Well, hey there, friend. Welcome to another episode of Artworks for Teachers. I’m your host, Susan Riley. And today’s episode, I think, is one of the most exciting opportunities that we’ve had in a while. Because we’re going to talk about the other AI, which is not arts integration. It’s artificial intelligence, specifically around ChatGPT and some of the other artificial intelligence components that are coming to surface, like Bard from Google and you know Microsoft’s experiences. Well there’s so many that are rising to the surface and I think this is one of the fundamental things that is going to change education moving forward. I think we’re there and so I wanted to dive into that today because there’s so much chatter around this. Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad, I don’t know where the idea of what this is specifically, what it is, how it’s going to impact our schools if it hasn’t already, how we can connect with it creatively and use it for good. And I also want to give you some very specific examples of ways that you can use it so that you can try it and determine if it’s something that you want to use or if it’s if you’re nervous about it, how we could use it in a variety of different ways.
Sometimes I think just playing with it, just being open to trying it, I’ll unlock something in our brains that we hadn’t unlocked before and opens us up to the different possibilities that we could use with these new tools. So I think a lot of the conversation so far has been around what it is and if it’s good or bad. And we’re gonna talk a little bit about that today.
I’ve got opinions on it that I’m happy to share. I’m sure some people are going to disagree with me. This is a very hot topic right now and it’s a hot button issue. But beyond that, I want this to be a tactical episode for you. And so that’s why I’m going to provide those examples specifically around arts integration, but I’m also going to provide some additional examples outside of arts integration for ways that you can use this technology and just kind of start to dabble with it, right?
So let’s talk about specifically what this is, artificial intelligence and ChatGPT. In December of 2022, that’s when we really started to hear this thing kind of blow up and that this was the latest release and it’s, I mean, it is one of the fastest downloads of all time. There were more downloads of this than there were Facebook. I mean, like, there were so many people downloading this. And so in December of 2022, we hear all of this chatter like, oh my gosh, this is a game changer. Oh my gosh, this is going to take over the world. Artificial intelligence is now here to stay. Why is that? Well, it’s building upon us a technology that has been in evolution now for a while. And so ChatGPT is the one that came to the surface first. It is not going to be the last. There are going to be lots and lots and lots of others that come up.
And this is going to continue to evolve. But what made this so different is that it was the closest that we’ve gotten to actually getting cohesive, understood answers back in a way that felt human, that felt a little bit more like a human answer, rather than something that you would, that sounded like a drone that you would have to pull together. It actually made sense. And so,
What this means is that there’s artificial intelligence is taking a huge leap forward. And that scares a lot of people. And certainly it scares us in education. Some of the concerns that we hear are things like, it’s going to encourage kids to cheat, or it’s going to get rid of creativity. And we’re going to address some of those concerns. But the idea is that there are always pluses and minuses with any new thing that develops. What’s exciting about this is that there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle, right? And it’s also one of the things that’s the scariest, if we’re really honest. It’s here to stay, no matter what happens from here on out, this part, this component of artificial intelligence is now here to stay. And honestly, I think it’s going to continue to evolve and grow even faster moving forward.
What’s great about it can eliminate mundane tasks. There are some very big positives with this, right? There are things that we can now take off of our cognitive plate that we no longer need to worry about because we now have artificial intelligence that can handle that for us, right? On the downside, it’s not always accurate. Here’s a fun activity. Try to ChatGPT yourself, especially if you have a website or a web presence at all or are anywhere online, even if it’s on a LinkedIn profile, right? Try to ChatGPT yourself. The accuracy may or may not actually reflect who you are. Even if it does accurately reflect your professional bio, it’s not going to accurately capture who you are as a person. That is a limitation we need to recognize. I actually did it for myself. I’d ChatGPT myself. And it was very strange. I had some pieces that were actually true to my professional bio, and then it mixed it with another person named Susan Riley, who lives in Florida, and her accomplishments, which are not mine, and they kind of put it into one, one professional bio. So it was interesting for me to kind of see, you know,
So there’s some accuracy here and there’s some that is not. And so what I think that allows us to do and what opens up possibilities for us in education is to finally put critical thinking and creative thinking in the forefront. And so this is where we’re going to start to dive into the conversation of concerns and how we can address them because one of the things that AI is now going to allow us to do is to actually place in the forefront of education the things that have long been put on the back burner in replacement of the smaller mundane things that have just been on the test. I’m not saying that some of the things that we have spent our time teaching are invalid or are not worthy of our time. We can have a long conversation on handwriting and on cursive writing that we actually had a conversation at our lunch table today in the office about map reading skills and how we don’t teach map reading skills anymore because we have Google Maps and we have navigation systems in our cars that tell us literally turn by turn where to go and we no longer need to read maps. And so children are not taught those skills, right? Is that a good thing?
But what I can tell you for sure is that our curricula has gotten jam packed in the last 20 years. I mean, we just keep shoving things into the curriculum that we think that kids need to have in order to be successful in the 21st century to the point where we’re like now sitting on the suitcase trying to zip it closed and everything’s keep popping out and we just can’t seem to get the whole suitcase closed anymore because there’s so much in it.
And this has been the complaint of all of us as educators for years, is that there’s too much in the curriculum, there’s not enough time to teach it all. And so things get left by the wayside, that shouldn’t. And unfortunately, that’s predicated upon what is being tested. So what I think that the possibility of AI has is to totally change our testing environments. That’s number one. Think about it.
A student could ask ChatGPT to write them an essay on a prompt that was provided for a standardized test. And that technology could do it in a way that maybe, is equal to or even better than the student. Why are we testing it? It doesn’t make sense anymore, right? If we can eliminate that, why are we still testing it? I think this is going to change testing forever. We’re not there yet.
If we can ask these technologies to do these things for us, why are we still testing on it? I think that at the end of the day, it’s gonna change testing. I think it’s gonna change our priorities because no longer are we going to need those skills, much like the map reading skills, which would be nice to have. And quite honestly, sometimes I think still needs to happen. There are things that can handle that for us. And so as we evolve so does the technology that can support us. So let’s talk about some of these concerns.
The first one, like that teachers have, that I hear a lot are students are going to use this tool for cheating. This is what I call the calculator argument. Because there was a day when we, when schools would not allow calculators in the classrooms because heaven forbid students use the calculator for arithmetic or for multiplication to get the right answer, right? And remember those days and how silly that feels because we encourage kids to bring their calculators with them now, right? There is a time and place where we learn the explicit skill of addition and subtraction and multiplication and division, we understand those basics, right? And then there comes a time when we shift to using the calculator because now we know that process helps us do it faster so that we can get to the bigger piece of learning, which is actually this focus over here. Right? I don’t want the arithmetic or the multiplication to slow you down. So use the tool to make that faster so that you can get to the other thing, right, that I really want you to know. That’s what we’re talking about when we sit and say, oh, this is going to encourage cheating. Not if we treat it as a tool, and we understand the place of the tool isn’t used to replace, it is used to supplement, right?
So when teachers are concerned about using it for cheating, that students are gonna use it for cheating, my response is we need to teach them how to use the tool appropriately. Another great example of this is when cell phones became a reality for all of us. I was teaching in the day when there was the big debate of whether or not you allow cell phones to be available in school. Still to this day, I know there’s still conversations around this. And the problem with that is, instead of embracing that cell phones are going to be a natural part of life from here on out, and we should teach our kids how to use them appropriately, and how to use them as a tool, and not just sink into them permanently, we tried to ban them because we didn’t want them to have to do that.
And we said, if they want to use their cell phone at home, that’s fine. The problem is that people at home, parents at home, guardians at home, didn’t teach how to use those cell phones either. And so what are we faced with now? We are faced with students who are totally engulfed in social media and have no clue how to use it, how to discern from it, how to be safe with it, they have no clue. They have no clue how to separate sometimes video games from actual interactions with people, right? Because we did not teach them how to use the phone as a tool, we instead banned it. I think that’s a great example of what will happen if we try to do that with chatGPT. If we do not take on proactively the ability to teach students how to use this tool, it’s going to evolve
a point where it then impacts who they are as humans, right? And their ability to make conscious choices and to critically think and to be creative. And so I think it’s imperative for us as educators to teach them how to use it. Don’t just say let’s ban it because they could use it for cheating. Let’s prevent it in the first place. Let’s talk to them about how we can use it as a tool. Let’s look at the exciting possibilities it offers. And at the same time, let’s explore how to do so ethically. Because I think this is another area of concern that all of us have is around the idea of ethics. How are we going to use this tool ethically? How can this tool be expanded ethically? What does it mean to use it in that capacity for good? And what does it look like when we use it unethically?
Discern between the two. There has to be conversations around that. I think that is one of the concerns that scares most of us, to be quite honest, is that the technology is happening faster than we can have conversations around the ethics that should surround the technology. And so more than ever, I think we have to have those conversations. And who better to bring into those conversations than our students, right? Our students are the ones who are going to be using this and expanding upon this. And so, yes, they should be involved in those conversations as well. I do believe that ethics is an area that we need to be very concerned with when it comes to artificial intelligence. But at the same time, we can’t shy away from those conversations. We need to be having those conversations faster. And we need to look at what those boundaries should look like overall. Another concern that we hear a lot is the loss of creativity.
This is going to allow our students to not be creative at all. They can get all of their answers. They can get everything from this one source. Right? I actually think that it increases our humanity. It increases our need for critical thinking and for creative thinking. Amanda Werner, in her blog, writes this, artificial intelligence tools like chatGPT will shift our focus in English classrooms and formulas for teaching personal narrative, informative, and argumentative writing. Instead, we can focus on teaching critical thinking, revision, research, discussion, and organizing ideas creatively with websites, interactive presentations, video, infographics, podcasts, blog posts, digital art, and other new and changing media forms. I love this. I’m going to link to her entire blog post in our show notes. There is so much to be said for the mundane pieces that we have been focused on, the things that we can teach through formula, right? We can now let that go because we have technology that can handle that for us. Now we can focus on the things that technology cannot do, the things that make us human, the creative components that bring us life, the sparks, in all of the new and evolving ways that we can share that information with humanity. So I actually think chatGPT opens the door for creativity rather than closing it. I think that the tool takes over the things that we have been placing as a priority in front of creativity. And it allows us to let that go so space is available to us to explore more creative solutions, more problems that need creative thought, more critical thinking so that we can discern better. I think we’ve needed this for a long time. And so I’m not worried about creativity. I think if we get lazy and if we continue to teach what we’ve always taught, even we have tools that now can take care of that for us, then yes, we can have the opportunity to lose creativity. This is a chance for us to put that aside now and focus on the things that are creative and that only humans can do. Artificial intelligence can do a lot. We’ve seen that now and we’ve seen the leaps that it can do. But there is a core to our fingerprint, which artificial intelligence cannot do. It still requires a human to do those things. That’s what we need to explore. And then finally, the last concern that I hear most commonly is that chatGPT is going to replace teachers. And so I call this the Google argument, because this is the same argument that I heard when Google came out, and we started to be able to ask anything and get an answer. So why would we need to?
Because teachers are just there to provide answers, right? Of course not, right? So the answer to that when Google came out is we need to start asking non-Googleable questions. We need to start asking things of our students that they cannot Google, that they cannot go to the internet and find. The same is true right here. This is our chance, teacher friends, to not be replaced but instead to be placed, right? To be the prompt, to be the inspiration, to be the person that’s with those students who is encouraging them and providing that human interaction, again, that humanity piece that pulls them into something that cannot be answered with AI. Does that challenge us? Absolutely. You know, there’s a lot that you can find on the internet and that’s what AI is pulling from, right? But at the same time, we’re smart, we’re intelligent, we can do this, teacher friends. We just have to put in the work and the thought for just a second of what are the ways that, what are some things that I can have our students do that they cannot find online, that they cannot Google, that they cannot use ChatGPT for. Those are the things, those are the exciting things that I want us to explore. You cannot replicate one-to-one personal relationships with an AI tool. You can’t do it. But we can offer those in our classrooms, you know? And thinking about the arts, right? Do you know how many arts masters are innovators? Like people who have done things that have never been done before. Natrice Gaskins is a great example of that. She uses artificial intelligence in her own artwork to break the barriers of art right now. She’s fantastic at that.
Da Vinci and Bach, they developed techniques that didn’t exist before to create something new, to develop a new way that totally revolutionized their art form moving forward, which other people can build upon. What’s happening now with artificial intelligence is what has happened with art forever. It’s evolving. It’s changing. And so, the greatest artists break the mold and then the next group of people that come along, expand upon it, evolve it. And so that, it’s constantly changing. That is the opportunity that we have presented in front of us. So how do we use this tool for arts integration first? Let’s talk about that since that’s the focus of our show and then other ways that we can use it in schools in general. So I have this awesome, I’m going to come back to you for just a second.
Sharing my screen. So if you are listening online, you might want to watch the video when you come back so that you can see what I’m sharing. But I’m going to go through it with people. I have this great list of four ways that you can start using ChatGPT right now for Arts Integration that are going to save you a ton of time. The first one is standards alignments. So for example, you could ask ChatGPT to generate a list of fourth grade math standards and it will list them for you. I just got back from a PD session with teachers in Florida on Friday, where we did a station around standards alignment, and we spent 30 minutes and found one standard alignment, and it was very, very difficult because we’re learning the process of how to do it, how to look for the verb, how to align that verb, how to look for cognitive demand, and check out each standards that we aren’t familiar with. The standards alignment process of arts integration is difficult. It’s a challenge and it’s also very time consuming. But now that we have this tool, it doesn’t have to be. We can simply ask the artificial intelligence for a list of standards that make an alignment and they can provide them to us within seconds, saving us a ton of time. Now, that list, then we have to use our discernment as educators and understand that process. Do the verbs align? Is it cognitively demanding to check what has been provided for us? Right? But we don’t have to go through that whole process to develop them ourselves. This is going to, this is a game changer when it comes to arts integration. You can make those alignments really, really quickly.
Second idea is a lesson idea. You can ask your artificial intelligence a kind of tool to create a lesson outline for perhaps learning intentions, creative activities and success criteria for a lesson on the Harlem Renaissance. And so boom, you get a lesson plan idea, and then you can spend your time instead of creating the idea from scratch, going through the idea and figuring out, does this work? Do I want to sub something else in here? How can I put my own personal spin on this? So again, it gives you an opportunity to be creative. You’re not totally out of the creative process but the bulk of the work, the hard part, has been done for you by providing the lesson outline.
Here’s another great idea, assessment support. How many of you would have loved to have somebody create rubrics for you so that you don’t have to do them anymore? Well, now you have, your assistant who can do that for you. So you could ask the following prompt, generate a task that asks students to summarize the main points of an arts integration lesson on erosion and it will submit something to you so that you can have a task at hand to provide students with at the end of the day. Do you know how long that would take to create and how much time you’ve just saved yourself? That’s really exciting.
Here’s another one. I love this idea. This was not mine, but this was something that I read and I kind of expanded upon a little bit. The idea of choose your own adventure. I’m trying to improve my understanding of the causes of the Civil War, develop a creative, choose your own adventure story, and keep asking me to choose an option before moving on to the next part of the story so that I can deepen my own understanding of this. That’s a really fun activity that you could do with almost anything. So these are just a few ideas that I think will help in terms of arts integration. It also, I mean, it blows my mind how much time that would save. If you just implemented the first three, you could create an arts integration lesson every week, and it wouldn’t take you almost any extra time at all because it’s been developed for you. But remember, our job now becomes discernment. Our job becomes critical thinking. Our job comes, how do I make my own creative stamp on this and add to it?
or take out this piece because that’s not going to work for my particular students. This is where the humanity comes in. This is where we, our jobs become valuable because we are the ones who know whether or not what has been produced is actually going to work. And that is what we can teach our students to do as well. Okay, so here are some examples for use outside of arts integration. I’m going to link these in the show notes, so it’s going to be really important for you to go to episode 30 of Artworks for Teachers so that you can download these. Each one is a list. And so I’m going to share my screen so that you all can see what I’m taking a look at. First one here is six ways that you can use chatGPT to save time from Todd Finley on Edutopia. I love these. He’s put them into categories of planning instruction, handouts, differentiation, professional correspondence, assessment and writing. I just want to highlight the idea of professional correspondence. If you write the same kind of emails to many different parents consistently, or if you are writing a, you know, back to school newsletter or a welcome note or whatever, this could save you a ton of time because you just ask the tool to write you a professional correspondence and then you tweak it. Right?
I think differentiation is a huge opportunity with ChatGPT because rather than relying on our own background knowledge of how to differentiate, this is a tool that’s using a lot of different sources that can provide us with a variety of ways that we can differentiate our instruction without thinking about it. Right. So we can again, let go of some of the mundane work that we had to do and focus on creative ways to expand what that would bring to the future to us in itself. And of course, handouts or other materials. I love this idea of making flashcards, producing posters so that you don’t have to do that. One idea that I did love from him in planning and instruction, he talks about simplifying topics. So if you’re having difficulty explaining an advanced topic, you can ask the prompt, explain the topic, explain this topic of whatever it is to a first grader.
So he used the example of chloroplasts, right? And so he asked the tool and the tool said chloroplasts are little green things inside plant leaves that help the plant make its own food. They’re like tiny factories that use sunlight, air, and water to make the plants food. That’s a very simplistic way of talking about chloroplasts, but it works, right? And so if you’re having difficulty with students understanding a concept, it can help you in that as well. I love that example from Todd Finley.
Another one, let’s take a look at another one that we’ve got. Let’s see, keep having to go back and forth between different screens. Here’s one from Edwijk, Education Week, 19 ways to use Chat GPT in your classroom from Larry Falazzo, who I have followed since the beginning of my career. And so he talks about different ways that this can be a useful tool giving feedback on essays, generating ideas. If sometimes, we just get tired and trying to brainstorm feels like a lot of work, right? Let the tool do the heavy lifting of generating the ideas and then you just kind of circle the ones that are gonna work for your students. Creating quizzes for reading checks is another way this can be a huge time saver. I know people are concerned about whether or not to use this for grading. I would use it with caution. Try it, see how it does, but again, use your discernment to determine whether or not it’s something that you want to use long term, or whether or not it’s actually something that you find helpful. All right, and I keep coming to my left because I’m going around my microphone here, my friends, so if that’s what you see, that’s what I’m doing here. And then finally, from Avid Open Access, they have a post about how teachers can use chat TPD and discover eight ways that it can benefit teachers and save you time. So again, they put them into various categories. I do like the critical thinking exercise that they have here, which is to generate content on a topic and then have students fact check it. This is essentially what we’re trying to get them to learn how to do, which they don’t do on social media or very, very well anywhere else. And it’s also where we’re seeing a lot of, you know, society in general, having difficulty is fact checking. So having ChatGPT create a set of content around actually fact checking is a great way to get them to practice that skill. It also can help save time in generating your directions and tip sheets, generating thinking prompts for your students, building rubrics, analyzing writing, even generating lesson plans if you don’t have time, something that maybe a substitute could do. So these are all great ideas that I thought would be helpful and useful for you as well.
I hope this conversation around ChatGPT has has been something that is sparking some new ideas for you. And also getting you to think about how can we use this technology in a new and different way. The one thing I don’t want us to do is back away from this technology or to be so scared of it that we eliminate it from our classrooms. I think that would be a mistake. I think that what I talked about with cell phones and how we have learned from that, shows us that we need to take a look at the technology as it’s advancing. And it’s scary, but we can do it. We are able and capable of doing that and it’s our responsibility to do so. So I would love for you to think about some of the options that were offered in this episode and what you might try for yourself and with your students so that you can start to play with the technology and see how it could be useful to you. I’d also love to hear if you are using it and it was something really successful. Share with us. So there’s lots of ways you can share with us on social media, any social channel just tag us at #artsintedu or @artsintedu, either one, we’re checking all of them. We’d love to learn from you and share your ideas with the larger community as well.
I’m looking forward to seeing what you all create with this amazing technology in the future as well. That’s it for now. Have a wonderful day.