Tuesday, June 4, 2024

What's New in Google - May 2024

Catch up on everything new in Google Workspace for Education from May 2024, and see great ideas and resources!

Below is the recorded video from our May 2024 Google User Meeting, along with the meeting agenda with all the awesome resources and Google updates from the last few months. This includes lots of new Google updates and Google resources for your class.

The monthly meetings are hosted by the Google Educator Group of Ohio, but are open to anyone from any location. The purpose of these meetings is to:
  • Connect Google-using educators
  • Share the latest Google Workspace news and features
  • Provide tutorials, demonstrations, and how-to’s
  • Share best practices of how Google Workspace is being used within schools
  • Ask questions and get answers
The video from the meeting is recorded and available for later viewing for those who cannot attend or connect live. See below to view the recorded video, agenda, and all the resources from the May 2024 meeting:

Monday, May 27, 2024

Elevate Critical Thinking with AI Debates in the Classroom

Although I often share about the beneficial ways AI can help educators and students, I also focus on the potential concerns about AI in schools, and how we can address those issues.

These concerns often arise during my professional development sessions or workshops, particularly in my "Artificial Intelligence / Natural Misuse: Managing AI in Schools" workshop. You can access all the resources for this workshop at https://bit.ly/curts-aimisuse

I will often ask the educators what their concerns are about AI in schools. In addition to the common responses of cheating and data privacy and biases, many times the attendees will mention they worry that AI might discourage critical thinking in students. If AI can do so many things so efficiently, it could be a temptation for learners to just let the AI do the thinking instead of themselves.

My normal response to this is that yes, that is certainly a possible outcome, but it doesn't have to be. Ultimately AI is just a tool. It is not good or bad. Just like a hammer can be used to destroy or to build, AI can be misused or it can help students grow.

One of my favorite ways to demonstrate AI's ability to encourage critical thinking is the "Debate an AI" activity. Let's take a look at the prompt and directions for this activity.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Recorded Webinar - Chromebook Accessibility Tools

Over the years I have had the opportunity many times to present sessions on accessibility tools, accommodation options, and resources to help support all learners.

These have always been some of my most popular sessions as everyone can benefit from these tools.

Over time these resources have also continued to develop with new tools, features, and options. With all of these continual updates, I was excited to have the opportunity to present a webinar for Trafera on "Chromebook Accessibility Tools".

In this 1-hour training we did a deep dive into all the ways Chromebooks can support all learners through built-in accessibility tools and features. See below for the recording, as well as all the resources for the session.

AI Policies, Guidelines & Frameworks for Schools

Although ChatGPT became readily accessible to the public back in November of 2022, we are still in the early days of exploring and understanding these new powerful AI tools and their implications for education.

For most schools around the world that means developing policies and guidelines that clarify how AI can and should be used by their students and educators, as well as which uses are prohibited or limited in a school setting.

If your school does not have AI guidelines yet, you are certainly not alone. Many districts are still digging into this task with committees and pilot groups and more.

Thankfully there are many organizations and schools that have been blazing a trail in this area by developing and sharing their own AI policies, guidelines, and frameworks. I have been collecting links to these resources as I come across them and will share them below in this post.

These resources provide templates, examples, and guidance that you can use when developing policies for your entire district or just your own classroom. As I come across more resources I will continue to update this page, and encourage you to share similar resources through my Google Form.

Monday, May 20, 2024

AI Prompting: Collaborative Prompt Technique

I have shared a lot of resources recently to support AI prompting for educators. These have included my collection of AI prompt libraries and my AI super prompt.

In both cases the idea has been that prompting an AI chatbot can sometimes be a challenge, as we are not always sure what to type in to get the best results.

Recently I learned about another great suggestion to improve prompting, which came from one of my edtech colleagues, Chris Deis from Grandview Heights Schools. I have been playing around with this new technique and have really been impressed with its ease of use and the quality of the results.

For lack of a better term, I am calling this process the "Collaborative Prompt Technique". Instead of trying to come up with the best prompt yourself, the idea is to:
  • Tell the AI chatbot the task you want to accomplish
  • Ask the AI chatbot what information it needs from you to do this
  • Provide that additional information to the AI chatbot to get your result
This collaborative prompting technique is a great way to work with the AI to determine all the details needed for the best results. See below for the template I have been using for this approach, as well as three examples of how this works.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

EdTech Links of the Week - 5-7-24

Each week I keep an eye out for the latest edtech resources through blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, user groups, and more. I then try to reshare these resources in many ways.

One way I share these is here on the blog in these "EdTech Links of the Week" posts. See below to explore the latest batch of resources, and be sure to share with others who may benefit.

If you want to make sure you don't miss new resources, you can:
🔗 View all EdTech Links of the Week: bit.ly/caa-links
📰 Sign up for my weekly email newsletter: bit.ly/curts-news
📧 Join the "Control Alt Achieve" email discussion group: bit.ly/caa-emailgroup
🔔 Get new blog posts automatically through email - FollowIt link

And as always, please let me know of any resources that you recommend. I would love to learn from you!

Monday, May 6, 2024

Join me for Week of AI 2024

With AI in education constantly evolving, it is always great to have new professional development opportunities to stay up to date and keep learning.

I am excited and honored to be part of a free week-long virtual PD opportunity called "Week of AI" that anyone can participate in.

Here are the essential details:

Week of AI

I will be providing two sessions during the Week of AI:
  • Friday - 5:30-6:30pm EST - "The Bionic Educator" Keynote
  • Saturday - 1:00-2:00m EST - "Today's Special Classroom Guest: Mr. A.I. Chatterbot"

I look forward to learning with you!