Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tips for Genius Hour
Balancing the act of teaching gifted middle schoolers can feel like performing a high-wire circus routine. But when you couple Genius Hour with a handful of cutting-edge tech, it’s like finding the perfect safety net. I’ve witnessed firsthand the learning leaps we can make when we’re not afraid to juggle a little tech. Here are some artificial intelligence and technology tips for Genius Hour ideas you can use in your classroom tomorrow!
Toolbox of Tech Magic
Picture your students engrossed in their Genius Hour projects, and there you are, armed with a toolbox of digital resources ready to spark their creativity. The internet is our 24/7 open-all-hours hardware store.
Craving an online tutorial on Python coding? It’s at your fingertips! Desperate for a webinar on climate change? Voila, it’s just a click away! The digital realm offers endless knowledge, open anytime, anywhere.
Building Bridges with Virtual Networking
What’s a Genius Hour without a little social interaction? Back in my day, we’d exchange ideas by passing around dog-eared notebooks. Today, online platforms offer a meeting hub for brilliant minds from across the globe.
With just a few keyboard taps, learners can connect, collaborate, and dive deep into their shared passions. From vibrant Reddit communities to professional LinkedIn groups, your global brainstorming session is just a Wi-Fi connection away.
You can also create a virtual networking safe space for your students by utilizing Google Classroom!
The Order in the Chaos: Google Classroom
If you’ve ever wished for a magical way to manage all the Genius Hour projects, trust me, you’re not alone. While magic is off the table,Google Classroom can come pretty close.
Google Classroom is like the ultimate event planners for education. Need to communicate? They’ve got you covered. Need to track progress? No problem. They make handling a classroom full of eager Geniuses a smooth sail.
Since I teach at three buildings, I have a Google Classroom for each grade level at each building (i.e. 7th grade at L. Middle School). I leave the classrooms open for students to post and give one another feedback. If there is a need, I can create a separate Google Classroom for specific fields of interest. For example, I created a writing Google Classroom for students to share their creative writing (regardless of what grade level or school they are at). I also post contests and writing prompts in that classroom.
Bring in the Experts
A few years ago, I was forced to do everything with Genius Hour online. (Remember that 2020-2021 school year. . .) Using Zoom to bring in experts from not only the community but around the world was my tech aha for Genius Hour! Programs like Skye a Scientist, and using LinkedIn to find experts in fields related to my students’ Genius Hour projects was a game changer!
Artificial Intelligence and Genius Hour
Artificial Intelligence does not have to mean cheating for students! In fact, AI can be a huge partner when it comes to Genius Hour in the classroom. Here are a few ways to get started with AI and Genius Hour.
Students can describe research topics to an AI assistant that will suggest relevant sources, summarize key information, and help generate research questions. Keep in mind that Artificial Intelligence chatbots can provide incorrect or imaginary sources. It’s important to use AI as a basis but not the be all end of all of research.
Often, my students have an easy time coming up with a topic of study but not a research question. Why not have ChatGPT or Claude generate some relevant research questions from topics! Here is an example from Claude. On a future iteration, I would ask Claude to get rid of the yes and no questions or rephrase them.
Knowing how to write prompts is a huge part of research using artificial intelligence bots like ChatGPT. Check out these ready-to-go prompts you can use with Genius Hour or other research projects!
Artificial Intelligence writing tools can review student drafts and provide feedback on grammar, structure, style, and more to improve their writing. Students can put portions or their writing or research into ChatGPT and ask the bot to give feedback.
I asked ChatGPT to give me some feedback on the blog postBenefits of Genius Hour for Adults.
Although I was happy with the compliments, I needed more feedback, so I asked ChatGPT to give me suggestions based on the six traits.
Here’s what ChatGPT told me:
Based on the six traits of writing, here are some areas that you can consider improving in the previous blog post:
1. Ideas: While the blog post discusses the benefits of Genius Hour for adults, you could further enhance the content by providing more specific examples or case studies of individuals who have experienced positive outcomes through their passion projects. Including real-life success stories would add credibility and depth to your points.
2. Organization: The overall structure of the blog post is sound, but you could further improve the flow by starting each section with a clear topic sentence that introduces the main benefit being discussed. This will make it easier for readers to follow and comprehend the information.
3. Voice: The enthusiastic and engaging tone in your writing is a strength, but consider incorporating more persuasive language to encourage your audience to try Genius Hour themselves. Use strong verbs and compelling adjectives to convey the excitement and value of pursuing passion projects.
4. Word Choice: While the word choice is generally clear, consider incorporating some specific education-related terminology or technology-related jargon to cater to your audience of teachers interested in technology and innovative classrooms. This will demonstrate your expertise and understanding of the field.
5. Sentence Fluency: To add variety to the sentence structure, try incorporating a mix of simple, compound, and complex sentences. This will create a more dynamic and engaging reading experience for your audience.
6. Conventions: While the blog post appears to be well-edited, it’s always a good idea to review it one more time for any minor grammatical or punctuation errors that might have been missed.
Overall, your blog post is informative and engaging, but by incorporating the suggestions mentioned above, you can further enhance the quality of your writing and make it even more impactful for your target audience of teachers interested in technology as tools in the classroom and innovative classrooms. Keep up the great work!
Students can get Artificial Intelligence input on improving the flow, visuals, and delivery of their Genius Hour presentation. Canva is a fantastic tool to generate AI presentations. Students can focus on the content while not getting hung up on the visuals!
AI can help students interpret and simplify complex texts, data, and materials to integrate better information into projects. I’ve had students copy paragraphs from research articles and ask them to summarize them at an 8th-9th grade level. Still challenging, but they’re not having to understand graduate level hydroponics, for example! (Yes, we did that specific topic!)
The key for teachers is guiding students on getting quality AI input tailored for their project needs while ensuring students drive the vision and work. Artificial Intelligence should enhance, not replace, their thinking.
Check out these resources for artificial intelligence to use in your elementary or secondary school classroom!
So here’s to all us educators, standing at the crossroads of innovation, a lesson plan in one hand and the latest tech in the other. As we march into the future, remember this: The best tool in your kit is the one that inspires learning. Keep exploring, keep innovating, and keep adding that extra layer to all your Genius Hour ideas. How are you using AI for Genius Hour in your classroom?