AI in Education: Crucial Conversations (part 3)
In a previous post, we highlighted 5 innovative and thoughtful ways educators are using AI-generative technologies to increase student engagement and critical thinking. If you missed it, click here!
Once we have helped students understand the essentials of these applications, educators can incorporate new technologies in classrooms to focus on engaging Problem, Community and Project-Based Learning.
Imagine: A group of students have been learning about climate change in their Environmental Science course. Their teacher has asked them to develop a community project in response to what they are learning. One group decides to encourage alternative transportation in their community to reduce carbon footprint. They determine an area in their community that would be a key area for sidewalks and bike lanes and develop an action plan and budget for their project. In the process, a letter to the City Council needs to be drafted. If the students used ChatGPT to draft their letter to the city council, could we accept that application of the technology, given that it is embedded in a larger project?
Students in an ELA class decide they need a way to get book recommendations that they can access on their phone to help them select books when at the school library and the bookstore. They decide to build an app for their phones. The students decide to use App Lab to create an interactive platform that asks a series of questions and provides targeted suggestions for their next read. Consider how much reading, writing, speaking and listening this project requires – could we justify giving an ELA grade for this student-driven project?
In many ways, the changing landscape of our digital world demands us to consider what kinds of tasks students do in our schools and classrooms. Tasks need to demand student thinking, decision making and agency, and embrace the tools available. We are preparing our students for the world they will inherit; and in doing so, we are challenged to design learning experiences that prime them to be critical thinkers, engaged citizens and informed users of the available technologies.