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  • Writer's pictureJames Kieft

Should initial teacher training including guidance on how to use AI

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Since the launch of Chat GPT Artificial Intelligence (AI) has remained one of the most discussed topics within education. Just at my social media feeds and it seems like every other post mentions AI.  There is also a plethora of Teaching focused tools that are being launched that utilise AI in some way. 


In this blog post, I am going to consider if Initial Teacher training would benefit from including guidance on how to use Artificial Intelligence effectively to help teachers new to the profession better deal with the challenge of planning learning and creating resources in the first few years of teaching.  


An article in FE (Further Education) week in March 2023 highlighted the high turnover of College teachers with a quarter leaving after the first year and almost half leaving after three years. This is partly linked to workload and the time it takes to develop resources, plan lessons, mark assignments and provide feedback. 


Thinking back to when I started teaching weekends and evenings were regularly taken up with either the planning of lessons, preparation of teaching material or the marking of students work. That is without taking into consideration how tiring it is adapting to doing something new and learning how to work with the students. 


In my current role I lead on the development teachers across a group of Further Education College’s in the Southeast of England. Part of my role involves working with and supporting teachers who are new to the organisation. As is common with the sector 40% of those who join are new to teaching typically joining from industry. 


Just recently I have started delivering on our equivalent to the level 3 Award in Education and training. A course I have planned with a focus on developing skills and practical approaches they can use in the classroom. 


Within that course I have embedded opportunities where they could utilise AI to assist them in carryout certain tasks. However, I am conscious that when developing their craft as a teacher it is important that they understand processes and approaches such sequencing and chunking information and why to use them. Once they have grasped this, I then highlight how they could be used AI appropriately. 


AI can be their co-collaborator who helps with ideas generation, create draft resources or activities which they then refine meaning that they never have to start with a blank document, help them to save time.  

In addition to talking about how AI can help them save time, we focused on the importance of a well-crafted prompt. Going through what sort of information was needed to generate the best results. We then covered the importance of verifying the information generated to make sure that it is a correct and contains all the relevant information. 

The areas covered in the course include how AI can be used for: 

  • Creating an assessment rubric 

  • Lesson ideas and activities 

  • Drafting lesson objectives with the use of Blooms command verbs 

During the lesson we go through how they can use Microsoft co-pilot and Google's Gemini 


Google Gemini seems better for generating ideas related content, it is more creative, with a greater variety of ideas than Copilot. I also like it will give you three drafts with different worded responses. 

Here is my video guide to Google Gemini 


However, be aware that Google will use the information contained within your prompt to help develop their large language model unless your organisation makes use of the recently announced Gemini for Google Workspace for Education to keep information private as Microsoft does for Copilot.  


With Copilot I particularly like the use of the sidebar that is available in Microsoft Edge as it means that you do not need to put quite so much information into your prompt as you can have it access information on an open page, that could include a PDF course specification.  


Here is my video guide to using MS CoPilot  


When it comes to video there are an ever growing number of AI tools, I find useful. 

 The first of these is Twee, it has lots of useful features not just linked to video, however, the features I have used the most are video based. All you do is simply paste in the video URL from either YouTube or Vimeo, select a five-minute extract and it can then it can: 

  • Create a transcript 

  • Generate some questions multichoice or open ended 

  • Create three summaries with only one being correct so students must choose the correct summary 

  • Creates a listening exercise, in which a student is expected to fill in the gaps in a video or audio summary 

Here is my video guide on using Twee 

Keeping with videos Quizizz a tool most of you are familiar with has also introduced a similar feature, paste in a YouTube URL, and it will do the same thing creating multichoice questions based on the content of the video.  


Here is my video guide on using Quizizz 

On the quiz creation front AI quiz creator is a very useful way of generating quiz questions you put in the topic title and it will generate multichoice questions, you then simply add the questions you think are most relevant, and it will generate a Google Forms quiz, or you can export the questions to Kahoot or Quizizz. 


I appreciate there is a wealth of AI tools linked to video and quiz creation that I have not mentioned. 


So, in short, AI absolutely has a place within initial teacher training, we need to make sure however that staff are clear on what is appropriate use and how to use it effectively. It needs to appear in their toolkit and hopefully with them utilising it, there will have less teachers who are entering the teaching profession looking to leave within the first year.  




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