AI, Oh My!

As a lifelong learner, I’m always learning new things. It keeps me young. About five minutes ago, I learned about Craiyon, an AI illustrator which will create anything you type into it. I’m in awe, and more importantly, I can see how I would use it. On Tuesday, I used a thinking protocol called See-Think-Wonder, learned from Betsey Wheeler, where students had to procure or draw an image which represented their research topics and discuss the image by answering the following questions: 1. What do you see?; 2. What do you think about it?; 3. What does it make you wonder?. I use this protocol to help students visualize their topic as an object, so it imprints in the front of their mind as they begin their scholarly investigations. The next time I do this, I’m going to have them use Craiyon. Oh! Maybe after my 101 students write their memoirs, I’ll have them generate an illustration with their own descriptions to see what happens when they literally create a picture with words. This is the extent I’ve used AI in my classroom.

We discussed the use of AI on the first day in one of my classes, and I asked students to use it as a tool to support what they are already creating but not to supplant it. A student offered feedback about how she uses it to finesse her sentence structure and typos in her writing, beyond Grammarly. Our first Writer’s Workshop is next week, so I think I will offer students that option. Of course, I’m thinking about how if they post their own work into ChatGPT, then they are adding to the proverbial “machine,” and I’m uncomfortable with the ethical implications, like how much is too much? Somewhere out there, Aldous Huxley must be saying, “See! I told you so!”

Beyond the classroom, I’ve used ChatGPT to generate a “strengthening and conditioning exercise routine for a middle aged woman,” “recipes to boost metabolism,” and “a healthy eating menu for a family of four and corresponding grocery lists.” On Linkedin, I’ve contributed to AI generated articles with my “human” professional expertise. I’ve also started to read about how it is being used to support neurodivergent students in breaking down potential barriers, which is important to me. Moving forward, since AI has clearly claimed permanent residence in our world, I’ll utilize it as a tool in my classroom, personal life, and research, but I will remain in ethical quandary.


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