Category Archives: Technology

Incorporating Listening Activities Into Literacy Classes

Image source: www.bigstockphoto.com

Literacy teachers emphasize reading and writing because those are the only two skills assessed at the literacy level. However, when does the attention given to those two skills become excessive? And, by devoting the bulk of class time to those two skills, do we do so at the expense of a holistic approach to teaching?

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 0

Make Your Word-Processed Documents More Accessible

Most of us are aware of the importance of the issues around digital accessibility through our own disabilities and supporting our students in virtual and blended classrooms. Some organizations offer accessibility training for educators and learners. Due to accessibility legislation and policies, software vendors build accessibility features into their wares. This opportunity allows us to make our documents more accessible. This post suggests some features available in the Microsoft Word app that instructors may leverage to make their digital documents more accessible. Please be aware that this is not a comprehensive accessibility resource, but an introduction for interested educators.  Continue reading

POST COMMENT 0

Simplifying Real-World Content with ChatGPT and the Canadian Language Benchmarks 

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

Lesson planning can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially for educators teaching students with lower levels of English proficiency. Adapting materials to meet the needs of these learners requires careful consideration and often entails significant effort. However, with the assistance of tools like ChatGPT, this process can be streamlined and made more efficient. 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 0

ChatGPT Prompting the Basics 

During interactions over the past year with language instructors in various venues, I have observed a trend with educators’ generative chat usage.  Instructors are aware of generative chat technologies such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Edge Copilot through mainstream media, social media, relatives, students, or their peers. However, few have gone beyond sampling these tools a few times with basic prompts out of personal curiosity or to commence using prompts for lesson preparation.  

Attempts at generating resources with a generative chat tool do not always result in usable content because instructors often give up after a few prompts.   They do not understand that creating suitable content is an iterative process that involves structure, a defined target, skill, and imagination.  In this post, I offer guidance for language educators trying to create content for instructional purposes through prompting generative chat tools.   Continue reading

Categories:
POST COMMENT 0

Smartphones can be a “Smart” Helper in the Classroom

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

At first glance, smartphones may seem like the ultimate language roadblock for ESL learners. The alluring prospect of effortlessly translating any text with a simple tap can lead to a habit of overreliance, hindering genuine language absorption. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. When approached with a strategic mindset, smartphones can indeed become “smart” tools in the ESL learning arsenal, especially for those who find themselves grappling with the complexities of English at a foundational level. 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 0

AI in ESL: Empowering Learners and Bridging Language Gaps

By Margaret Holec

Introduction

The past decade has seen a game-changing impact on English as a Second Language (ESL) education, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). Notably, AI has made students more independent in their learning, helping them secure jobs even with lower English levels. Additionally, direct translation of messages and emails has become seamless, enhancing communication.

1. Independent Learning: AI’s Role in Student Empowerment

AI in ESL education has shifted the focus to personalized learning, allowing students to learn at their own pace. This independence builds confidence and self-reliance as learners navigate language acquisition with tailored support.

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 0

Moving beyond the shadows: Showcasing AI in the classroom

In my last blog post, I mentioned the hours I had spent examining students’ work for suspected AI use. Now, a couple of months later, I am more exhausted from the process than ever. We educators are still muddling our way through without clear policies or reliable detection tools, and are literally left “up to our own devices.” 

But what if we change tack? What if we encourage students to use AI? Until now, I have balked at exploring its use in class, worried about introducing it to students who had never heard of it. After all, what kind of teacher would show students how to cheat? But I am no longer under such delusions. Unless they have been hiding under a rock, most students know exactly how to use AI tools. 

Continue reading
Categories:
POST COMMENT 3

Coping with the AI Challenge

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

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.  
 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 2

Digital Citizenship and the Challenge of AI 

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. 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 1

ChatGPT Extensions: Make it Your Personal Assistant

Generated by DALL-E 2 with the prompting of John Allan

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. 

Continue reading
POST COMMENT 4