The year was 2000. I remember being in my 6th grade science class walking single-file to the library. The task? To find books for researching whatever topic we had picked – or was begrudgingly assigned to us. I would meticulously copy notes from the book onto notebook paper with whatever utensil I picked up at the “school store” that week. It was all we knew back then.
The next year I entered middle school and that’s when my trips to the library became fewer and far between, until they eventually stopped. That’s because Google had entered the classroom and the days of book research were already becoming obsolete (yes, in just one year!). I remember my teachers encouraging me to use google as it was mostly filled with academic and encyclopedic content at the time. This was before the days of misinformation and trolling. All of a sudden, I only needed to move my fingers to unlock MORE than what a library could ever offer. And that was paired with the digital tools to copy and paste for easy note taking, plus word processing for easier gathering and organizing of thoughts and information. I never stepped foot into a library again. I can’t even describe what my high school library looked like.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m running an edtech company after a career in content development & instructional design – and I’m here to tell you, artificial intelligence (AI) is about to change the way we learn even more than how google reshaped our access to information. In other words, ChatGPT and AI at large have entered the classroom. But, really, what does that mean?
ChatGPT and AI have entered the classroom. What does that mean?
I decided to dive in and see what AI and specifically, ChatGPT was all about. So, I started with a simple task, something a teacher would assign early in the school year; I prompted ChatGPT to write a short essay about artificial intelligence.
What it returned was quite impressive, but I had worked in other AI copywriting tools before, so I knew I needed to go deeper and really hone in on a single topic – go so deep that it could pass as a thesis paper or, what I was looking for, an online course.
Hey ChatGPT: Write a Course Outline
That’s when I realized I needed to start at the highest levels of the topic, so I asked it to “write an outline for a beginner course about artificial intelligence”. I was expecting another essay-like response that I would then have to pick apart and organize into a course. But, my heart skipped a beat as I saw ChatGPT return a comprehensive outline for the course, divided into chapters and lessons, all in less than a minute. At that moment, I knew I had everything I needed to bootstrap this thing.
Hey ChatGPT: Write Lesson One
The title of the first lesson generated by ChatGPT was called “What is AI and how does it differ from traditional computing” – so, I copied the name of that lesson and told it to, “write a lesson about (paste lesson name here) and include links to images and videos”. From there, ChatGPT returned a lesson with written text and even included descriptions of images and videos that were relevant to the topic, but unfortunately, not direct links.
With a quick copy/paste to a new course on my free JazzJune account, I was starting to create what I believe to be the first-ever 100% AI-developed course.
Hey ChatGPT: Write All the Rest of the Lessons!
I repeated this process and told ChatGPT to write new lessons based on the outline it had created. Within hours, I had an entire course about artificial intelligence, created by artificial intelligence, and it was actually pretty good.
If you’d like to judge for yourself, the 19 lesson and 1 quiz course is available on JazzJune.com for anyone with a free account. I also recorded my process on ChatGPT, so there is video of how I used AI to generate the content, showing that everything in the course did in fact come directly from AI.
ChatGPT and AI are already finding ways into our everyday life, and while I’m still grappling with the consequences of this, I am far more intrigued by the possibilities. AI should be used to enhance our work and make us more productive, not replace us or make us obsolete. With that in mind, however, we are still at the infancy of this technology and how we navigate it from here will determine its real-world impact.
Please Share: I’m excited by AI and more as long as it’s about education & technology. I’d love to hear from you, too. Please comment or reach out. Also, please follow me and share this newsletter.