading plan for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Students had a choice of activities and projects that were categorized as  developing, achieving, and excelling. The ability to choose helped every student find the right challenge and level of support.

Read more about how AI can support you with creating differentiated classroom activities.

Embracing AI is a journey. But using AI tools to deliver diverse content, create innovative lessons, and manage tasks with greater efficiency opens the door to more engaging learning experiences for our students.

Visit opportunityeducation.org to learn more and explore additional resources.

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