Sunday, June 30, 2024

Recorded Webinar - Today's Special Classroom Guest: Mr. A.I. Chatterbot

I recently had the pleasure to present sessions at the High Impact Conference for Educators, which is an event we put on through the Educational Service Center where I work. All of my sessions were recorded, and over time I hope to share several of the videos.

Please note that the recordings are a lot more casual than some of my other videos, as this is from an in-person conference with a room full of attendees, so there is some chatting and questions and such. Hopefully though you will still find the content helpful.

For this recording, this is the session:

Today's Special Classroom Guest: Mr. A.I. Chatterbot
AI access for students is often limited because of the students' age or because of school policies. However there are lots of engaging ways for a teacher to use AI in class for interactive learning activities where the students are participating but the teacher is still managing the AI. In this session we will see how you can "invite AI into your classroom" for interactive projects including debates on any topic, live interviews where the AI takes on a role, "20 Questions" games on subject area content, co-writing activities, and more.

See below for the full recording, as well as the resources from the session. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, feedback, or suggestions you have on this topic.

▶️ Recorded Training (48 minutes)



🧰 Session Resources

🧒 AI Use with Students

There are lots of positive ways to use AI in schools.
  • However the use of AI may be limited for students.
  • Some students are too young to use AI (most tools are for 13 and older).
  • Or student use may be limited by school policies.
  • Thankfully there are many ways that AI can still be used with students.
  • These activities involve the teacher managing the AI, but including the students in the learning activity.
  • These activities include:
    • AI Interview
    • AI Debate
    • AI Games
    • AI Co-Writing

💬 Large Language Models (LLM)

These activities can be done with a wide range of freely available AI chatbots including:

🎙️ AI Interview

Overview:
  • For this activity the AI can play a role and the students can learn content by interviewing the AI.
  • The conversational format is engaging for the students, and allows them to ask questions that interest them. 
  • This can be used in any subject area or grade level, having the AI take on roles such as:
    • Historical figure
    • Character from book
    • Person in a job
    • Person living in a different place
    • Person living in a different time
    • Animal
    • Object
Teacher's Note:
  • Test this activity before doing this live with your students to evaluate the AI chatbot you will be using for any possible issues with accuracy or bias (gender, racial, etc.).
  • Make it clear to students that the AI is only roleplaying and may respond with incorrect information.
  • As a class, evaluate the AI responses for accuracy, bias, relevance, and alignment with known facts.
  • For more details see my blog post on "Responsible Use of AI in the Classroom".
Prompt template:

For this activity you will be interviewed by the students in my class, who are aged [age range].
When you respond, it is crucial that your responses are tailored to be appropriate and engaging for this age group.
You will be playing the role of [AI role].
When you respond, embody the perspective, style, and personality of this role.
Additionally, strive for accuracy and fairness in your responses, avoiding stereotypes or biases. If the topic involves complex or sensitive material, present the information in a manner that encourages critical thinking and open discussion among the students.
Lastly, if a question falls outside your training data or if the answer might be speculative, please make it clear that the response is based on available information up to your last update and encourage students to explore further with additional research or discussion.
Are you ready for our first question?

Example prompt:

For this activity you will be interviewed by the students in my class, who are aged 9 to 10 years old.
When you respond, it is crucial that your responses are tailored to be appropriate and engaging for this age group.
You will be playing the role of a tornado.
When you respond, embody the perspective, style, and personality of this role.
Additionally, strive for accuracy and fairness in your responses, avoiding stereotypes or biases. If the topic involves complex or sensitive material, present the information in a manner that encourages critical thinking and open discussion among the students.
Lastly, if a question falls outside your training data or if the answer might be speculative, please make it clear that the response is based on available information up to your last update and encourage students to explore further with additional research or discussion.
Are you ready for our first question?

Demo video:



⚖️ AI Debate

Overview:
  • For this activity students can debate the AI on a topic.
  • You choose the topic, the AI's persona, the AI's position on the topic, and who goes first.
  • This is a great way to develop critical thinking skills and explore subject area content.
  • For even more details see my earlier post on "Elevate Critical Thinking with AI Debates in the Classroom".
Prompt template:

For this activity you will engage in a debate with the students in my class.
The topic of the debate will be [topic].
Your position will be [AI position].
Your persona for this debate will be [persona].
The age range for my students is [age range].
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
When you respond, only share one argument at a time.
Begin with your first argument.
(Or… We will begin with the first argument. Are you ready?)

Example prompt:

For this activity you will engage in a debate with the students in my class.
The topic of the debate will be "Should the school day start earlier or later".
Your position will be "the school day should start earlier".
Your persona for this debate will be a middle school principal.
The age range for my students is 10 to 11 years old.
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
When you respond, only share one argument at a time.
Begin with your first argument.

Demo video:



🧩 AI Games

Overview:
  • For this activity the students will play "20 Questions" with the AI.
  • You will provide the AI with a topic.
  • The AI will pick something to be related to that topic.
  • The class will ask "Yes/No" questions to try to determine what the AI is.
  • This is a great way to build critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills, as well as subject area knowledge.
Prompt template:

For this activity the students in my class will be playing "20 Questions" with you.
The age range for my students is [age range].
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
For this session of the game the topic category is [category].
From that topic category, choose something that you will pretend to be.
During this session of the game, do not change what you have chosen to be.
The class will try to guess what you are.
The class will ask you "Yes/No" questions about what you are.
If you know the answer to their question, answer "Yes" or "No".
If you do not know the answer, say "I  don't know" or "Can you rephrase the question?"
After you answer the question, also tell us how many questions we have left out of 20 questions.
If the class correctly guesses what you are, let them know they are correct and that they have won the game.
If the class does not correctly guess what you are within 20 questions, then let them know what you are.
Are you ready for the first question?

Example prompt:

For this activity the students in my class will be playing "20 Questions" with you.
The age range for my students is 9 to 10 years old.
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
For this session of the game the topic category is mammals.
From that topic category, choose a mammal that you will pretend to be.
During this session of the game, do not change what you have chosen to be.
The class will try to guess what you are.
The class will ask you "Yes/No" questions about what you are.
If you know the answer to their question, answer "Yes" or "No".
If you do not know the answer, say "I  don't know" or "Can you rephrase the question?"
Do not provide any additional hints or information beyond simply answering the questions.
If the class correctly guesses what you are, let them know they are correct and that they have won the game.
If the class does not correctly guess what you are within 20 questions, then let them know what you are.
Are you ready for the first question?

Demo video:



✍️ AI Co-Writing

Overview:
  • For this activity the students and the AI will co-write a story as a “round robin” or “chain writing” activity.
  • In this form of collaborative writing, the student (or AI) writes the first sentence or paragraph of the story, then the AI (or student) writes the next sentence or paragraph, and then the process is repeated over and over again to write the full story.
  • This can be a fun and engaging way to encourage student writing and creativity.
Prompt template to start:

For this activity you will be co-writing a story with the students in my class.
You and the class will take turns writing one paragraph at a time to add to the story.
When you respond, do not write more than one paragraph to add to the story.
The age range for my students is [age range].
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
The genre for this story is [genre].
The topic for this story is [topic].
You may begin by writing the first paragraph now.
(Or… The class will begin by writing the first paragraph. Are you ready?)

After each round:

The class has added the next paragraph to the story.
Re-read the current version of the story and then write the next paragraph.
Only write one new paragraph for the story.
Here is the current version of the story:
[paste story here]


Example prompt to start:

For this activity you will be co-writing a story with the students in my class.
You and the class will take turns writing one paragraph at a time to add to the story.
When you respond, do not write more than one paragraph to add to the story.
The age range for my students is 6 to 7 years old.
When you respond, always respond with words and content that is appropriate for this age range.
The genre for this story is adventure.
The topic for this story is a pet cat that suddenly can speak.
You may begin by writing the first paragraph now.

After first round:

The class has added the next paragraph to the story.
Re-read the current version of the story and then write the next paragraph.
Only write one new paragraph for the story.
Here is the current version of the story:

Once upon a time in a cozy little house on Maple Street, there lived a fluffy, orange cat named Whiskers. Whiskers was no ordinary cat; he had a big secret that nobody knew. One sunny morning, while his family was having breakfast, Whiskers suddenly said in a clear voice, "Good morning!" Everyone at the table gasped in surprise, dropping their spoons. Whiskers had just spoken his first words!

Mom and Dad did not know what to say and were silent. However Morgan thought it was awesome. She said "Good morning Whiskers! I didn't know you could talk."

Demo video:



🗣️ Communication Tools

If you want to allow your students to chat directly with the AI chatbots, you can use specialized tools that provide a school-safe, monitored experience for students.

🏫 SchoolAI

  • School AI is a free tool that allows your students to have safe, monitored interactions with AI learning activities.
  • As a teacher you set up a free account for yourself.
  • Next you select a premade AI experience or create one of your own.
  • Experiences include Bell Ringer, Exit Ticket, Topic Explorer, Historic Figures, Book Explorer, Career Exploration, Sidekick, Tutoring Session, and more.
  • You then share the invite link with the students so they can participate in the AI activity.
  • Note: Students do not sign in or get an account.
  • While the students engage in the activity, you can monitor their interactions.
  • At the end of the activity the AI summarizes the students' interactions so you can identify learning, needs, interests, and more.

💬 Mizou

mizou.com - Blog post - Demo video (17 minutes)
  • Mizou is is a free tool that allows your students to have safe, monitored interactions with educational Ai chatbots. In short, here is how Mizou works:
  • As a teacher you set up a free account for yourself.
  • Next you select a premade AI chatbot or create one of your own.
  • You then share the invite link with the students so they can participate in the AI activity.
  • Note: Students do not sign in or get an account.
  • While the students engage in the activity, you can monitor their interactions.
  • At the end of the activity the AI provides a grade for the student based on their interactions with the chatbot and the rubric you set up.


Post by Eric Curts
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