by Liam Pisano
In the spirit of providing product reviews to those that are interested in using edtech tools at home, we thought we’d share a few articles from valued sources, prominent bloggers, and industry experts. All of these articles focus on the end user and catalog tools that are useful in the classroom and at home. None of these articles prognosticate on what the future will bring, it’s all about the here and now. This is the first of a few aggregations of opinion and input from us over the next few months.
The Best Free AI Tools of 2023 (so far)
The first article we wanted to share is written by one of my favorite educator bloggers, Larry Ferlazzo, a high school teacher in Sacramento, California who has been writing about the rollout of AI in the classroom for years. He wrote the article in May, which technically makes it dated already, but it’s a great laundry list of AI-driven edtech tools. That said, it’s still a great rundown of what’s out there from a pragmatic to creative perspective. From generating videos out of your blog posts, to participating in age appropriate online debates, to getting personalized book recommendations — this article has it all.
Breaking Down AI into Kid-Friendly, Kid-Safe Terms
So maybe instead of just diving in with a product demo– you’d like to explain to your child about what artificial intelligence is, and how it works. As you can guess, there’s plenty out there that covers this concept. We’ve found that this article, as well as this one, do a good job of framing the conversation and giving you ample content to share and learn from. Of course, if you want to explain artificial intelligence within the context of keeping your child safe, the good folks at Fox News do it here. Just to be fair and balanced, of course.
Top AI Tools for Knowledge Work & the Next Digital Divide
For the older student and/or educator, we’ve found this rundown from Mark Carrigan, digital sociologist at the Manchester Institute for Education. Entitled Top AI Tools for Knowledge Work, this list is a little less consumer friendly and more focused on the workplace, and ironically employs the use of Chat GP-4 for graphics. Carrigan has a deep library of thought pieces, and his particular focus on the third digital divide is particularly thought-provoking as we think about implications of expensive technology and the inequity it can create.
AI Storytelling for Kids
Finally, we thought we’d share an article that might read as a bit of an oxymoron — storytelling with AI, encouraging writing skills in children. The article is co-written by Dr. Sharon Witkin and Meryl Dindin, clinicians at Polygon, a psychology practice specializing in remote evaluations and support for ADHD and learning differences. Ironic, as it addresses, head-on, our initial concerns that products such as Chat GPT would all but squash creative writing. Instead the authors highlight unique apps such as Midjourney, Storybird, and Replika. All of which act as AI writing tools intent on stimulating creativity and layering multimedia experiences to enhance reader comprehension.
As one might guess, learning about how AI is used in the classroom and at home with children is a rabbit hole worthy of an Alice in Wonderland 2023 remake — but for parents today, it’s almost a must do. Tools that, hopefully, you’ve read about today, will be in our classrooms tomorrow. The growth will be exponential, and its influence will follow.