Empowering Professional Development with Options for Learning about Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has already begun to make a significant impact in the realm of education. In order to remain up-to-date and adequately prepare students for the future, educators must enhance their AI literacy. This will enable them to effectively utilize emerging tools and equip students to navigate through an ever-evolving digital landscape.

One crucial aspect of this preparation is providing teachers with professional development (PD). However, catering to their diverse needs and skill levels can pose a challenge. As professional development coaches, administrators, and educational leaders, it is imperative to personalize learning experiences to ensure engagement and relevance for all teachers based on their teaching context.

During my facilitation of PD sessions centered around AI in education, I have successfully engaged all teachers by implementing what Holly Clark calls an “explore board.” This concept involves creating a board of learning choices that assists participants in developing foundational knowledge while respecting their distinct interests. It proves to be a valuable addition to a blended learning methodology.

The primary objective of this approach is to offer teachers opportunities to dive into curated content, broaden their understanding of a specific topic, and feel empowered with a sense of autonomy in their professional development.

Moreover, this method allows me to demonstrate a technique that teachers can employ to differentiate learning for their students in the classroom. Let’s delve into how I apply this strategy to enhance teachers’ understanding of AI.

Curate relevant resources

To commence the process, I compile links to various resources that I intend to incorporate into my board. These resources span articles, videos, images, and podcasts pertaining to the topic at hand—AI. The aim is to cater to individual interests while tailoring the resources to suit the specific audience of the PD session.

For instance, when developing an explore board for a group of career and technical education (CTE) teachers, I included resources elucidating how AI impacts industries connected to their CTE programs.

Construct the explore board

To create the explore board, I kick off with a template fashioned using a Google Doc. Additionally, I utilize an AI-generated icon crafted with Microsoft Copilot. Typically, I opt for a three-by-four-cell table format, occasionally altering the size based on the number of resources I wish to incorporate. I merge the two central cells to create a larger space for guiding questions, directions, and collaborative opportunities.

Each of the ten external cells is dedicated to one resource. Within each cell, I include the following elements:

Image: If the resource is an online article, I feature its hero image on the board. For videos, I capture a screenshot of the thumbnail to paste onto the board, adjusting the size to occupy approximately half of the cell. This organization offers a preview of resources to learners and aids in recalling explored resources. It also supports teachers with students who may be struggling readers or English language learners, accommodating multiple means of representation.

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