We are still very much ascending up the Gartner Hype Cycle when it comes to A.I. Eventually the hype will level out, but while I have your attention, I thought I’d share 10 interesting A.I. tools to consider using in your classroom either with your students or just to save you time. I shared these in a recent workshop with teachers and gave them time to play around and get familiar with them. I believe that’s the most important part of learning any new technology, you have to dip your toe in the water first just to get a feel for it. Before I list the tools, a little bit of history first.
History of Artificial Intelligence
When I recently asked some educators what year they thought A.I. was invented, their guesses ranged from 1970 to 2010. They truth is, the very first documented use of A.I. happened in 1951 by a gentlemen named Christopher Strachey at Oxford University. He used a Mark I computer (about the size of a classroom) to design one of the first video games.
A few decades later in 1986, NavLab developed the first successful autonomous vehicle. A gangly looking blue Chevy van that had been adapted with different cameras and a mobile computer. Although, I still feel like the first autonomous car was Kitt from Knight Rider in 1982.
In 1997, world chess champion Gary Kasparov was defeated by an A.I.-fueled computer by the name Deep Blue. Even though he had defeated the computer in 1996 by a score of 4-2, a year later, the computer, now with more input data, was able to defeat him. All of this to say, artificial intelligence has been around a long time and just recently has it started to enter mainstream status with tools like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
What follows are a list of 10 A.I. tools that could be used in the classroom for a variety of reasons. Whether it be students creating deeper meaning or a teacher trying to save some time in their already jam-packed day, these 10 tools are just the tip of the iceberg as we relive the “app creation” movement from a decade ago only now with A.I.
ChatGPT for many different uses
I have to start with the tool that launched the A.I. hype cycle. While it’s fun to ask it to make up a song about mitosis as rapped by Eminem, it also has several other everyday uses that could help teachers save time in their day. I won’t list all of them here, but just a few to consider:
- Generate review questions
- Write email notes to parents
- Make lists for any topic
- Ask it to edit a writing passage and make suggestions
- Create a set of instructions for students
- Generate writing prompts
- Summarize a large piece of content
I have to give my good friend Monica Burns a shout-out here. Be sure to check out her list of 50 prompts for ChatGPT.
Canva’s Text to Image Creator
There are a bevy of text to image creators hitting the A.I. marketplace now. Night Cafe, Deep AI, Dall-E, and Bing’s image creator are just a few that I’ve tried out over the last few months. However, just like ChatGPT, some of these face student data privacy issues and schools could be potentially blocked by a district. Canva is a tool that is widely used in education and free for verified educators. They’ve added a few new apps in their collection including the Text-to-Image tool that could be used to create graphics for a story, newsletter, flyer, or just about anything else. Simply put in your prompt (like a panda riding a bike in NYC) and choose the art style and it will generate 4 choices within seconds.
Canva’s Magic Write tool
If ChatGPT is blocked in your school, this could be a great work-around. Canva has a built in “magic write” tool that pops up whenever you are typing on a document or background. The magic write tool allows you to create your own prompts to generate pretty much any text you desire. See gif below for an example straight from Texas.
D-ID Avatar Creator
I’ll admit I’ve had way too much fun with this tool already. Imagine if you will, a tool that lets you upload a picture of someone and then have them speak in an animated way? Using D-ID Avatar creator (which now integrates with Canva), you can do just that. I actually used this tool recently when a panelist for my closing keynote at an event couldn’t make it. So I just generated an AI-version of her to respond to my questions. It’s both fun and a little creepy, but could be a great way to have someone other than the teacher give instructions. D-ID has a ton of pre-built avatar “actors” and voices that you can even alter based on mood. Free version lets you create a few minutes of talking avatars but if you want more, you’ll have to buy credits.
QuestionWell to create and export quiz questions
QuestionWell.org lets you enter any topic, subject, grade or standard and then generate a series of different multiple choice output questions with answers. It takes a few minutes to work its magic but once the A.I. creates the questions, you can edit, adjust and then export to your favorite quizzing tool like Kahoot!, Quizziz, Quizlet, etc. Shout out to Danieli Parker for sharing this one with me.
Curipod to create an interactive presentation on the fly
I’ve always been a big fan of the tool Nearpod over the years. I use it to make presentations more interactive and student-paced. While their library has grown, sometimes creating a presentation from scratch can be quite time-consuming. Enter Curipod. Curipod uses A.I. to create an interactive presentation about just about any topic. It even embeds activities like polling, word cloud generators, a post-it wall, and drawing features. Just seconds after creating, teachers can post a join code to invite students in to participate.
Glasp.co to summarize YouTube content
YouTube has been a go-to source of content for teachers over the past decade. From historical speeches to scientific experiments, there are several long-form educational videos on the platform. Summarizing the content can be a bit of a challenge but now there’s a Chrome extension by Glasp.co that will use A.I. to create a transcript and then utilize ChatGPT to summarize it for you. Billed as the “Social Web Highlighter”, you can even use the extension to jump to a specific piece of content in a video.
Super Meme to generate a hook
Kids (and adults) love the use of memes to get across a certain sentiment or feeling. While there have been many meme-generating tools out there (including templates on Canva), SuperMeme let’s you enter text to prompt the kind of meme you want. Then the A.I. goes to work and displays a variety of different output memes for you to choose from.
Adobe’s Express Animation for student demonstration
Creating an animated video can involve an intense amount of time. From creating the animation, to the movements, sounds and narration, the entire process to create a 30-second animation could take 20+ hours. Adobe’s Express Animation takes that time and compresses it into mere seconds. For this tool, I like the student application as they could use various animations to demonstrate their understanding of a topic rather than just creating a slide show.
Pictory AI to create an explainer video
I used to teach a class for young film makers a decade ago. The process to create a short film took over 20 hours spread out over two weeks of class. Mobile devices have made video capture easier and the built-in editing features in apps like TikTok mean you can quickly upload and create a video. However, creating a video using a mix of images, animations, narration, and background audio is still very time consuming. Pictory.ai lets you upload a script around a topic and then uses A.I. to generate a variety of creative commons animations and stock footage to accompany the text. You can select from a variety of narrators or use your own voice. The entire process took less than 15-minutes from beginning to end. The free version does limit the length and has watermarks, but could still be a useful way to explain a concept to students in a different way.
While I know there are dozens of other A.I. tools entering the market place, these particular apps I feel have some instant classroom application and I’ve already used them in some form or fashion when it comes to teaching or professional learning.
If you want to take a deeper dive into using AI tools for education, check out my latest book Learning Evolution: The New Era of AI in the Classroom available for pre-order here: https://mrhook.it/ai
Carl Hooker is a public speaker, trainer, podcaster and entrepreneur. He speaks at national and state conferences on the thoughtful integration of technology in education and the importance of risk-taking and failure in schools. Click here if you would like to request him for your next event.