Generative AI Tools Supporting Lesson Planning

Despite encountering numerous obstacles since ChatGPT’s launch, educators like us are also presented with a myriad of opportunities. The recent introduction of various educational artificial intelligence (AI) platforms and tools prompted me to evaluate several AI tools with my colleagues. Reflecting on their potential impact on our teaching, I aim to recount the experience of employing MagicSchool and other AI tools in readiness for an elementary social studies class.

Envisioning Lessons Using MagicSchool.ai

Conveying our desired learning outcomes and unique perspectives on the current cultural iceberg unit to the virtual artificial intelligence guide “Coach Raina” on MagicSchool.ai was enlightening. The concept of a cultural iceberg, where only 10 percent is visible, with the remaining 90 percent concealed beneath the surface, served as the premise. MagicSchool assisted in creating a comprehensive lesson plan encompassing objectives, learning activities, extension activities, and closure, integrating collaborative learning strategies such as turn and talk, think-pair-share, and gallery walks.

Embracing MagicSchool’s recommended 80/20 approach involving AI in lesson design proved beneficial for my colleagues and me. AI handled the majority of the initial work, allowing us to review for bias and accuracy. We then contributed the remaining 20 percent to complete the task.

Generating Content Using Canva and Padlet

The lesson aimed to prompt students to identify the underlying concepts of cultural icebergs, including values, beliefs, customs, perspectives, and roles, following exposure to representative buildings from diverse cultures. To foster this understanding, we planned a series of inquiry-based activities centered around the buildings.

In utilizing buildings as a focal point to aid students’ comprehension of associated cultural icebergs, we recognized the students’ lack of prior knowledge on the subject. To address this, we opted for the magic design feature in Canva to create representative buildings from various cultures.

This approach streamlined the process of finding high-quality images for our slides, facilitating a group research activity based on provided readings. By limiting the content to seven representative buildings, we ensured elementary students had a focused research environment. The create with AI feature in Padlet allowed us to generate customized content within tight time constraints.

Exploring With Monica AI

Developing a lesson on an abstract topic necessitates extensive reading and research. Generative AI solutions like Monica AI enhance research efficiency through effective analysis. Integrating the Monica AI add-on into our web searches provided article summaries, information categories, and related pages, facilitating focused and in-depth studying of the content, while ensuring source reliability.

Refining Instructional Language Using MagicSchool.AI

During the implementation phase, we encountered challenges in helping students connect buildings with cultural concepts. Seeking guidance from Coach Raina on MagicSchool, we altered our approach. Starting with the buildings’ outlook and function, we gradually introduced historical background knowledge. We employed specific prompts like “How would you explain the connection between cultural concepts of belief with the Egyptian pyramids to a fourth grader?” to effectively guide student understanding.

Reflecting on AI Integration

Educational generative AI platforms have proven invaluable in enhancing teacher efficiency in lesson planning through tailored content, instructional language, and engaging activities. While these tools streamline the process, they require scrutiny for accuracy and bias. They serve as invaluable aids in the teaching and learning process, fostering creativity and expertise augmentation.

While automation by AI tools expedites routine tasks, it’s essential to ensure meaningful learning experiences for students. Leveraging generative AI as inspiration rather than replication, we adapt and personalize content to enrich educational practices creatively.

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