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.
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.
If we can learn anything from ChatGPT and all other AI tools, it is that their product is the result of people who immersed themselves in the process of collecting information before arriving at the final product. The secret to success is what took place behind the scenes —the work it took to arrive at the final product.
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.
Whether we teach a class in person or we teach an online synchronous course, Mentimeter can accommodate engaging large groups of audiences. If we teach a class implementing Bloom’s Taxonomy approach, Mentimeter can be a great tool in developing a successful and engaging lesson. Continue reading →
TESL Ontario’s 2022 conference, which marked the organization’s 50th anniversary, brought forth current perspectives, reflections, and suggestions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This post highlights takeaways from six talks about fostering inclusion, advancing accessibility, and supporting newcomers.
I have taught exclusively online for two and half years. During this time, the number of digital tools in my arsenal has skyrocketed. I have been consumed by technology. I used to feel sorry for “computer nerds” who squirrelled away in their basements, rarely coming up for air. And now I am one of them.
As a person and as a language instructor, I hear the words ‘small talk’ and I shudder. However, I have learned – after teaching online for nearly three years now – not to underestimate the opportunities and utility of focusing specifically on Small Talk in class. Focusing on Small Talk has always been successful. When surveyed, learners consistently report that they want more Small Talk rather than less.
I started teaching virtually with a fairly small class (CLB 7) who really responded to Small Talk. For one thing, I found the class needed to deal with mental health issues – near the beginning of COVID – and needed to feel as social as possible in a virtual environment. That’s when I started to develop Small Talk as an integral activity. Most recently, I had a much larger class that also responded very well to the Small Talk activities. This activity is not a one-off lesson but rather focuses on best practices, routine, feedback, and refinement.