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Artificial Intelligence: How AI Will Help Us Lean Into PBL

Feb 02, 2023

So, I just got back from TCEA, my state's technology conference and AI was all the rage.  In almost every single session that I attended, they mentioned or shared ChatGPT.  And, let's be honest, this tool has the potential to change everything. did Google. My friend and gifted education champion, Brian Housand, recently shared the following quote, "If your students can ChatGPT the answer, you may be asking the wrong questions."  There is so much truth in that statement!

I started thinking on my way back from the conference about the things that artificial intelligence can't do.  There are so many things that it can do and blocking it in the classroom is probably not the best solution.  The reality is that ChatGPT is not in your classroom.  It can't reflect on happened in the classroom if it wasn't there.  ChatGPT cannot create physical products or demonstrate deep understanding through application and it's even self-aware enough to know that (see the photo above). It cannot make personal connections as it doesn't know what the learner has experienced and therefore, isn't able to know what connects and what doesn't.  

AI isn't going away.  It's here to stay and it will only become faster and more intuitive.  My hope is that the presence of these tools will encourage us to utilize them when it's appropriate and lean into experiential and project-based learning as a way to make learning meaningful. These experiences give our learners the opportunity to reflect, apply, and make connections...all things that AI is unable to do for them.  

I don't share Genius Hour because it's cute or because it's a buzzword in education.  I share it because it helped my learners do all of the things mentioned above. It just makes sense that if a learner can connect something that they are interested in to a standard or concept that is being learned, the learning will be much more meaningful and it becomes more likely to stay with them.  

Look, I don't know what's coming next or how quickly things will change moving forward.  But, I do know that AI will impact what learning looks like. Instead of being scared or frustrated, I think we should be excited how this technology will move the needle forward and hopefully, encourage us as educators to make the shift from just writing lesson plans to designing meaningful learning experiences.  

How do you feel about artificial intelligence?  How do you think it might impact your classroom?  Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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