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Showing posts from 2023

Learning Design in the age of Generative AI

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Donald Clark has published a very interesting blog post about how 'Learning Designers will have to adapt or die' and suggests 10 ways for them to upskill to AI. Just how AI will affect the job market has been a hot topic for discussion recently. The Economist's message is that the West suffers from too little automation, not too much, and we shouldn't worry .  Anecdotally, I have heard of two very different sides to how generative AI is affecting work right now. A partner's colleague who works in educational publishing has reported that this publisher has stopped working with the three freelance graphic designers they regulalrly contracted work to, and instead have hired a ' prompt engineer ' for their illustration needs. On the other hand,  Mexican friend who works for a PR agency told me her boss has embraced the changes and is giving the team (copywriters and illustrators, etc) weekly training sessions on how to get the best out of AI tools, and is encou

AI has Killed the Metaverse

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  I heard it first on Facebook, it sounded so sublime. A virtual world beyond what we see in space and time. A place where we could live and work and play. A digital dream where anything was okay.  But now AI's killed the Metaverse. and we never saw it coming at all. AI killed the Metaverse.  And now we're left with nothing at all. Remember the Metaverse ? That place that resembled Second Life but which was actually many places (Meta Multiverse?) and where you could use VR, and where the avatars didn't have any legs ? What's happened to it? I think the buzz around ChatGPT, MidJourney, and all things AI has basically killed it off as anything to get excited about. To use Gartner hype-cycle-speak, the Metaverse is probably languishing in the Trough of Disillusionment with little chance of dragging itself up the Slope of Enlightenment.  It doesn't surprise me. Although, I briefly got excited that the initial flicker of virtual worlds becoming the next big thing again,

Research & Teaching vs Teaching & Research : TESOL 2023

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I'm currently attending the 2023 TESOL Convention in Portland, Oregon, USA. At the opening on Wednesday, the Presidential Panel was on 'Inspiring the Future of Research in ELT ' and featured Joyce Kling (President, TESOL International Association (2022–23); Senior Lecturer, Lund University, Sweden) and Jun Liu (President, TIRF; Rector, City University of Macau, China; Past President, TESOL International Association (2006–07) as modeators, and David Nunan (Trustee, TIRF; Professor Emeritus, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Past President, TESOL International Association - 1999–2000), Peter De Costa  (Coeditor, TESOL Quarterly; First Vice President, AAAL (2022–23); Associate Professor and MATESOL Program Director, Michigan State University, USA), Shondel Nero (Inaugural Recipient, TIRF James E. Alatis Prize (2016); Professor of Language Education, New York University, USA). and  Özgehan Uştuk  (Chair, TESOL Research Professional Council; Postdoctoral Fellow, Th

ChatGPT and Assessment (Part 3): University Assessment

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"ChatGPT-3 does not provide you with an answer to your prompt, it provides you with an output. That is a different thing altogether" (Kate Lyndsay, 2022) Continuing the series on ChatGPT and Assessment ( Pt 1 and Pt 2 ), let's look at how the emergence of tools such as ChatGPT has disrupted the nature of education (see ChatGPT and Education ), especially University Assessment.  Designing Assignments in the ChatGPT Era has this to say:  "Some instructors seek to craft assignments that guide students in surpassing what AI can do. Others see that as a fool's errand - one that lends too much agency to the software...Either way, in creating assignments now, many seek to exploit ChatGPT's weaknesses."  The article then goes into detail of how to do this. Either way, it recognises that assignments, and clearly (although not stated here) assessment in general has been disrupted and there is no going back.  Educators have started initiatives to take advantage o

ChatGPT Educational Challenges #8: Pandemic impacts on the education system.

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  The last of the Major Educational Challenges Facing Teachers today according to ChatGPT was how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on virtual learning and the education system. This is the advice the software provided for teachers:  1. Be prepared Be prepared to adapt to virtual and online learning, and be familiar with the technology platforms and tools that will be used for remote instruction.  2. Communicate with students and families Communicate regularly with students and families to keep them informed of changes and updates to the virtual learning experience.  3. Set clear expectations and boundaries Clearly communicate expectations and boundaries for virtual learning, such as attendance, participation, and deadlines.  4. Use a variety of teaching methods Incorporate different teaching styles, such as visual, auditory, and hands-on activities, to engage students and cater to different learning styles.  5. Provide support for students Provide support for students who may be strugglin

ChatGPT Educational Challenges #7 - New Research and Best Practices

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  When asked about how to keep up with new research and best practices, as part of the Major Challenges Facing Teachers today, ChatGPT suggested the following:  Teachers can first read educational journals and publications: Read educational journals and publications such as Education Week, The Journal of Educational Research, and The Educational Forum to stay up-to-date on new research and best practices in education.  Then, I recommend Attending professional development workshops, conferences, and webinars to learn about new research and best practices in education.  Also important is to join professional organizations: Join professional organisations such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) to stay informed about new research and best practices in education.  You can also utilise online resources such as the EdTech Review, EdSurge and EdTech Times to stay informed about new research and best pra

ChatGPT: What it's not

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  I've recently seen a lot of posts on social media criticising ChatGPT : warning that it delivers factually incorrect responses, showing how you can trick it into giving the wrong answers to maths problems, complaining it makes up references to sources that don't exist. All these posts really show is the author's misunderstanding of what ChatGPT is and what it isn't. The graphic above (by HFS Research ) is useful. In another article, HFS Research write : "Let’s not forget the platform is limited to the input the algorithm was trained on... it's a large language model, GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3)..."  What does ChatGPT say about itself? It says: it was:- …trained using a machine learning technique called unsupervised learning, which means that it is trained to generate text by predicting the next words in a sequence based on the ones that come before it, without the need for human-provided labels or annotations. This allows GPT-3 to generat

ChatGPT Educational Challenges #6 - Balancing Workload

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Challenge number 5 of The Most Important Educational Challenges facing teachers today , according to ChatGPT was 'Balancing workload and finding time for lesson planning and preparation'. This is the advice ChatGPT gave when asked to help with this: 1. Create a schedule. Create a schedule for your workday and week that includes time for lesson planning, preparation, and other tasks.  2. Prioritise tasks Prioritise tasks based on their importance and urgency, and focus on the most important tasks first.  3. Set realistic goals.  Set realistic goals for what you can accomplish in a day or week and don't overburden yourself.  4. Use technology to your advantage. Utilize technology such as online calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps to help you manage your workload and stay organized.  5. Collaborate with colleagues.  Collaborate with other teachers to share resources and ideas, and divide tasks amongst each other.  6. Take breaks.  Take regular breaks throughout the

ChatGPT Challenges #5 - Student Engagement and Motivation

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The next of the challenges ChatGPT suggested were the most important facing teachers today was 'Ensure student engagement and motivation'. How best to do that? Well, ChatGPT suggested the following:  The first thing you should do is to use a variety of teaching methods:  Incorporate different teaching styles, such as visual, auditory, and hands-on activities, to engage students and cater to different learning styles.  Next, Make learning relevant. Connect the material you are teaching to real-life experiences and students' interests to make it more relevant and engaging. I’m not the only one to suggest this, but use technology. Utilize technology such as educational apps, videos, and interactive games to engage students and provide multiple ways for them to learn.  It’s also important to encourage student choice. Allow students to make choices in their learning, such as choosing the topic of a group project or the way they want to present their work.  You should also prov

ChatGPT Challenges #4 - Curriculum and Policy Changes

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When asking ChatGPT to tell me the most important challenges faced by today's teachers , challenge number four was 'Keep up with changes in curriculum and educational policies'. What advice does the tool offer when it comes to this challenge? To begin with, keep informed of changes in curriculum and educational policies by regularly checking government websites, attending professional development workshops and conferences, and reading educational journals and publications.  Next, collaborate with colleagues: Collaborate with other teachers and share resources and ideas for implementing new curriculum and policies. It’ important to be flexible.  Be open to new ideas and be willing to adapt your teaching strategies to align with new curriculum and policies.  Attend professional development opportunities to learn more about new curriculum and policies and how to implement them in your classroom.  Use technology to your advantage. Utilize online resources and educational techn

ChatGPT Challenges #3 - Reflective Practice

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  Following on from asking ChatGPT to provide advice for teachers on the major educational challenges they face , I asked the following questions after the software suggested a teacher should reflect on practice:  How can a teacher effectively reflect on their practice? What do you suggest they do? How should a teacher start? Reflecting on one's practice is an essential step in becoming an effective teacher. Here are some suggestions on how a teacher can effectively reflect on their practice. 1. Keep a reflective journal. Keep a reflective journal where you can record your thoughts and observations on your teaching practice. Reflect on what worked well and what didn't, what challenges you faced, and what you learned from the experience.  2. Seek feedback.  Seek feedback from students, colleagues, and supervisors on your teaching practice. This can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement and strengths.  3. Reflect on your goals. Reflect on your goals for the class

ChatGPT and Assessment (Part 2)

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  Continuing the series on  ChatGPT and Assessment (Part 1) , this blog post looks at the impact the tool is starting to have on this area of language education and what teachers can do about it.  Already, educators are starting to question whether the emergence of ChatGPT means the end of assessment as we know it.  How can the integrity of assessments when students are able to use nefarious means to complete them?   asks learning elearning , stressing the importance of adding context to any assignment that is set and ensuring students take responsibility for their learning (easier said than done?).  The blog links to a number of other posts that discuss the topic:   FE News  proposes using a variety of question types, different types of tests (e.g. oral presentations or practice-based assessments with students being observed) and more effective proctoring systems. The Conversation thinks the emergence of the tool is an opportunity to rethink assessment altogether. They warn teachers

ChatGPT game for language learning: 20 Questions

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  The game 20 questions is a popular game for students. You can use ChatGPT  to play this game with students. Either play the game online with the students with them using the software live, or use ChatGPT to generate the texts for you to use with students in class. They can either test each other in pairs or groups using the texts or you can do it with all of the students in class together.  Here' s the prompt I used and what ChatGPT came up with when I tried it: Let's play a game of 20 questions. Write me a short description of a place in the world without revealing the name of the place. I have twenty opportunities to ask yes/no questions to guess the name of the place. If I answer correctly, award me 5 points and then think of another place to continue playing. Sure, let's play! Here's your first description: This place is a city located on the banks of a river, known for its iconic tower and Gothic cathedral. It is also famous for its art museums, cuisine, and roma