K-12, Teaching Tools

Would You Rather AI Generator from Auto Classmate

The “Would You Rather” AI Generator from Auto Classmate was first brought to my attention in a newsletter from the fabulous Donna Lasher over at Big Ideas For Little Scholars. (You should seriously sign up for her newsletter. I learn new things in every edition!)

What is Auto Classmate?

Auto Classmate is one of the millions of sites that have popped up recently in order to leverage the power of AI. However, it is one of the few that has the sole mission of serving educators. “We strive to provide innovative and ethical resources to transform the future of education and–ultimately–the world.”

To that end, the site currently has three AI tools with more on their way. The tools are: Would Rather Question Generator, Activation and Engagement Activity Generator, and Lesson Plan and Activity Forecast Tool. Feeling a bit of spring-time fever, I decided to go with testing out the Would You Rather Questions for a bit of fun. I may feature the other tools on later blog posts.

Would You Rather Wear a Garbage Bag or Pick Up Trash?

The Would You Rather AI Tool is very easy to use. No sign up or registration is required. Just choose the grade level, type in a topic, and decide the tone you want for your questions. I went with 5th grade, Earth Day, and (of course) Absurd and Hilarious.

It took less than 30 seconds for the generator to give me these suggestions which I could then copy and paste, download as a PDF, or add more details to refine the questions:

Why Do This?

The bottom of the response page in this Auto Classmate Tool offers suggestions for using these for warm-ups, as part of an assessment, or as brain breaks. That’s why I love the options for choosing the level of seriousness and the grade levels. If you’d like an idea of how I’ve used Would You Rather questions in math (kind of a combination of the serious and the absurd), check out this post.

More Resources

I’ve written about a few other AI tools specifically designed for teachers such as Curipod and Conker AI. I’ve also written about how I’ve used Chat GPT for differentiation ideas. To find these articles and a plethora of links to sites that will help you teach your students about Artificial Intelligence, you can visit my Wakelet collection here. I’ll be adding this one to it as well as to my “Fun Stuff” Wakelet for those of you in the midst of standardized testing who just want some brain breaks.

Screen Shot from Day of AI Video of teacher with 2 young children in front of a computer
Computer Science, K-12, Teaching Tools

Learn More About AI from MIT (For Free!)

MIT has posted its free materials for the 2023 Day of AI, and I feel like anyone, from children to adults, should take advantage of it. In fact, the home page of the website invites everyone to participate with, “Open to all. No experience needed” as the top. All you need to do is register to get the password, and you don’t have to be an educator.

Even though this isn’t the first year MIT has hosted its Day of AI, I think it might be the most important, considering how discussions of AI have dominated the headlines in the last couple of months. With these resources, for grade K-12, you can step in wherever you feel comfortable and learn more about what AI is and what it isn’t — yet. And if you are an educator, you can help your students to be more informed about this technology that is rapidly growing more and more powerful whether you are interested in using it or not.

In a recent discussion that I had with Socrates, we debated the benefits and dangers of AI. (Okay, it wasn’t really Socrates, just his AI persona on Character.AI.) We both agreed that AI will be dangerous in the hands of those who prize profits above ethics. And we both agreed that there will also be some people who have compassion and greater purposes who will wield AI in the effort to change the world for the better. But the latter is not going to happen if only a small group of people understand the implications of AI. Widespread education is vital in order to apply critical thinking to decisions that may seem to have nothing to do with AI, but could be directly impacted in the future.

Many educators have been visiting my posts on Conker.AI and Curipod because these tools can increase their productivity immensely. If you can take a moment with some of the time you’ve saved using those AI tools, I hope you will consider learning more about AI and guiding your students with these lesson plans, slide presentations, and videos that MIT’s Day of AI provides. There are even tutorial videos for the teachers in case you want a walkthrough. Though MIT is planning to officially celebrate Day of AI on May 18, 2023, you can incorporate these lessons any time (maybe a great idea post-standardized testing?). Still not convinced? Watch their intro video below, and then head on over to their page!

screenshot of Conker welcome page
3-12, Teaching Tools, Websites

Conker AI for Teachers

UPDATE 4/19/2023: I’ve written about a few other AI tools specifically designed for teachers such as Curipod and Would You Rather Generator. I’ve also written about how I’ve used Chat GPT for differentiation ideas. To find these articles and a plethora of links to sites that will help you teach your students about Artificial Intelligence, you can visit my Wakelet collection here.

Conker AI can be added to the growing list of artificial intelligence tools that can help support teachers – especially if you work in a Google district. Like Curipod and ChatGPT which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Conker is new and working its way to becoming a more robust tool, meaning that it does not have a lot of bells and whistles yet. It’s also not COPPA compliant, so I would not recommend letting students use it. To use it, you will need to give the app permissions to access your Google Drive. Although that has become a standard practice with many apps and extensions, it’s still something to be careful about. Conker comes to us from Mote, which many educators already use to give voice notes, so that’s a point in its favor when it comes to trustworthiness. But we all know how easily technology can be abused, unfortunately.

Despite my cautiousness, I couldn’t resist trying out Conker because it offers a new twist to harnessing AI power for mundane tasks. With Conker, you can generate quizzes, fill-in-the-blank activities, true/false questions and more that can then be easily exported to a Google Form. (Exporting to PDF and sharing the initial quiz using a link are apparently upcoming features that are not currently available.)

When you first log in to Conker (currently free), you will see a prompt like the one below.

When you click on any of the underlined parts in the prompt, you will get a drop-down menu so you can select a different option, such as a Reading Comprehension activity instead of a Quiz, the number and type of questions and any grade level from K-Adult. Give it the topic you would like it to create questions for, and watch the magic happen. You can alternatively use your own source material by copying and pasting the text in after clicking on that link under “Generate.” You can see my demonstration below.

The advantage of being to export this to a Google Form, of course, is that you can then easily assign it to students and even set up the form as a graded quiz.

Though I am a proponent of creativity, project-based learning, and open-ended questions in the classroom, there is obviously a place for formative assessments like this to be used as exit tickets or at other times to quickly gauge the understanding of your students and make decisions about how to move forward. Another value of this tool is that you can also use it to make quick differentiated activities for students of diverse ability levels by changing the type of question and the grade level. I wouldn’t depend on it to be completely accurate at targeting ability levels, but it does give you something to start with that you can modify quickly rather than beginning with a blank page.

Teachers are drowning right now and time is always their most valuable commodity. Artificial intelligence can be extremely helpful in reducing preparation time so teachers can do what they will always do best — give individual students the guidance and support they each need.

K-12, Teaching Tools

Curipod #AI Tool for Teachers

UPDATE 4/19/2023: I’ve written about a few other AI tools specifically designed for teachers such as Conker and Would You Rather Generator. I’ve also written about how I’ve used Chat GPT for differentiation ideas. To find these articles and a plethora of links to sites that will help you teach your students about Artificial Intelligence, you can visit my Wakelet collection here.

While I’m talking about AI tools such as ChatGPT for teachers, let’s take a look at Curipod, a freemium web-based tool for creating interactive lesson presentations. The free version allows you to create 5 free presentations, but from my limited practice using it, you can delete previous presentations. You can’t export them, at this time, though. So unless you screen record them they will be lost forever after 30 days in your trash folder. Here is the pricing (Curipods are presentations):

Curipod is similar to Peardeck and Nearpod in that it allows your students to follow along on their own devices and interact by drawing, or answering polls and open-ended questions. One different interaction takes student responses and creates a Word Cloud based on them. What really sets Curipod apart from other presentations tools so far, though, is that you can input your lesson focus and learning objectives and let it create the interactive slide show for you.

It is definitely not perfect, of course. The idea shows promise, though. I tried an atypical prompt not based on any core curriculum standards to see how a presentation about S.C.A.M.P.E.R. would look. For the learning standards I typed in, “learn what the different letters in S.C.A.M.P.E.R. stand for see examples of applying each word of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. to innovation of the phone ask students to practice using S.C.A.M.P.E.R. to create a new pencil.”

The result was a presentation that began with a Word Cloud question:

You’re seeing it in editing mode above. All I did was put in the cartoonish picture of the pencil. After that slide, there were some informational slides about my learning objectives, the acronym of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. that weren’t quite complete, the “Concepts” below, and a slide giving “Fun Facts” about the pencil.

There were then a couple of repetitive open ended question slides similar to this:

and then several polling slides asking for their understanding of the acronym.

As the editor, you can change the headings, titles, and some media as well as add your own slides and import Powerpoints or PDF’s.

These are actually quite a lot of features for a free product that generates an interactive slide show on your topic in seconds. Although there aren’t a bunch of templates to choose from or some of the other bells and whistles you will find in other products, this could be a a great launching point for anyone who is creating a lesson from “scratch,” and save you quite a bit of time. Give Curipod a whirl and see what you come up with! Or, discover something in the gallery to save even more time!

Language Arts, Teaching Tools

Using #ChatGPT for Differentiation

Update 4/19/2023: UPDATE 4/19/2023: I’ve written about a few other AI tools specifically designed for teachers such as Conker and Would You Rather Generator. I’ve also written about how I’ve used Curipod. To find these articles and a plethora of links to sites that will help you teach your students about Artificial Intelligence, you can visit my Wakelet collection here.

With all of the recent debates among educators regarding the AI tool, ChatGPT, it was no wonder that we would find sessions about it during this week’s TCEA Convention in San Antonio. I’ve been playing a lot with it since I first wrote about it in this post a few weeks ago. Because I was going to be presenting on Digital Differentiation with my colleague, Amy Chandler, I decided to test the limits of ChatGPT when it came to offering differentiation ideas — something that can really be time-consuming for teachers. I’d already seen demonstrations of it doing lesson plans and IEP’s, so coming up with Choice Boards or Learning Menus seemed like an obvious extension.

I won’t go through all of the iterations that I tried before landing on some substantial suggestions from the AI tool, but suffice it to say that if your first attempt yields gibberish, you may need to refine your wording. It did not escape me that I was trying to generate activities for the novel, The Giver, in which the fictional dystopian community places such a high value on precision of language as I kept correcting and adding details to my initial prompt. In the end, though, this is what I was able to coax out of ChatGPT:

In my estimation, this was not bad, perhaps needing a few tweaks here and there, but certainly far better than I could have come up with in an hour, much less the 5 minutes it had taken me and the tool to arrive at this point.

From there, I wanted to make the menu a bit more “palatable” for student consumption, so I turned to Canva where I found a free menu template, copied and pasted my activities from ChatGPT, replaced a couple of images to go with the theme, and was done in less than 15 minutes total from start to finish. (Want a free, editable Canva template of the menu below? Be sure you’ve subscribed to my newsletter!)

Andi McNair (follow her in Instagram @a_meaningful_mess!), one of my Genius Hour heroes, was in the audience, and decided to play around with it, too. She had the tool generate a Choice Board, which she posted on Instagram as you can see below.

Today I decided to push my boundaries a bit more, thinking it would be nice to have the choices on my Learning Menu somewhat correspond to ability levels. Here is what I got for Tuck Everlasting:

Again, not perfect, but I can definitely see differences in difficulty levels for the tasks. As Andi pointed out when we were discussing ChatGPT over lunch, it is basically gleaning information from all over the internet, so we are going to find that much of the wording is familiar to things we’ve seen in the past. ChatGPT is like a hyperfocused internet search that filters out all of the things you don’t need to give you as close to what you specify as it can find.

Now, keep in mind that this tool is not going to stay free. And, yes, there are plenty of ways it can be abused. It’s not perfect, and we still need humans, of course. But when we can get machines to do the time-consuming tasks that will then allow us to to do what we do best — guide, teach, and empower our students — why not take advantage of those tools? We can be thoughtful and critical thinkers and manage the resources available to us at the same time.

3-12, Computer Science, Teaching Tools

Leveraging AI for Learning with ChatGPT or Canva

One of the top 4 most visited posts on my blog this year has been, “AI Generated Poetry.” To say that artificial intelligence attracts interest, no matter the motivation behind that curiosity, would not be an understatement. And, if you’ve been active on social media lately — especially Twitter and TikTok — you will see that there is a new tool out there that will definitely be a major game changer in education. It’s called, “ChatGPT,” and it is for us to decide if it will be our doom or salvation.

ChatGPT is currently free, but you need to sign up to use it. For that reason, I haven’t tried it yet. I like to sit back a little bit and observe the braver pioneers when I hear about something this powerful. Is it too good to be true? How much data will it collect from me? In addition, it turns out I already subscribe to something that includes a tool quite similar to ChatGPT — Canva. (Unfortunately, Canva for Education users do not have this access at the moment, but Twitter conversations seem to reflect that it may be an option in the near future.)

Let’s talk first about what these specific AI tools do (ChatGPT and Canva’s Magic Write option in Canva Docs). They can basically write anything you ask them to, in very coherent but generic language. I’ve seen people demonstrate lesson plans, recipes, and social media content. And when I say, “coherent,” I mean eerily human-like. Here are examples of some of the responses I received from Canva’s Magic Write (my prompts are in bold font):

Example of AI Responses from Canva’s Magic Write Tool in Canva Docs

If you have any Canva Plan other than Canva for Education, you should be able to create a new Canva doc, click on the “+” sign, and choose “Magic Write” to test this out for yourself. You can see a quick demonstration below:

From what I’ve seen demonstrated, ChatGPT has similar abilities. If you go to this page, you can see some of the limitations of ChatGPT, and this one will give you the lowdown on using Canva’s Magic Write.

It’s no wonder that some educators who have seen these tools in action are concerned. ELA teachers are worried their students will utilize the service to respond to essay prompts and even computer science teachers wonder how their students will ever learn to code correctly because — guess what — ChatGPT can find errors in your programming, too.

Like any technology these AI tools can be used for nefarious purposes — or for good. That’s why it’s even more important than ever to teach students the value of ethics and how to evaluate information. Forbidding students to use AI is just going to result in a game of Whack-A-Mole as they keep attempting to outwit us and we keep trying to eradicate the use of AI for “cheating.”

Matt Miller (@JMattMiller) recently published a thread on Twitter that describes 20 ways that you can use ChatGPT to help you “teach/learn”:

For a more in-depth look at ChatGPT, I also recommend Matt’s blog post.

As you can see from Matt’s suggestions, there are ways that AI can make educator’s lives easier, and make learning more interesting. I think that we need to be aware of the limitations and potential abuses, while also taking advantage of the benefits such tools can bring.