Education & AI
AI PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS
Supporting teachers in their journey with generative AI and giving them time to learn about it is one of the most important steps for integrating this technology. When teachers are confident in their own abilities to purposefully use generative AI, they are more equipped to support students in this space.
STEP 1: ICE-BREAKER
Start by asking them to share at their tables a way they have used generative AI in the last few months. You will get varied responses. This gives them the chance to hear each other and talk about their personal experiences.
Ask groups to share something they learned in the conversation.
STEP 2: THE WHAT...
It is important that teachers understand what generative AI is and what it isn’t.
There are three types of AI that people are familiar with.
This resource shows the difference between the three.
Generative AI is assistive technology, designed to create visual content based on provided instructions, utilising the dataset it has access to for reference.
It is designed to help.
It isn’t a search engine or a fact-finding system,
Can it be misused? Definitely.
Will it take over the world? Absolutely not.
Scotty tip: When teaching about generative AI to teachers, I compare it to an intern. Someone who can take care of smaller tasks that teachers are more than capable of doing, but have far more valuable things they should be doing with their time.
For students, I compare it to a tutor. Something that can help provide individualised support across all subjects.
STEP 3: THE WHY...
This is the most important.
The why is because it is here and it isn’t going anywhere.
As educators, our duty is to equip students with ethical use of technology. Without proactive teaching differentiating ethical from unethical use, schools risk widespread authenticity breaches and plagiarism. Teachers, being the first defense, must guide students correctly. Therefore, equipping teachers with the necessary support for this learning is imperative.
STEP 4: THE WHERE...
Generative AI, prevalent in education for years, is exemplified by Grammarly’s text-enhancing suggestions. While the current focus is on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the real game-changer will be the imminent integration of similar technologies directly into our everyday computer applications, altering our digital landscape significantly.
Show snippets from tools that are in development to show how the technology can be harnessed for good.
Below are some suggestions.
Magic Design is an AI-powered design tool built into Canva. By uploading an image or selecting a style, Magic Design will whip up a curated selection of personalised templates.
Sal Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, shares the opportunities he sees for students and educators to collaborate with AI tools and demos new features for Khanmigo.
Grammarly’s on-demand, contextually aware assistant powered by generative AI that takes into account context, preferences, and goals to instantly generate drafts and revisions.
STEP 5: THE HOW...
Teachers value practical examples.
In a professional development setting, depending on how much time you have, each of these resources could be displayed and the teachers asked to discuss in groups.
STEP 6: WRAP UP
Steer plagiarism discussions towards ethics. Teachers concerned about generative AI usage should explore its capacities themselves. Students have long used various aids for work completion; generative AI now becomes widely known. Despite an inclination for shortcuts, once the novelty fades, such AI will serve as assistive technology, enabling wider publication of high-quality work.
The key is authenticity: establish processes that evidence students’ work creation, like drafting, tracking, checkpoints, and journaling.
Encourage them to explore tools themselves. The hands-on experience, such as using Canva’s new ‘Magic’ feature, will enrich their understanding and make the session more enjoyable and effective.