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13 Top tips for teachers wondering about Generative AI (ChatGPT, Bing, etc)

  1. Start learning-by-doing yourself, because education is the antidote to fear (that's why we are teachers, remember). Get to know the beast and remember you are doing it for your students. Many of them have added an AI apocalypse to their list of things to worry about. They need you to be alongside them on this journey.

  2. Just play. Break if you can. Throw it wild things. My first ever interaction with ChatGPT was, "some mornings, my wife turns on the coffee machine with no intention of making a coffee. What do you think she means by that action?". The response surprised me (no, I'm not going to tell you what that was).

  3. Forget what you've learned about writing google prompts - an AI chatbot is completely different. If you want to know the number of kangaroos in NSW, or a recipe for pumpkin soup, ask google not generative AI.

  4. Learn by examples. This is a great library of prompt examples for teachers. Try a few. Then ask it to change the output to more like you want it. One style of prompting has this 3-part anatomy: (1)the role you want it to play, (2)the audience or purpose of the output and then (3) what exactly you want it to do. If it misinterprets you, tell it how to improve the response.

  5. Walk the middle line for a while - neither an evangelist not a doomsayer be.

  6. Start a new conversation each time you pivot. It will frame its answers based on the entire chat, so if you non sequitur it will be confused.

  7. Think of how you could use this could assist student learning. Yeah I know, you're a teacher and you were already doing that! I play any new game and wonder how I can tweek it to make a fun lesson. (find out about creating agents or training an AI to do a thing)

  8. Remember it will confabulate (or hallucinate) with great confidence in itself. Just ask it how confident it is! (no, I mean it. Ask it for a self-confidence rating)

  9. Remember is it biased.

  10. So join the previous 2 into a class game to find bias and explore it's misconceptions of key ideas in your subject area. Your students will need to exercise their domain knowledge to find misconceptions and their well-tuned sense of fairness to identify the bias. A great critical thinking exercise!

  11. When you use it - reference it. Let's normalise good, appropriate, ethical use of AI for our students' sake.

  12. View it more like a pushbike and less like an Uber. A pushbike takes your effort and direction and propels you further and faster than you could otherwise have gone. Model that for your students.

  13. Have FUN with it! Try this - "in Shakespearian english, write a dialogue between chromosomes undergoing meiosis". Then go nuts in your own domain. Laughing at or with something makes it kind of hard to fear it. What fun your students could have... oooh, here comes another cool class idea....

I create most images on this site with the help of an AI.

by Roger Kennett, Learning Forge

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