Welcome to #RockNTheBoat! This blog is not about boating, though I’m not against boating. Boating is fun. It’s not about rockin’ either, though I am partial to the rock music genre, Christian and secular. No, this blog is about changing the status quo in our classrooms and engaging and empowering students through the use of creativity and technology. Unleash your own creativity, passion for your subject, and your love of learning to inspire your students to do the same. It’s not as scary as it sounds, and don’t worry, I’m right here to guide you and hold your hand, figuratively speaking, of course. I’m not likely to actually hold your hand, since I don’t really know you. I will, however, encourage you to hang on to your hat and maybe grab a life jacket until you are ready to rock your very own boat.
While ChatGPT (see previous post) has taken the world by storm, and truly set fire to education, there are other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that can also impact education. While there are always going to be negatives associated to these latest developments, there are also significant positives if you look for them. Critical thinking is a very important skill to develop in our students and teaching them how to use AI to enhance rather than replace it is crucial. Before we rush to ban all of the AI platforms and websites that are emerging, educators should dive in and explore the possibilities. The two I am going to explore have benefits for both teachers and students.
Educators have dealt with revolutionary technologies for years, and yet critical thinking, creativity, and the love of learning still exist within the walls of school buildings everywhere. While educators do have control over the tools, it can still be a challenge to navigate their use within the classroom. The latest to create panic from secondary to higher education is the artificial intelligence (AI) bot from OpenAI, ChatGPT. While the negative uses of this AI can be found in many articles, blog posts, podcasts, and social media posts, this post will focus on the value educators can tap into when considering the potential uses of AI such as ChatGPT.
The field of education, particularly here in America, is going through a crisis that doesn’t seem to be near a solution any time soon. Both new and experienced educators are leaving the field. School districts are finding bandaids to stop the hemorrhaging instead of more effective treatments. Long term subs, some barely out of high school, and others without degrees or education training are now teaching students in order to fill positions. Horror stories about what a teacher has said or done to students in their care are becoming more and more publicized and prevalent. Okay, so I have identified the problem. Great. Now what can we do?
Ever find yourself looking for a quick activity that has value for your learners but doesn’t require a lot of prep or extra work on your part? I think most educators find themselves in this position occasionally, whether it is an activity to kick off the class period, the learning session, or the conference workshop. A powerful but often overlooked tool in our arsenal is the quickwrite. Some of you are already thinking, that’s great, but I don’t teach English. I know, but the quickwrite is a flexible tool that all subjects, except maybe physical education (PE) and fitness/conditioning, can use daily, weekly, or periodically.