– Terra Graves –
In September, I gave you my answer to the “So what?” question I asked when looking at one of the research articles shared in Jon Bergmann’s Top 10. Here’s the link in case you missed it. The goal here is to provide K-12 teachers with a practical application for what the research has found. Otherwise, what is the point of research?
Prajakta Diwanji and Hans Friedrich Witschel look at ways to intrinsically motivate students to do the pre-work in a flipped classroom using artificial intelligence (AI). Their paper proposes that the classrooms be supported by chatbots that engage students outside of class so that they are intrinsically motivated. This sounds like a really promising idea that is definitely pushing the envelope to the next evolution of Flipped Learning.
Whether you are shopping or paying bills online, you may have noticed on some sites, there is always someone ready to assist you in a little chat window. At first, you might think, “Wow, they really have excellent customer service…there must be hundreds of agents on standby.” Well, you would be wrong. What you are probably experiencing is a chatbot. These amazing “little” AI applications can individualize service, research, and it turns out: learning. Chatbots and other AI-powered tools are the next Flipped Learning (FL) practitioner’s assistant and learning partner. Some “ready-to-go” chatbots are out there for learning (see https://botsify.com/education-chatbot, and for certain students at Georgia Tech, (see Jill Watson), the real power is in being able to personalize AI applications to support your instruction and student learning.
In Chatbots Magazine, Hubert.ai shares 6 Ways Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots are Changing Education. These include:
Learn more about AI applications and how they might support teaching and learning (see The Resources below). I truly believe this is the next “thing” for Flipped Learning. Experiment with chatbots for yourself. One I’ve been using is Woebot (see https://woebot.io/). This interesting app is like having your own therapist at your fingertips 24/7/365. Woebot was created by clinical psychologists from Stanford School of Medicine and uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as the basis for the interactions. There’s something about interacting with a non-human that people find freeing. Chatbots do not judge, have their own biases, or make you feel like you need to put on a happy face. Removing that potential barrier seems to encourage complete honesty which ultimately will lead to getting the support you need.
Create a chatbot to use with your students. This action is NOT for tech-fearing people. I played with a few of the tools shared below and there is definitely a learning curve. This is a tech goal for myself over this next year. My recommendation is to start VERY SMALL with a chatbot that can do something simple like collect course feedback. Once you learn how to use the interface, I think you could start building more complex interactions like reviewing for tests.
Chatbots Magazine This resource is chock full of interesting articles and tutorials. Suitable for all levels of chatbotters.
FlowXO Flow XO is a powerful automation product that allows you to quickly and simply build incredible chatbots that help you to communicate and engage with your customers across a wide range of different sites, applications and social media platforms.
GradeProof Artificially intelligent proofreading. This tool is a writer’s best friend. It helps with grammar, spelling, rephrasing, eloquence, fluency, plagiarism, and more.
SnatchBot This is another bot-creation tool.
IBM Watson Assistant Watson Assistant is an offering for building conversational interfaces into any application, device, or channel.
Most chatbots try to mimic human interactions, which can frustrate users when a misunderstanding arises. Watson Assistant is more.
Alexa Skills Kits The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation, and code samples that makes it easier to start building Alexa skills. Skills are like apps for Alexa, enabling customers to perform everyday tasks or engage with your content naturally with voice.
Learn Alexa with Codecademy In this series, you will learn how to create a simple “Hello Codecademy” Alexa skill. You will build the interaction model and Amazon Lambda function that responds to a user’s voice with a personal welcome message.
Cognitive Class: Build Your Own Chatbot Learn how to build a chatbot without having to write any code by leveraging Watson Assistant (formerly Watson Conversation). Then deploy your chatbot to a real website in less than five minutes.
Google Cloud Dialogflow Dialogflow is an end-to-end, build-once deploy-everywhere development suite for creating conversational interfaces for websites, mobile applications, popular messaging platforms, and IoT devices.
After reading this column, I hope that the “So what?” you might be feeling after reading research studies becomes a “Now what?” feeling, and that innovative research becomes a call to action. And when you hear that call to action, chat me (or my bot)!