Teaching and learning with AI (part 1)

An explosion of creativity

an explosion of creativity with AI

Teachers are discovering new ways of using AI in their teaching, in an explosion of creativity.

Their joyful enthusiasm is infectious! Teachers can use the many examples in the table below to inspire or plan lessons for students of all ages and abilities.  

The ability of AI to simplify and translate text into other languages allows teachers to meet the diversity of needs of their students more effectively than ever before. Generative AI is a game changer. 

The examples are loosely grouped into categories, depending on how they impact on lessons. The learning conversation includes all of the interactions in the classroom and where learning takes place. The learning community describes how the wider community (including online support) can influence teaching and learning. The classification is somewhat arbitrary, as some examples could appear in more than one group. 

Using AI to “reduce workload across the education sector [and] free up teachers’ time, allowing them to focus on delivering excellent teaching” (Department of Education, England, October 2023) are aims that are shared by many education policy makers across the world. 

Students could also use most of the examples shown above for themselves to promote their own learning. The official policy documents are rather more tentative about this, generally recognising that, for example: 

“The education sector needs to:

  • prepare students for changing workplaces
  • teach students how to use emerging technologies, such as generative AI, safely and appropriately” (Department of Education, England, October 2023)

One of the biggest concerns for contemporary pedagogy is to consider how students can use AI in the classroom to promote active and productive learning. This is rather more than using AI to plagiarise homework assignments.  

This is not without its risks. Students using AI in the classroom have the power to disrupt the normal functions and flow of the classroom, and this is something we need to consider next.

Q. Which areas of your workload do you think that AI could help you to manage more productively?

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of teaching students to use AI productively?

Updated: 11/01/24 to include link to Microsoft’s “Unlock generative AI safely and responsibly” – a new classroom toolkit from Microsoft Education”. A resource for 13-15 year old students.

Updated: 16/01/24 to include end of article questions.

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