September is here! The past eight months of warnings of artificial intelligence- or AI- generative chat calamities were heeded by some and ignored by others. Hopefully, you are one of the fortunate ones who work in an institution where AI policies, guidelines, just-in-time support and plagiarism teaching-learning plan statements are ready and accessible to supervisors, instructors and learners. If this is not your situation, this post is for you. Read on to quickly pick up some tips to cope with AI generative chat technologies while your institution works towards comprehensive strategies.
The past six months have witnessed an unprecedented technological phenomenon that has the potential to revolutionize most professions. Education is now challenged with developing innovative teaching and assessment strategies. As well, stakeholders in education will need to adjust to the deepened pressures that AI tools pose for plagiarism and misinformation. Weekly, waves of new and reinvigorated AI powered tools are being touted continuously through social media and education sources. Active curation and training will be required to sort these out. This will include revising institutional policies and codes of ethics.
As some educators are over the shock and fear stage of this disruption, they are now looking for guidance on how these technologies can be used to enhance teaching and learning. Applying digital citizenship principles to map out practical activities is one approach that may assist educators in successfully integrating AI chat tools into their lessons.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, the recent release of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots is transforming the way we interact with technology. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, allows anyone to engage with it in a human-like manner to achieve a response. Over the past few months, scores of GPT-powered web apps and browser extensions have appeared due to AI-powered chatbots resulting from the release of the OpenAI’s GPT API (applications programming interface). The API allows apps to work with ChatGPT. This allows software developers to create more powerful applications. The browser extensions described below will help language instructors use ChatGPT more effectively to enhance their lessons and daily digital tasks.
In December of 2022, Cecilia Aponte-de-Hanna brought the discussion of artificial intelligence or “AI” to the TESL Ontario community with her post, AI in the Classroom: Love It or Hate It – It’s Here. Cecilia piqued our curiosity by showing us an example of a test text generation and suggested three ways that she was considering using AI with her lessons.
If you do not have a permanent, year-round teaching contract in Ontario, I am sure that you have considered alternative careers or income streams from time to time. We all have our own reasons for our professional situations whether they are extrinsic or intrinsic. As I see it, there are five paths forward for short-term, contract ESL instructors in our sector:
In 2018, Beth Beardall posted that reading advances learner grammar comprehension, vocabulary, writing skills, critical thinking skills and speaking fluency in the post Reading, Reading, Reading. Why it is so important! One way to assist your learners with reading is to encourage them to use the Microsoft Immersive Reader tool.
Over the pandemic, several instructors have commonly requested assistance with recording dialogues for PBLA activities, assessments, reading practice or listening activities. In this post, I have detailed the steps. These steps focus on preparing a listening dialogue for a class activity. I am sure that many instructors and students have devised their own hacks for this issue, so if you have invented better methods, please add them to the comments below.
Over the past six months, we have been piloting and refining a fully online,extensive reading (ER)program for the Avenue community using the Xreading program. See theMoving Forward with Extensive Reading in the LINC Contextblog post for more information. ManyLINC instructors have shown interest in a blended learning ER solution for students as they are now returning to theircentres. In this post, we offer a potential solutionand an invitation to a webinar for implementing and facilitating a blended learning ER program using the MReader tool.
Educational digital accessibility is often viewed as a set of practices dedicated that assist disabled individuals with challenges to participate in online and blended courses. In fact, accessibility practices endeavor to more than eliminate barriers to education; they ensure that digital content is enhanced for everyone. Digital accessibility practices are something we all should practice because:
In 2014, I posted on the TESL Ontario blog “Encourage Extensive Reading with MReader.” Since then, I have been integrating extensive reading with language learners in different contexts. I have learned a great deal using extensive reading in face-to-face situations. However, as COVID has forced us all online, the new challenge is facilitating extensive reading in a fully online mode.
In late 2021, Sepideh Alavi, a member of the Extensive Reading Foundation Board of Directors and Avenue mentor, and I started an extensive reading research project on the Avenue system. A critical part of this study is a pilot test of extensive reading with literacy-level classes.