Exploring the Potential of Generative AI in Education: Personal Insights and Experiences of a School Leader
I thought it might be interesting to share my personal experiences and insights as I delve into the world of generative AI, using only free and widely available tools, and its applications in my role as a school leader.
Can I Get Started Faster? Definitely
When it comes to writing projects or gathering information for presentations, I sometimes find myself struggling with a slow start. So, my curiosity led me to experiment with generative AI resources such as Bing Chat and Chat GPT. Success! These tools provided me with valuable research insights and relevant data, acting as a catalyst to kickstart my writing projects (I did fact-check). By leveraging AI responses as creative sparks, I have experienced a boost in productivity and efficiency in completing this type of task.
Can I Get New Ideas? Not Really
As a school leader, generating fresh ideas for faculty sessions or goal-setting exercises during in-service can sometimes be a challenging endeavor. Intrigued by the potential of generative AI, I began exploring AI-driven idea generation tools. Results? Meh. I ended up scraping my own saved resources on my computer and then finally having a lightbulb moment as I thought about the Catholic practice of Daily Examen and how much those questions resemble the suggestions I have collected over the years of trying to get people excited about writing goals. Brain 1 - AI 0 (this time anyway!)
Can I Find Specific/Current Data? Sort Of
Finally, I wanted current information and to review the most recent data on adolescent girls' mental health - nope. AI tools essentially redirected me to the World Health Organization and the CDC. First it let me know that it has no data for 2022 - fair enough. Then, when I changed the date to 2021, it generated some really basic information about mental health and teen girls but offered no synthesized data until I improved my prompt and added words to direct it. I recognize that it can't give what I do not ask for (and what doesn't yet exist), but it made me appreciate the power of the prompts. This experience has taught me the significance of effectively utilizing prompts to harness the full potential of generative AI in accessing accurate and comprehensive data. Prompt generation will be a huge area of growth for all of us who may wish to use these tools in our daily lives.
As I wade further into the realm of generative AI, I am mindful of the need to continue to educate myself about its capabilities and limitations. In continuing to explore this exciting field, I want to approach it with a sense of curiosity, adaptability, and a commitment to ongoing learning. Recognizing the transformative potential of AI, I am grateful for the teachers and administrators who are dedicating their time to learning about generative AI during our summer break. By building our AI literacy, we can make informed decisions, navigate ethical considerations, and inspire our colleagues to embrace these technologies in our daily lives.
For more on developing a faculty that knows how to use and leverage AI, read this blog post.
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Brad Rathgeber (he/him/his)