AI Tools to Fuel Student Imagination

3 min read

“I think imagination is at the heart of everything we do. Scientific discoveries couldn’t have happened without imagination. Art, music, and literature couldn’t exist without imagination. And so anything that strengthens imagination … can help us for the rest of our lives.Lloyd Alexander, Award-winning Author

You’ve probably heard “generative AI” a lot these days and might be curious why it’s created such a buzz among some educators. You might also wonder why some educators are encouraging you to get students using generative AI tools. Generative AI is computer technology that creates products like articles, images, presentations, and even videos based on a person’s instructions. No programming or coding is needed. For example, you could use the most popular free generative AI tool, ChatGPT, and write out instructions like create a lesson plan to teach 4th graders about the water cycle and in minutes a fully developed lesson plan about the water cycle is produced or write a rap about the water cycle and within minutes one is produced. The written instructions are called prompts or even “prompt engineering.” The better you or your students get at prompt engineering, the better the AI tool is at producing something more valuable or more like what you imagined.

Why Get Students to Use AI Tools?

Most recently I’ve worked with middle school students and I’ve seen how much mobile devices, the pandemic, and cultural changes have impacted literacy. I’ve worked at different schools worldwide. Recently, I’ve worked in 4 different schools in South Texas. Adolescents and teens aren’t reading as much literature or interested in reading what isn’t on a mobile device. I’ve tried libraries of graphic novels, comics, audio books, animated books and digital books. They still prefer videos, reading status updates from peers, or reading and looking at stuff on their devices. The lack of reading has impacted their writing. It’s not the test scores so much I worry about. It’s that I continually meet many students who aren’t familiar with the writing process or find writing so difficult they give up completely. I’ve also taught community college courses and found that there are many new Freshmen who struggle to write at a 5th grade level. They struggle with the basics, even writing paragraphs. I believe AI is a great tool to help spark writing among children, adolescents, and teens. The tools below are engaging and suitable for Pre-K to 12th grade students. I’ve also included very helpful planning and time-saving AI tools for teachers. Please make sure to check out recommended AI guidelines by UNESCO, ChatGPT, and ISTE, which recommend that students 13 years-old and above can begin using AI tools with parent consent.

AI Tools
AI tools for teachers – 

AI tools for students- 

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