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Admit it, if you are a “normal” teacher, you are afraid of what your students are going to do with the AI software out there. Oh my god – they might use it to cheat on an assignment! Oh the horror!

Students cheat. Students take shortcuts. And, I’m betting, so did most of the teachers I know. At some point in life that perfect little A-Student had a time crunch and did something that could be construed as cheating to get the work done. Hopefully, they learned from this incident. Maybe they are better with their time management. Maybe they know when to prioritize work so that all of the work is completed in a timely manner. So now there’s this intersection between AI and “working independently.”

I’m not in the classroom any more but I know that I need to have knowledge of what AI can and can not do for me before I have an opinion on how teachers should interact with this new thing. After thinking about it for a while I decided to see how AI could be used to help teachers become better teachers. So I got my account and typed a question to see the response.

QUESTION: How should we implement Social Emotional Learning in Project Based Learning? I knew that there is a lot of information on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and there is a lot of information on Project Based Learning (PBL). And, I knew people who have written blog posts and books on this topic, so I knew that there should be some good information that comes out of the question.

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The first answer:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can be effectively implemented in Project Based Learning (PBL) by intentionally designing projects that provide opportunities for students to develop their social and emotional skills while they work on academic content. Here are some strategies for implementing SEL in PBL:

  1. Start with clear learning goals: Begin by defining the academic content and the social and emotional skills you want students to develop through the project. Then design the project in a way that integrates both goals.
  2. Foster a supportive classroom culture: Create a classroom culture that emphasizes collaboration, respect, and empathy. Students should feel safe and supported to take risks, share their thoughts and feelings, and work collaboratively.
  3. Use group work: Group work is an effective way to foster social and emotional skills such as communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution. Assign group roles and responsibilities that encourage these skills.
  4. Integrate reflective practices: Incorporate regular opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and their social and emotional growth. This can be done through journals, group discussions, or other reflective practices.
  5. Provide targeted feedback: Offer feedback that is specific, timely, and targeted to both academic and social and emotional goals. This will help students understand the connection between the two and identify areas for improvement.
  6. Foster autonomy and ownership: Encourage students to take ownership of their learning by providing choices and opportunities for them to make decisions about the project. This will help build self-awareness and self-regulation skills.

By implementing SEL in PBL, students will not only develop their social and emotional skills, but also engage more deeply with academic content and become more invested in their learning.

[After reviewing the results, which I considered darn good stuff, I decided to hit the “regenerate response” button to see any differences that might pop up. ]

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The second answer:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Project-Based Learning (PBL) are two teaching methodologies that can be effectively integrated to create a more meaningful and impactful learning experience for students. Here are some ways to implement SEL in PBL:

  1. Create a positive classroom environment: Before beginning a project, set the stage for a positive classroom environment. This can be done by creating clear expectations and ground rules for communication, collaboration, and respect. Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and behavior.
  2. Teach self-awareness: Encourage students to reflect on their own emotions and reactions throughout the project. Use journaling or other reflective exercises to help students identify and understand their emotions and how they impact their learning and interactions with others.
  3. Foster social awareness: Help students develop empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives. Encourage students to consider different viewpoints and collaborate effectively with their peers.
  4. Practice relationship skills: Encourage students to work collaboratively and practice effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Provide opportunities for students to give and receive feedback, and help them develop strategies for effective teamwork.
  5. Teach responsible decision making: Encourage students to make informed and responsible decisions throughout the project. This can include developing a plan for managing their time, resources, and group work effectively.

By integrating SEL into PBL, students can learn important skills that will help them succeed not only in the classroom, but in their personal and professional lives as well.

What I noticed from this experiment was that both answers were good answers. And, although there was a lot of overlap, the two answers felt different. If I were a teacher wanting to make sure I was bringing SEL into my teaching practice and I was using PBL as my method of instruction, I could glean some practical action items to implement moving forward.

Looking just at the answer topics: From A1 – Clear Learning Goals; Supportive Classroom Culture; Group Work; Reflective Practices; Targeted Feedback; Autonomy and Ownership. From A2 – Positive Classroom Environment; Self Awareness; Social Awareness; Relationship Skills; Responsible Decision Making. Those are 11 items that would make any classroom a place I would want to be in and, I’m betting, it would be a classroom where students feel that their input and opinions have worth.

Getting back to the idea that AI is now front and center in the education world, we need to stop being short sighted and stop being slowed down by all of the potential for misuse by students. Instead, embrace this as something that can help you, the teacher, become better with your craft. Try out the AI and ask questions that you would want to ask an instructional coach or a educational consultant. See what the answers are and then see what you can do, today, to improve what you are already doing.

My next step is to use the 5 Question Protocol on the AI to see how deep I can go with an idea. What’s your first (next?) question for AI?

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