A.I. in Education

My Magazine on A.I. in Education

Here is my presentation on an area of tech in ed that I feel will prove to be a game changer. I have learned a lot by creating my magazine on Scoopit. I hope you find my overview of some aspects of A.I. in education interesting!


Game On!

The feeling of being immersed in another world that allows to you interact with more adrenaline creating activities than most people will ever have in their lifetimes has a draw that has impacted generations and made billions.

Educators seeking to “game-ify” their classrooms or certain lessons are taping into a proven way to engage students by attempting to use the behavior shaping aspects of video games. Video games often have a storyline, which may be as simple as “you have to kill enemy planes or be killed”. The thrill of shooting down and dominating an adversary is thrilling even if only in the 2d world of a device screen. More complex stories like Assassins Creed provide a complex character and plot to engage the user.

In both cases imagination and fantasy come in for a close up. The game allows you to deceive yourself that the character’s superhero ability is somehow your own because “you” are shooting, jumping, dominating or using your smarts to figure out the mystery or out play your opponent.

Gameplay Trailer Assassins Creed


The appeal of a facilitated fantasy of near omnipotence is almost too much for people, especially young people to resist. The Bartle test was created to analyze the characteristics of individuals based on their gaming style and preferences. The attempts to better understand students and the way their mind works is key to differentiating content design.

Bartles Character Theory Chart.png

Hollywood has the behavioral science of planned and timed reinforcement down pat. The game gives endorphin-producing shots of adrenaline. The study of behavioral game theory as opposed to traditional game theory shows that players don’t always make utility maximizing choices. To me this implies a certain level of emotional irrationality.

UMass Article on Game Theory and Behavior


The idea of constructing lessons that utilize the power of creating stories and contexts that are intrinsically motivating to students is just too powerful to ignore. I think that we most study what science is learning about the brain and behavior as well as learning paths and motivation to be able to create meaningful and successful instruction.

A few years ago everyone was trying to use mine craft in the classroom as a breakthrough game but also to gamify lessons using MC to teach visualizing and verbalizing, proportions or to virtually explore historical structures. This type of activity crossed the boundaries between the idea of using games to teach and gamification because mine craft is more a platform than a game so educators are able to construct lessons using the mine craft environment rather than using a specific game.mine craft.jpg


I think the future potential for gamifying instruction is huge and like VR and AI will in effect, simply become an integral part of instructional design. However, like the other two technologies, we are not there yet. I applaud teachers who are attempting to implement the winning strategies of games in instruction but most of what I have seen doesn’t have the appeal to engage students at the same level as successful games.

Good teaching will use any and all techniques that a teacher can make her own, so good teachers will figure this out based on their own inspiration. When technology and game producers and brain researchers get to a threshold stage I think that gamification will simply be an aspect of learning and education will be able to leverage the learning advantages of gamification.

Mood Flip

I created this video lesson to instigate the process of visualization. This video would be assigned the day before students start to create their project. The goal of the project is to create a mood in the context of an environment or setting for our digital storytelling class.

Visualization is at the heart of all storytelling so it is essential that students can begin the process and use it as their fundemental tool when creating their stories.

This video lesson is meant to help them actually see, hear and feel the impact of production techniques. I hope that by giving them this concrete example they understand the power they have to communicate a feeling and get excited about their own project.

Flipping the learning for this lesson is important because the students require time to elaborate their creative ideas which tend to germinate overnight.

I have found that by simply focusing students on the creative process and asking them to stop and visualize before they begin their projects,  outcomes and learning improve.

Dear students,

This video shows creating a mood with simple post production techniques. The objective is to help you start to use visualization for your projects. I suggest you watch the video directly from YouTube so the screen is bigger. It will be easier to follow the edits and effects.

Watch this video before class tomorrow.



Lessons from Implementing 1:1 in the Classroom

I found three resources written about utilizing 1:1 in my context which is the classroom. The content addresses how teachers can use devices to change and improve instruction. I focused primarily on comments and ideas that I could utilize to leverage in my current situation. Each of my students has access to a Macbook from the cart in the classroom. I am interested in how to use the devices to impact learning rather than simply continue to teach in the same way with the computer. Below are some of my key take-aways from the sources as well as the source and my comments to their blogs.

5 Demands Placed on Students in a 1:1 Classroom by Shawn McCusker


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Shawn discusses making learning choices for students. He points out that with the wealth of information available students can become intellectually frozen by the volume of choice. Creating a learning path which utilizes the device will enhance their learning and help them curate their sources. I believe this insight is essential to defining our new role in the 1:1 classroom. It is often stated that no single teacher can know every thing that Google knows so our role becomes that of learning guide rather than dispenser of information. This will lead to more creativity from teachers and allow them to access their natural role as communicator and leaders in learning. Freeing teachers to create pathways to self-directed learning will be an immense opportunity for teachers and students.

5 Epiphanies on learning in a 1:1 ipad Classroom by Alyssa Tormala


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Aylssa discusses how she uses the ipad to improve the writing process through drafts, peer review and revisions. Her observations about improving writing by enabling students to easily get feedback from her and peers then making revisions is a great example of how 1:1 can alter teaching methods to improve student performance. Alyssa has found that the product of her students has improved through the use of creating, sharing and critiquing using the ipad.


Why Every Student Should Be in a 1:1 Classroom by Kelly Walsh


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Kelly points out that a device can help differentiation in the classroom through resources like Kahn Academy. Kahn can differentiate delivery through self-directed learning. Students have choices about which content to use, the speed of delivery and the options to review multiple times. Assignments can also be differentiated in platforms like ixl.com. I have recently discovered that Google Read and Write can modify the reading level of texts in the same way that The New York Times for students would publish the same article for differnt reading levels except that Google takes any text and differentiates the reading level. I believe that this type of technology will become increasingly important to delivering content to students that increases learning through technology.


Learning from Hal 9000-AI and Education


Link to my magazine:  Learning from Hal 9000


I am new to curation and curation tools so this is both exciting and challenging. I have chosen Scoop.it for my final project because it is intiutive to use and I like the layout templates. I have experimented with Symboloo which is a great way to organize websites. It is very visual which helps my learning style. Thinking about the fire hose syndrome Syboloo helps create order by representing websites as tiles on a page which are clickable links. I am learning more about WordPress in this class and I am starting to see how posting and following others can increase my professional development opportunities. My classmates posts this week really opened my eyes to creating a system of curation by following others as well as using tools. I already follow professionals that relate to what I do on Twitter and I have discovered Filpboard as a powerful tool to choose subjects to keep informed.

Classmate’s posted on maintianing a variety of types of sources to keep a balanced view on topics as well as getting deeper into subjects and topics with more specifics and actionable information.

I continue to read national newspapers online because I have found that topics and issue which I would not necessarily looked for come up which spur my thinking in new ways. Keeping general sources of information open to discover new topics is key to my continued learning as much as focusing on relevant topics.

Curation Graphic


My Interest in AI and Education

I grew up in at a time when Hollywood and therefore to some degree, our national consciouness, was being transformed by the genius of Issac Isamov and his friend Stanley Kubrik. Isamov introduced us to smart robots in I Robot and the film 2001 made that date seem like a time of amazing wonder to us back in the 70’s; phone calls that allowed you to see the people you were talking to, in color! Small devices that allowed you to communicate at will with others from thousands of miles away and of course, smart computers. Sound familiar?

AI, Friend or Foe

In my teen years our fascination and fears which transected one another either based on which movie we saw or which article we read were hyper-focused on smart machines that, for some reason, wanted to wipe out humanity. The Hal 9000 was smart enough (almost) to outsmart his human commander Dave as they fought a life and death struggle racing to the end of the universe at the speed of light. Before Arnold Schwartzanager was “saving ” California as the Gov, he was seeking to destroy humanity as The Terminator.

The most brilliant inventions of man had gone haywire and were coming back to destroy us. We have always had a fear of our own inventions as the archetype Frankenstiens of our ingenutiy.

Smart computers are learning on their own as they have been for years but today Google’s Deep mind has been able to beat a Go champion, ignoring the predictions that Go was too intutitive for a computer to master. The future of AI is at our doorstep at a time when neuroscientists are discovering that our brain is a grid of electrical curcuits activated by stimuli to produce chemical reactions; the mystery of love and wonder explained and our uniqueness challenged.


Real Fears

Good teachers teach from the heart as well as the brain. In theory, computers can’t do that. However, computers don’t stay out too late with their friends either. They don’t get burned out after a few years of classroom management challenges, they don’t bring their prejudices and personal preferences to their classrooms. Computers could potentially differentiate through data analysis of individual students in a constant state of formative assessment talioring teaching to learning  styles and indiviual needs based on fast data crunching that could include test scores, pulse rates, eye movement and brain focus, all without needing health benefits or a pension.

Today, the fear of smart machines isn’t that they will try to kill and destroy us. Other humans are scaring us more in that regard. What about our jobs, though? The real fear of smart tech is that they will be better than us at most of what we do to make a living.

Stephen Hawkins and Elan Musk are the most recent Casandras of mass unemployment due to the automation of everthing from fixing your car to removing your appendix. However, go to tech conferences and you will hear everyone from tech companies selling products to school districts, experts in the field and fellow teachers chant, “teachers will never be replace by machines.”

Are we sure?

This magazine will look at that assertion and explore whether it is the reflection of a deep understanding of what makes teaching valuable and necessarily a human activity or just wishful thinking that we are somehow unique compared to other professions that are predicited to disappear at about the same rate as the polar ice caps.

The FireHose

I chose to use Scoopit primarily because Dean suggested it. I used him as a reliable source to help me aggregate information about the other curation tools out there. I have used Flipboard in the past but I see that Scoopit allows you to post directly to WordPress and Twitter. It is therefore shareable and easy to use.

My brain hurts when I feel the burden of all the potential learning I could do if I were able to focus my time and energy. Thank goodness for this curated Masters Program at Wilkes/Discovery and Scoopit!