How I’ve integrated AI in my everyday teaching

These AI apps have been hugely beneficial to me and my learners - and you can pick them up quickly too

These AI apps have been hugely beneficial to me and my learners - and you can pick them up quickly too

5 Feb 2024, 5:00

The digital landscape in education is an ever-changing entity that is being shaped by technological advancements and cultural shifts. What we think of as ‘cool tech toys’ today, like virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), are becoming as essential to learning as books and pencils.

In the further education classroom, the role of technology has long since become pivotal in shaping the teaching and learning experiences of educators and students. But with the number of emerging technologies and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI), we have come a long way in a very short time in what feels like a whole new transformation of our work.

Over the past 12 months, I have been exploring and utilising AI in different ways in the classroom and have seamlessly incorporated it into my everyday teaching practices. Leveraging a range of tools to help me organise, plan and teach my students has not only changed the way I teach, it also underscores the immense potential AI holds for the whole sector.

Bringing simple ideas to life

At the heart of my approach is Scribble Diffusion, a powerful tool catering to my Level 1 students studying English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and foundation courses. Through this platform, students are encouraged to sketch a drawing and provide a prompt, showcasing how powerful generative AI is and how it brings their concepts to life.

For example, the students were tasked with sharing a word to develop a narrative. This was further developed through Scribble Diffusion as a photo story. As a result, it not only boosted their confidence but also put their language and creative skills to the test, stimulating creativity and nurturing a deeper understanding of visual representation.

Fostering innovation and creativity

As a games design tutor, I have found the use of Leonardo AI helpful in fostering creativity and problem-solving skills among my Level 2 and 3 students, enhancing their ability to develop innovative and engaging game concepts. This free, token-based generative AI tool is versatile across various vocational courses, demonstrating its potential to cultivate a wide array of skills.

I have also been utilising Quizalize which has become my go-to resource for creating engaging quizzes – particularly useful for new starter/student activities or session recaps. The integration of ChatGPT within Quizalize has helped me streamline the quiz creation process, showcasing the collaborative potential between educators and AI to enhance teaching methodologies.

Streamlining processes for efficiency

Another area I have been exploring is TeacherMatic, which has rapidly become an essential tool to streamline my workload. By automating routine tasks and providing easy access to educational resources, it has allowed me to focus more on instructional activities and student interaction.

However, while it holds promise in reducing the burden on educators and has the potential to become effective if developed further, its widespread integration across educational institutions is yet to be fully realised. Gillian Keegan may be pinning her hopes on AI to reduce workload, but there is a long way to go to make this a reality.

In addition to all these tools, I have of course also invested in ChatGPT 4. Its personalised prompts feature sets it apart from the free version. Customisation will be significant in maximising AI’s effectiveness in the classroom and meeting diverse needs, but the cost implication is certainly something policy makers need to be aware of.

Soft skills are vital in our day-to-day interactions and perhaps even more so in the working world. As a result, I have recently explored an app called Body Swaps for soft skills training. This innovative tool utilises VR to simulate interviews, providing individuals with a unique opportunity to refine their interpersonal skills.

AI has revolutionised the way I work, making my teaching more personalised, efficient, and responsive, both in my day-to-day activities with students and in how I plan lessons. It has helped me facilitate seamless communication and resource sharing among my peers and students, fostering a community of continuous learning and professional development.

All of which is truly beneficial for early adopters like me. (And there’s no reason you can’t become one too very quickly, no matter how inexperienced you feel.) The challenge now is to make this revolution systemic.

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