In order to receive useful replies from an AI tool like Google Bard, you need to ask a specific question with sufficient detail to generate a helpful reply.
Constructing a detailed, specific query takes time and energy. It does get easier as you gain experience, but it still takes effort to phrase a question in a way that produces a useful response.
Have you ever heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out?” This is exactly how AI works. If you feed a tool like Chat GPT a vague prompt, you’re going to get a vague (and likely unhelpful) reply.
Example of a vague prompt: please provide thanksgiving lesson ideas for my elementary students.
When asking AI to help generate material for your classroom, you want to include things like the age of your students, the focus of the lesson, any material you would like to use, focus vocabulary words, length of activity, special need considerations, etc.
AI Prompt Suggestions
Here is a list of helpful details that you might want to include in your conversations with AI bots like Chat GPT and Google Bard:
- Age / grade of your classroom
- Focus subject area (math, science, ELA, etc)
- Available classroom technology: Chromebooks, iPads, Interactive whiteboard, etc.
- Physical materials that you like to incorporate into lessons (paper, scissors, stickers, paint, manipulatives, etc)
- Information on your teaching style: let the AI know if you like read-aloud, crafts, technology, group work, etc.
- Length of lesson: You can specify this information in advance or include it in each prompt if you plan on lessons of different lengths.
- Special learning needs: let the AI know if you have an ESL student or students who are reading below grade level so that it can include accommodations.
You can include these details in narrative form, like this:
“You are a chatbot for generating lesson ideas for a kindergarten classroom. I will provide you with a target letter or theme and you will generate lesson ideas that are appropriate for a kindergarten classroom. You may suggest ideas that require the use of a Chromebook, or hands-on craft ideas which involve paper, pencils, scissors, and stickers.”
That’s a LOT of information to explain every single time you ask a question. You would be incredibly frustrated if you had to do this with a human aid in your classroom.
Save your conversation
Google Bard and Chat GPT can both SAVE a previous query. This means that you can “pre load” a conversation with relevant details about your classroom and so that you don’t have to repeat yourself every time you ask a question.
Now you can simply ask for lesson ideas, vocabulary lists, etc without re-explain your objectives for each conversation.
Sometimes the AI bot forgets the purpose of a conversation. A gentle reminder will put it back on track and eliminate un-helpful information.
AI will never replace classroom teachers, but it does make a great teacher’s assistant!