The question: Can the use of ChatGPT and other AI tools help with students cognitive load to improve learning?

Cognitive Load Theory is an essential concept in the field of education that explains how the human brain processes information and how the amount of information presented to the brain affects learning outcomes. The theory suggests that learners have a finite amount of cognitive resources, and if these resources are overloaded with too much information, it becomes difficult to learn and retain knowledge. As a result, it is essential for educators to present information in a way that reduces cognitive load and enhances learning. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT to improve learning outcomes and reduce cognitive load.

One way that AI tools can help with student cognitive load and improve learning is by teaching students how to curate information to make it more manageable. With the vast amount of information available online, it can be overwhelming for students to sort through it all and identify what is relevant to their learning goals. AI tools, like ChatGPT, can be used to help students narrow their focus and find the most useful and credible sources of information. By teaching students how to use these tools to curate information effectively, educators can help them become more efficient and confident learners. Additionally, the use of AI tools can provide instant feedback and guidance to students as they navigate through their research process, allowing them to make informed decisions and avoid information overload. Overall, the use of AI tools can help students develop important skills related to information literacy, critical thinking, and decision-making.

One potential benefit of using AI tools such as ChatGPT is that they can help students to develop their lateral thinking skills. Lateral thinking involves the ability to think creatively and outside of the box to find solutions to problems. ChatGPT and other AI tools can provide students with access to a vast amount of information and knowledge that they can use to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions. This access to information can also help students to make connections between different concepts and ideas, leading to deeper understanding and better retention of information.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to using AI tools with students. One concern is that students may become too reliant on the AI tools and fail to develop their own critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This reliance on technology can lead to a lack of confidence in their own abilities and a reduced ability to work independently. Another potential drawback is that the use of AI tools may be seen as a substitute for human interaction and personal attention, which is an essential part of the learning process.

Despite these potential drawbacks, the use of AI tools such as ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise the way that teachers approach teaching and learning. With the help of AI tools, teachers can provide students with personalised learning experiences that meet their individual needs and learning styles. This can help to reduce cognitive load and improve learning outcomes. AI tools can also provide teachers with insights into student learning that can be used to adjust teaching methods and improve student outcomes.

The use of AI tools in education is likely to lead to a shift in teaching pedagogy. Teachers will need to adapt to the new technologies and learn how to incorporate AI tools into their teaching methods. This will require a new set of skills and knowledge, including the ability to use and analyse data, to customise learning experiences, and to provide feedback to students. However, the benefits of using AI tools are significant, and it is likely that the use of these tools will become more widespread in the coming years.

The use of AI tools such as ChatGPT has the potential to improve learning outcomes and reduce cognitive load. These tools can help students to develop lateral thinking skills and make connections between different concepts and ideas. However, there are potential drawbacks to using AI tools, and teachers must ensure that their use does not replace human interaction and personal attention. The use of AI tools is likely to lead to a shift in teaching pedagogy, and teachers will need to adapt to the new technologies and learn how to incorporate them into their teaching methods. Overall, the use of AI tools has the potential to revolutionise the way that teachers approach teaching and learning, and it is an exciting development that holds great promise for the future of education. Personally, it is the path we should be taking.

App Development in Swift Playgrounds: Opening New Doors of Creativity for Students

In today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world, coding has become a critical skill that students must learn. App development in Swift Playgrounds has opened up new doors of creativity for students of all ages. The tool has revolutionised the way students learn coding, making it more engaging, interactive, and accessible than ever before. The Swift Playgrounds app is a free resource from Apple that introduces coding concepts using an interactive interface. It is an excellent tool for students to learn coding in a fun and engaging way.

Apple Teacher: Clear Examples and Support for Teachers

One of the most significant benefits of Swift Playgrounds is the Apple Teacher program, which provides teachers with clear examples and support on how to use Apple technology in the classroom. The program is designed to help teachers integrate technology into their teaching, giving them the knowledge and skills to help students develop critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Apple Teacher provides free online courses and professional development resources to educators, covering a wide range of topics, including coding with Swift Playgrounds.

Swift Playgrounds has changed the way students learn to code, from primary to secondary education. The tool is highly accessible, and its easy-to-use interface has increased creativity in all learning areas, such as humanities, geography, history, math, and science. Swift Playgrounds has made it possible for teachers to teach coding in a more fun and engaging way, inspiring students to learn more and explore new ideas.

Accessibility: Cost and Durability

Another significant advantage of Swift Playgrounds is its accessibility. Being on an iPad makes it more accessible for students in low socio-economic communities for cost and the durability ability of the devices, reducing the growing digital divide. Swift Playgrounds is a tool that anyone can use, regardless of their background or financial status. It has opened up opportunities for all students to learn coding, regardless of their location or socio-economic background.

Developing in the App

In addition to being accessible, Swift Playgrounds has also made coding more manageable and less intimidating for students. The app is designed to be user-friendly, with a simple and intuitive interface that is easy to navigate. Students can learn to code at their own pace, in a safe and controlled environment, without the pressure of getting it right the first time. This approach has helped many students to overcome the fear of coding and develop a love for the subject.

iPad development using SwiftUI in the latest version of Swift Playground allows for seamless integration between designing and publishing an app on the App Store. SwiftUI is a powerful framework that enables developers to create stunning user interfaces with minimal code, making it perfect for students and teachers alike. With the instant feedback built into the Playground app development area, students can easily iterate on their app designs and test the functionality of their code in real-time. Once the app is complete, it can be easily exported to Xcode and published directly to the App Store. This streamlined process allows for students to quickly turn their ideas into fully functional apps, providing an unparalleled level of creativity and learning opportunities in the classroom. The accessibility and ease of use of the Swift Playground app development area makes it an ideal tool for students from all backgrounds to learn app development and to gain valuable skills for the future.

Swift Playgrounds: Enhancing Learning in All Subjects

Swift Playgrounds has not only enhanced learning in coding but has also opened up new opportunities for students to apply their coding skills to other subjects. For instance, students can use Swift Playgrounds to create interactive maps in geography, animations in science, and data visualisation in math. The app provides a platform for students to explore new ideas and express themselves creatively, regardless of the subject area.

Moreover, Swift Playgrounds has made learning more collaborative and interactive. Students can work on projects together, sharing ideas, and collaborating on solutions. This approach has made learning more engaging, as students can work together to solve complex problems, while developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Swift Playgrounds has revolutionised the way students learn coding. The tool has made it more accessible, engaging, and collaborative, opening up new doors of creativity for students of all ages. The app has also made it possible for teachers to integrate technology into their teaching, giving them the knowledge and skills to help students develop critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. The Apple Teacher program has played a significant role in supporting teachers, providing them with clear examples and support on how to use Apple technology in the classroom. With Swift Playgrounds, the possibilities for learning are endless, and students can explore new ideas and express themselves creatively, regardless of the subject area.

Why free resources such as Apple teacher should be shared

Technology has revolutionised the world of education. With the right tools, teachers can now deliver more engaging lessons, personalise learning, and improve student outcomes. However, to make the most of technology in the classroom, teachers need the necessary skills and resources to integrate it effectively. That’s where the Apple Teacher, Microsoft Educator, and Google Educator programs come in.

In this article, I will focus primarily on the Apple Teacher program and how it has helped teachers use technology more effectively in their classrooms.

The Apple Teacher program is a free professional learning resource that provides educators with the tools and training to integrate Apple technology into their teaching practice. It is a self-paced learning program that provides clear examples and support on how to use Apple technology in the classroom. The program is open to all educators, regardless of their level of experience with Apple technology.

The program consists of a series of online tutorials and assessments that cover various Apple products and apps, such as iPad, Mac, and iWork. Each tutorial consists of a video, a hands-on activity, and a quiz. The tutorials are designed to be completed in a short amount of time and are easy to follow.

Upon completing each tutorial, teachers receive a digital badge that demonstrates their mastery of the concepts covered. Collecting these badges allows teachers to earn recognition as an Apple Teacher. They can then share their achievement on social media or their resume, showing their commitment to using technology in the classroom.

One of the most significant benefits of the Apple Teacher program is the support it provides for teachers in integrating technology into their teaching practice. The tutorials provide clear examples of how to use Apple products and apps in the classroom. For example, the tutorial on Pages shows teachers how to create interactive textbooks, while the tutorial on Keynote demonstrates how to create engaging presentations that can capture students’ attention.

The program also provides teachers with access to a community of educators who share best practices and ideas on how to use Apple technology in the classroom. This community allows teachers to connect with other educators who are facing similar challenges and share their experiences and ideas.

For many teachers, the Apple Teacher program has been a game-changer. It has provided them with the skills and confidence they need to integrate technology effectively into their teaching practice. For example, Mary, a fifth-grade teacher from Perth, had always struggled with engaging her students during math class. She found that her students were disinterested in the textbook and traditional lectures.

After completing the Apple Teacher program, Mary learned how to use Keynote to create interactive presentations that made math more engaging for her students. She also learned how to use GarageBand to create math songs, which helped her students remember key concepts more easily. The impact was immediate, and Mary noticed that her students were more engaged and excited about math than ever before.

Another example is John, a high school English teacher from Western Australia. He found that his students were struggling with writing, and he needed a way to provide more targeted feedback. After completing the Apple Teacher program, John learned how to use Pages to create interactive feedback forms. He was able to give students detailed feedback on their writing, which allowed them to improve their writing skills more quickly.

The Apple Teacher program has also had a significant impact on the way teachers approach professional development. The program allows teachers to learn at their own pace, on their own time, and from anywhere. This flexibility has made professional development more accessible for teachers, and many have found it to be a valuable addition to their personal and professional growth.

The Apple Teacher program has been an essential resource for teachers looking to integrate technology into their teaching practice. The program provides clear examples and support on how to use Apple products and apps in the classroom. It also provides teachers with access to a community of educators who share best practices and ideas on how to use technology effectively.

The ghost of learning styles and why its needs to be exorcised

I was recently invited to attend a presentation on their academic extension program at my child’s school. To my surprise, included during the evening was the explanation of learning styles. It was interesting to hear the speaker talk about how students have different learning styles and how teachers can cater to these styles to improve their academic performance. However, I couldn’t help but wonder they addressed learning styles instead of cognitive load.

The concept of learning styles has been around for quite some time. In the 1970s, psychologist Walter Burke Barbe introduced the idea that individuals have different preferences for how they learn, and that tailoring instruction to these preferences can enhance learning outcomes. Since then, the idea has gained popularity and has been widely accepted in the education field.

On the other hand, the concept of cognitive load was introduced by John Sweller in the 1980s. Sweller argued that our working memory is limited, and when we overload it with too much information, we become less efficient at processing and retaining that information. He proposed that educators should consider the cognitive load of their instruction and adjust it accordingly to optimize learning.

Despite the research supporting cognitive load theory, some teachers still defer to learning styles as an important aspect of teaching. This may be due to the fact that the idea of learning styles is intuitive and easy to understand. It’s easy to see that some students prefer to learn through visual aids, while others prefer to learn through hands-on activities. However, cognitive load theory may be a bit more complex and requires teachers to have a deeper understanding of how our brains process information.

The problem with learning styles is that it has been proven to be incorrect. In a 2009 review of the literature, Pashler et al. concluded that there is little to no empirical evidence supporting the notion that tailoring instruction to learning styles improves learning outcomes. In fact, the authors found that matching instruction to learning styles may even be detrimental to learning outcomes.

On the other hand, there is a wealth of research supporting the effectiveness of cognitive load theory. A study by Kirschner et al. (2006) found that when learners were given instructions that minimized cognitive load, they performed better on a subsequent task than those who were given instructions that were not optimized for cognitive load.

So why should teachers be talking about cognitive load instead of learning styles? The answer is simple: cognitive load theory is supported by empirical evidence and has been shown to be an effective way to improve learning outcomes. By understanding how our working memory works and how to optimize instruction to minimize cognitive load, teachers can help their students learn more effectively.

In addition, it’s important to note that focusing on learning styles may lead to a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. If a teacher believes that a student is a visual learner, for example, they may focus too heavily on visual aids and neglect other methods of instruction that may be more effective for that particular student.

As an experienced teacher, I believe that it’s important for educators to focus on cognitive load theory rather than learning styles. While the concept of learning styles may be intuitive and easy to understand, it has been proven to be incorrect and may lead to a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. On the other hand, cognitive load theory has been shown to be effective in improving learning outcomes and should be a key consideration for teachers when planning and delivering instruction.


Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.

Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer

How to Develop Deeper Skills in Using ChatGPT

In today’s digital age, artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly significant role in shaping our lives. ChatGPT, one of the largest language models developed by OpenAI, is transforming the way we communicate and access information. However, to get the most out of ChatGPT, you need to develop your skills in using it effectively. In this post, we will discuss how you can use ChatGPT to create more dynamic and varied content.

Though it can be a creative prompt, having a good foundation of knowledge is crucial when it comes to developing quality prompts and evaluating the responses generated by an AI language model like ChatGPT. With a strong foundation of knowledge, you’ll be able to craft prompts that are well-structured, informative, and engaging, and you’ll be better equipped to assess the responses generated by ChatGPT to ensure they meet your needs and expectations.

When it comes to developing prompts for ChatGPT, having a clear understanding of your topic is essential. You should have a good grasp of the key concepts, terminology, and issues related to the subject matter, as well as an awareness of the target audience for your content. With this knowledge, you can create prompts that are relevant and meaningful, and that will elicit the kind of responses you need to create high-quality content.

Once you have crafted your prompt and received a response from ChatGPT, it’s important to evaluate the output to ensure it meets your needs. This requires some degree of subject matter expertise, as well as an ability to assess the response in terms of its relevance, accuracy, and tone. If the output is not quite what you were looking for, you can refine your prompt and try again, or you can make adjustments to the response generated by ChatGPT until it meets your needs.

Four examples on how to get more out of ChatGPT.

1. Add in Human-Written Techniques

The first tip to develop deeper skills in using ChatGPT is to add in human-written techniques. Although ChatGPT is an AI-based language model, it still requires some human intervention to produce high-quality content. One way to do this is to ask ChatGPT to work according to good advice you have read elsewhere. For example, you can take some tips on persuasive writing from the Grammarly blog and ask ChatGPT to apply them to your topic.

Example prompt: Generate a persuasive essay on why people should switch to renewable energy sources using human-written techniques and incorporating the advice from a sustainability expert.

More detailed:

Prompt: Using the writing tips from the Grammarly blog, develop a persuasive article on the importance of developing copywriting skills in 2023. Remember to use strong persuasive language, ask questions to transition between paragraphs, back up main points with evidence and examples, and speak directly to the reader.

2. Use different styles or tones

Prompt: Write a satirical article on using ChatGPT to create more effective content. Be as ironic and sarcastic as possible, while still maintaining readability and coherence.

3. Write from Different Perspectives

Another way to develop deeper skills in using ChatGPT is to write from different perspectives. You can ask ChatGPT to write from the perspective of a group of characters with different backgrounds or viewpoints. This will help you to explore new ideas and perspectives and add depth to your writing. Additionally, you can write in different styles or tones, such as satire or irony.

Example prompt: Write a series of tweets in the voice of different political leaders discussing their views on climate change.

More detailed:

Prompt: Write a blog post on productivity for entrepreneurs from the perspective of a group of characters with different backgrounds or viewpoints. For each perspective, write in their own voice, using phrases that person would use.

4. Use Different Formats

ChatGPT can generate content in different formats, such as outlines, mind maps, bullet points, persuasive essays, chunks of text of less than 280 characters, and using the structure of what, why, and how. By varying the output format, you can create more engaging and visually appealing content that appeals to different audiences.

Example prompt: Create a mind map on the topic of using Notion to stay organized as a content creator, listing out the central idea, main branches, and sub-branches.

More detailed:

Prompt: Write a satirical article on using ChatGPT to create more effective content. Be as ironic and sarcastic as possible, while still maintaining readability and coherence.

5. Generate Content with a Specific Purpose or Goal in Mind

When using ChatGPT, it’s essential to give it context by telling it who your audience is and what you want to achieve with your content. For example, if you want to create content on how to grow your coaching business for business coaches, your content goal could be to motivate the audience to feel excited about growing their business while teaching them one tip. You could also specify the writing style to be clear, concise, conversational, down-to-earth, humble, and experienced.

6.Vary the output format

Prompt: Ask ChatGPT to produce an outline, mind map, bullet points, persuasive essay, or chunks of text less than 280 characters long on the topic of digital marketing. Additionally, ask ChatGPT to use the structure of “What, Why, and How” to generate content on the same topic.

Example prompt: Write a blog post on how to start a successful podcast for beginners, keeping in mind the audience of aspiring podcasters who want to learn the basics and the goal of providing practical tips to help them launch their own podcast.

More detailed:

Prompt: Develop a motivating blog post for business coaches on how to grow their coaching business. Use a clear, concise, conversational, down-to-earth, humble, and experienced writing style. Remember to give ChatGPT some context about your audience, content goal, and writing style.

Developing deeper skills in using ChatGPT is essential to create more engaging and effective content. By adding in human-written techniques, writing from different perspectives, using different formats, and generating content with a specific purpose or goal in mind, you can unlock the full potential of ChatGPT and take your content creation to the next level.

Why SwiftUI is a better option than Python for teaching coding in high school

As a #digitaltechnologies teacher, I am always on the lookout for new and innovative tools that can help my students better understand the concepts I am teaching. In the past, I have considered popular programming languages like #Python and #Java for teaching app development. However, after evaluating various options, I have found that #SwiftUI is the best choice for my students. Not only does it make the development process faster and more intuitive, but it also provides students with a modern and visually appealing platform to build their skills on. In this blog, I would like to share my reasons for why I choose SwiftUI over other programming languages such as Python and Java for teaching app development to my students.

SwiftUI is a powerful tool for teaching coding to students in school. It has a number of advantages over using Python which is increasingly popular, making it a great choice for educators who are looking to engage and inspire their students.

One of the main advantages of SwiftUI is its ease of use. Unlike Python, which can have a steep learning curve for students who are new to coding, SwiftUI is designed to be intuitive and easy to learn. This makes it a great choice for students who are new to coding and for educators who are looking to teach coding in a way that is accessible and engaging.

Another advantage of SwiftUI is its visual nature. Unlike Python, which is a text-based programming language, SwiftUI is designed to be used with a visual interface. This makes it a great choice for students who learn best through visual cues and for educators who are looking to create more engaging and interactive coding experiences. Additionally, SwiftUI’s visual interface allows students to easily see the results of their coding, which can be a powerful motivator for them to keep learning.

SwiftUI is also a great choice for educators who are looking to teach coding in a way that is relevant and applicable to real-world situations. This programming language can be used to create interactive and visual applications for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. This means that students can learn coding skills that are relevant to the current job market, which can help them prepare for future careers in software development.

SwiftUI also offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to teaching coding. As an open-source language, there are a lot of resources available to educators and students, including tutorials, videos, and sample code. This means that educators can easily customize their curriculum and create coding projects that are tailored to their students’ interests and abilities.

Importantly for students who want to move on to active app development and publishing on the App Store there is a natural and seamless pathway. From the beginning they have access to the industry level developer tools in SwiftUI makes it easy for students to innovate and build their skills and start creating applications that meet the standards of the App Store. They can use their knowledge of Swift to add features and functionality to their apps. Additionally, the swift language and the iOS platform is widely used across many industries int he form of apps, so students who learn SwiftUI will have a valuable skill that can be applied to other areas of app development. By learning SwiftUI, students can not only create great apps for the App Store, by using two resources, a computer and time with the imagination.

Lastly, SwiftUI is a modern language that is constantly being updated and improved. This means that students who learn coding using SwiftUI will be learning skills that are relevant and up-to-date, which can help them stay competitive in the job market. This also means that educators using SwiftUI can keep learning and implementing the latest features and tools the language has to offer.

SwiftUI is a powerful tool for teaching coding to students in school. Its ease of use, visual nature, relevance to the job market, flexibility and modernity make it a great choice for educators who are looking to engage and inspire their students. Its growing popularity in the industry, makes it a valuable language for students to learn as well. This can help them prepare for future careers in software development and stay competitive in the job market.

Go try it out…you won’t be disappointed.

Where to start

  • Swift:
  • Python:

For History teachers: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

As a history teacher, I recently finished reading “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuchman and I was captivated by the detailed account of the events leading up to World War I. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of the causes and events of the war and highlights the crucial decisions that ultimately led to its outcome., that I know use in my teaching of World War 1.

One of the key conclusions I drew from the book was the impact of the transfer of two German corps to the Eastern front on the failure of the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen Plan was Germany’s strategy for a quick victory in the war and was based on a right wing advance through Belgium and into France. However, the transfer of two corps to the Eastern front to counter the Russian mobilization, weakened the right wing advance and left a gap in the German line.

This gap was eventually exploited by the French and British forces, leading to the failure of the Schlieffen Plan and the prolonged trench warfare on the Western front. This transfer of troops was a crucial decision that altered the course of the war and ultimately contributed to its prolonged duration.

The book also highlights the failure of French intelligence to ignore the evidence of the right wing advance by the Germans. The French were so confident in their own plan of attack that they disregarded the clear signs of the German advance, which led to their eventual defeat at the Battle of the Marne. This highlights the importance of intelligence in war and the consequences of ignoring crucial information.

In summary, “The Guns of August” provides a detailed analysis of the events leading up to World War I and highlights the impact of key decisions on its outcome. As history teachers, it is important that we educate our students on the lessons of the past and the impact of crucial decisions in shaping the course of history. The failure of the Schlieffen Plan and the failure of French intelligence to ignore the evidence of the right wing advance serve as important reminders of the consequences of underestimating the enemy and the importance of intelligence in war.

If you wish to read it to expand your knowledge of the lead and events of the first month of World War 1, I highly recommend it. It is available through my affiliate link:

ChatGPT: Can it become a Virtual Assistant for Teachers?

Though #ChatGPT and #AI is in the process of being banned by education departments for students across the world, what value can it provide teachers.

As technology continues to advance, it’s becoming easier for teachers to find resources and tools to help them create engaging and effective lessons for their students. One tool that has recently gained popularity is ChatGPT, a language model developed by OpenAI. In this blog post, we’ll explore how ChatGPT can be viewed as a virtual assistant for teachers and how it can be used to create and improve teaching resources for both humanities and computing subjects.

As a teacher, int he short time it has been released, I have personally experienced the benefits of incorporating ChatGPT into my daily teaching routine. Despite the concerns of some education departments about its use in the classroom, I believe that ChatGPT can be a powerful virtual assistant for teachers, making our lives easier and more efficient. Whether your learning area, ChatGPT can provide valuable assistance with research, writing, coding, technology integration, problem solving, resource generation and assessment preparation. Its ability to retrieve information, generate resources, and provide feedback has saved me time and effort in my preparation, allowing me to focus more on engaging my students and helping them succeed. I have found ChatGPT to be an invaluable tool in improving the quality of my teaching resources and making my work as a teacher more manageable.

Can it become our own free virtual assistant and make our lives simpler? 

What is a virtual assistant:

A virtual assistant (VA) is an artificial intelligence-powered software or service designed to perform tasks and provide assistance to users. A VA can automate routine tasks, answer questions, and perform various other functions, depending on its programming and capabilities.  ChatGPT can indeed be considered a digital virtual assistant. As a language model developed by OpenAI, it has been trained on a vast amount of text data, allowing it to respond to questions and perform tasks, much like a human virtual assistant. ChatGPT can answer questions, provide information, generate text, and more, making it a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of contexts.

For Humanities:

  • Research Assistance: ChatGPT can quickly provide teachers with information about various topics, such as historical events, literary figures, and cultural traditions. This can help save teachers time and energy as they plan their lessons, allowing them to focus on creating engaging activities for their students.
  • Writing Assistance: ChatGPT can also assist teachers with writing assignments and assessments for their students. It can provide suggestions for writing prompts, help teachers brainstorm ideas, and even suggest ways to improve grammar and sentence structure.

For Computing:

  • Coding Assistance: ChatGPT can help teachers create and improve coding exercises and projects for their students. It can provide explanations of programming concepts, suggest code snippets, and help teachers troubleshoot coding errors.
  • Technology Integration: ChatGPT can also assist teachers with incorporating technology into their lessons. For example, it can provide recommendations for educational software and apps that can help students learn programming and other computer science concepts.

For Mathematics:

  • Problem Solving Assistance: ChatGPT can help math teachers solve mathematical problems, by providing step-by-step solutions, explaining mathematical concepts, and offering alternative methods to solve problems.

For Science Mathematics:

  • Research Assistance: ChatGPT can provide science teachers with up-to-date information on various scientific topics, such as the latest research findings and advancements in their field of study.
  • Experiment Planning: ChatGPT can assist science teachers with planning and designing experiments. It can provide recommendations on the best materials and equipment to use, offer suggestions for modifications to existing experiments, and help troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

For English Mathematics:   

  • Writing Assistance: ChatGPT can assist English teachers in editing and proofreading students’ writing assignments. It can provide feedback on grammar, vocabulary, and writing style, and suggest improvements to make the writing more effective.

For Sports:

  • Sports Information: ChatGPT can provide sport teachers with up-to-date information on various sports topics, such as rules, techniques, and the latest news and developments.

For all learning areas:

  • Resource Generation: ChatGPT can generate resources for science teachers, such as worksheets, quizzes, and interactive activities. This can save teachers time and effort that would otherwise be spent creating such resources.
  • Exam Preparation: ChatGPT can provide teachers with exam preparation resources, such as past papers, mock exams, and practice problems. It can also provide feedback on exams and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Lesson Planning: ChatGPT can assist teachers in planning their lessons by providing recommendations on the best teaching strategies, activities, and resources to use.

As a teacher, I have found that ChatGPT has been an invaluable tool in helping me make my teaching resources faster and of better quality. With its ability to quickly generate resources such as worksheets, quizzes, and interactive activities, I have been able to save a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent creating these resources from scratch.   Its ability to quickly retrieve information on various topics has also saved me time in my preparation, as I no longer need to search for information manually.  Furthermore, ChatGPT has been a valuable resource for generating unbiased question from the curriculum points. (Of coarse reviewed based upon my experience).  

In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to be a valuable resource for teachers, allowing them to create and improve teaching resources for both humanities and computing subjects. By providing quick access to information, writing assistance, and technology integration, ChatGPT can help teachers save time and energy, freeing up more time for them to focus on engaging their students and helping them succeed.

What can it do for you?

Books that helped me grow as a educator: Doug Lemov: Teach like a champion: 49 techniques

As a new teacher, I was feeling overwhelmed with the many responsibilities and challenges that come with the job. I knew that I needed to develop my teaching practice in order to be effective and make a positive impact on my students. That’s when I came across the book “Teach Like a Champion” by Doug Lemov. Available from Amazon:

As I began to dive into the book, I quickly realized that it was unlike any other teaching book I had read before. Lemov’s approach is rooted in research and is supported with the real-life experiences of successful teachers. He provides practical, concrete strategies that can be easily implemented straight away in the classroom.

One of the strategies that I found particularly helpful was the “cold call” technique. As Lemov states in the book, “Calling on students at random, rather than waiting for volunteers, creates an environment in which all students are expected to be ready to participate and all students are engaged” (Lemov, 2010, p. 59). This technique helped me to create an environment where all students were engaged and active learners. It also helped to prevent students from tuning out and becoming disengaged.

Another strategy that I found valuable was the “do it again” technique. This involves repeating a task or activity multiple times, in order to solidify the learning and ensure that students have truly mastered the material. Lemov explains that this is particularly effective for teaching complex concepts or skills. He states that, “When students do something multiple times, they internalize it, make it their own, and are able to use it independently” (Lemov, 2010, p. 73). This strategy helped me to ensure that my students were truly mastering the material and it helped me to be more effective in my teaching.

Other proven strategies you can explore with more specific direction, with supporting video examples for many of them are:

“Right is Right” technique:

  • Emphasising the importance of getting the correct answer, rather than just participating, encourages students to think critically and strive for accuracy. (p. 81)

“No Opt Out” technique:

  • Making sure that every student is challenged and engaged in class by eliminating the option for students to opt out of class participation. (p. 89)

“Wait Time” technique:

  • Pausing for a few seconds after asking a question to give students time to think and respond, rather than quickly moving on to the next question. (p. 97)

“Check for Understanding” technique:

  • Continuously checking for understanding during a lesson to ensure that students are following along and to make adjustments as needed. (p. 105)

“One at a Time” technique:

  • Having students work through problems or tasks individually before discussing or sharing with the class, to prevent confusion and ensure that each student is fully engaged. (p. 113)

“Round Robin” technique:

  • Having students take turns sharing their answers or ideas, rather than allowing one or two students to dominate the conversation. (p. 121)

“Non-verbal Signals” technique:

  • Using non-verbal cues, such as pointing or nodding, to indicate that a student is on the right track or to encourage participation. (p. 129)

“Direct Instruction” technique:

  • Clearly and explicitly teaching the material, rather than assuming that students will automatically understand. (p. 137)

“Leading the Game” technique:

  • Setting clear expectations and rules for class behaviour, rather than letting the class set their own rules. (p. 145)

“Positive Framing” technique:

  • Framing instructions or feedback in a positive manner, rather than negative, to encourage students to be more receptive. (p. 153)

“No Warnings” technique:

  • Taking immediate action when a student misbehaves, rather than giving warnings, to maintain classroom discipline and respect. (p. 161)

“Call and Response” technique:

  • Using a call-and-response format, where the teacher says a phrase or question and the students respond, to ensure that all students are paying attention and participating. (p. 169)

“No Excuses” technique:

  • Holding students accountable for their actions and decisions, rather than making excuses for them. (p. 177)

One of the things that I appreciate most about “Teach Like a Champion” is that Lemov doesn’t present a one-size-fits-all approach. He recognises that every teacher and every classroom is unique, and he encourages readers to adapt the strategies to their own teaching style and context.

“Teach Like a Champion” has been an invaluable resource for me as a teacher. The strategies and principles outlined in the book have helped me to become a more effective and confident teacher. I would highly recommend this book to any teacher, whether they are new to the profession or have been teaching for years.

If this interests you as a new teacher or one looking to refresh on those cores techniques, you can obtain it from Amazon:

References: Lemov, D. (2010). Teach like a champion: 49 techniques that put students on the path to college. Jossey-Bass.

Books that helped me grow as an educator: Daniel H. Pink “Drive”

As educators, we are always looking for ways to motivate and inspire our students. One resource that can help us do just that is Daniel Pink’s book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Daniel Pink’s book changed how I understood motivation and how to be more effective in the classroom.

In “Drive,” Pink delves into the science of motivation and challenges the traditional understanding of what motivates us to work. He argues that the traditional carrot-and-stick approach of offering rewards and punishments is not as effective as we once thought. Instead, he suggests that people are motivated by three things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Autonomy is the ability to have control over one’s own work. This means giving students the freedom to choose what they want to learn, how they want to learn it, and when they want to learn it. By giving students autonomy, we are empowering them to take ownership of their own learning and giving them the motivation to succeed.

Mastery is the desire to become better at something. By providing students with opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge, we can help them achieve a sense of mastery and a sense of accomplishment.

Purpose is the desire to do something that has meaning and significance. By connecting what students are learning to real-world applications and by helping them see the relevance of their studies, we can help them find purpose in their learning and give them a sense of motivation.

By understanding the importance of autonomy, mastery, and purpose, we can create an environment that is more conducive to student motivation and success. “Drive” is a valuable resource for educators as it helps us understand the science behind motivation and gives us practical strategies for creating a more motivating learning environment. Using the knowledge from the book, I changed my whole structure of my classroom and how I design programs. To impact was immediate with overall improved outcomes for my students and a better classroom culture with mastery as its core. The framework adopted to support this was the Modern Classroom, but that’s a blog for another day.

So, it is highly recommended for educators to read this book and apply the principles in their classrooms.

You can get the book from Amazon amongst other booksellers through my affiliate link:

Personal finance resources for Career Educators

The website is an extremely useful resource for educators. This website, provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), offers a wide range of teaching resources and materials related to personal finance and financial literacy.

The site provides lesson plans, activities, and games that are tailored to different age groups and curriculum areas, making it easy for educators to find resources that are appropriate for their students. The materials are designed to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions and to manage their money effectively.

Some of the topics covered on the site include budgeting, saving, investing, and credit management. The resources are designed to be engaging and interactive, making them a great way to get students interested in personal finance and to help them develop important life skills.

In addition to the resources for educators, the site also provides a range of tools and resources for students, including calculators, quizzes, and interactive games. These tools can be a great way to supplement the lessons and activities provided by the site and to help students apply what they have learned in a practical way.

Go and look at, is an excellent resource for educators looking to integrate financial literacy education into their curriculum. The website offers a wide range of high-quality, age-appropriate materials that can help students develop the skills they need to manage their money effectively.

Career Education and personal finance

In a career finance education, students should focus on developing a strong foundation in financial concepts such as investment, budgeting, and financial analysis. They should also gain practical experience through internships or hands-on projects. Additionally, students should develop strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues. Understanding of how various financial products and markets work and how to use financial tools and technology would be important as well.

Personal finance education is an essential component of career education for students. Understanding the basics of personal finance, such as budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt, is crucial for making informed financial decisions throughout one’s life. With the knowledge and skills acquired in personal finance education, students will be better equipped to navigate the financial challenges that come with adulthood, such as buying a house, saving for retirement, and planning for unexpected expenses. Furthermore, the ability to manage one’s personal finances is becoming increasingly important in today’s economy, as individuals are often responsible for their own financial well-being. Personal finance education empowers students to take control of their financial futures and make informed choices that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

There are two notable and effective approaches to personal finance. The USA based Dave Ramsey and Australian Scott Page , also known as the “Barefoot Investor,” are two popular personal finance experts who have gained a large following due to their unique approaches to managing money and getting out of debt. Both Ramsey and Page have written bestselling books and host popular podcasts and events, but their strategies for achieving financial success differ in several key ways.

One of the main differences between Ramsey and Page is their approach to debt. Ramsey is a strong advocate for the “debt snowball” method, which involves paying off the smallest debts first, regardless of interest rate. By doing so, Ramsey argues that individuals will quickly see progress and be motivated to continue paying off their debts. On the other hand, Page advocates for paying off the highest-interest debt first, as it will save the most money in the long run.

Another difference between the two is their approach to investing. Ramsey is a proponent of investing in mutual funds and other index funds, while Page suggests a more hands-off approach to investing, such as using a robo-advisor or investing in low-cost ETFs.

Despite these differences, both Ramsey and Page share some similarities in their approach to personal finance. Both emphasize the importance of creating a budget, living below one’s means, and saving for the future. Both also advise individuals to avoid lifestyle inflation and to make saving for retirement a priority.

One key similarity between the two is the importance of having an emergency fund. Ramsey and Page both recommend having at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in a liquid account. This emergency fund serves as a safety net in case of unexpected expenses or job loss.

Another similarity is the importance of having a plan and sticking to it. Both Ramsey and Page emphasise the importance of creating a budget and sticking to it. They both suggest tracking every dollar that comes in and goes out, and adjusting the budget as needed. They also advise individuals to have a plan for their money, such as paying off debt or saving for a specific goal.

Dave Ramsey and Scott Page have different approaches to personal finance, they both share some similarities in their approach to managing money and getting out of debt. Both emphasise the importance of creating a budget, living below one’s means, and saving for the future. It’s important to note that what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to research and understand the different approaches and then choose the one that best aligns with one’s financial goals and values.

How can we use their proven approaches to provide a strong financial basis for our students to help them avoid getting into financial difficulty.

Using ChatGPT for general revision

As a parent of three growing students, I know how challenging it can be to revise and edit written assignments. The revision process can be time-consuming and overwhelming. But, with the help of ChatGPT, their revising of written assignments has become a lot easier. In this blog post, I will share how they now use ChatGPT for revision, and provide an example plan and tasks for other students to follow.

One of the most significant benefits of using ChatGPT for revision is its ability to detect and correct grammar and punctuation errors. This has saved them a lot of time and effort because they no longer have to manually proofread their work. ChatGPT has also helped to improve  vocabulary by suggesting alternative words and phrases to make the writing more readable and sophisticated.

Another benefit of using ChatGPT for revision is its ability to generate new content. This has been particularly helpful when they are struggling to come up with new ideas or need to expand on a particular topic. ChatGPT can generate new sentences, paragraphs, or even entire sections of text based on a given prompt or topic. This has helped them to add more depth and detail to their  writing, making it more interesting and engaging.

To incorporate ChatGPT into my revision process, we created a plan and set of tasks to follow. Below is an example plan and tasks that they follow:

  1. Input my text into ChatGPT
  2. Review the suggested corrections and improvements provided by ChatGPT
  3. Make any necessary changes to my text
  4. Generate new content with ChatGPT by providing a prompt or topic
  5. Review and edit the generated content
  6. Incorporate the new content into my text
  7. Proofread the final version of my text using ChatGPT
  8. Submit the final version of my text
  9. By following this plan, I have been able to effectively use ChatGPT to improve my writing and make the revision process more efficient.

ChatGPT has been a game-changer for them when it comes to revising written assignments. Its ability to detect and correct errors, suggest improvements, and generate new content has saved them a lot of time and effort. As a student, they can highly recommend incorporating ChatGPT into the revision process. By following the above plan and tasks, you too can use ChatGPT to improve your writing and make the revision process more efficient. It’s a great tool for students of all ages and skill levels to improve their writing skills and get better grades.

ChatGPT, the computer teacher: How to use AI to teach coding in class

My last article looked at some of the possible uses of  AI-powered tools like ChatGPT for History teachers.  Though many of the examples I used are applicable across all learning areas.  It simply a matter of learning the better questions to ask and how the word it of get the response that you wish.

As educators, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our students and to make learning more interactive and effective. One way to do this is by using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, which can help to make coding lessons more dynamic and interactive. In this blog post, we will explore three activities that you can use to teach Python coding in class using ChatGPT.

Today I’m going to discuss a couple of areas that a computer, digital technologies, or ICT teachers may consider to work more effectively.  The AI can produce lesson plans that are useable.  However, the creation of reliant and effective resources takes time.  As teachers time is the one thing we can get more off.

Before we start the information and code in this example hasn’t been tested, however in the majority of cases code generated by chatGPT is usable straight away.  The blog will focus on the process and its possible tasks.  

The first activity is a coding challenge. This activity is designed to help students develop their coding skills by working on a series of coding problems. To do this, you can use ChatGPT to generate a series of coding problems for your students. These problems can be tailored to the specific needs of your class and can include a range of difficulty levels. Once your students have completed the coding challenge, you can use ChatGPT to evaluate their work and provide feedback on areas where they need to improve.

Take this simple tasK; You can ask ChatGPT to produce three different solutions to the same problem using different control structures.  The students then analyse and discuss which they think is the best solution from the variety of control structure for this problem.  Have them use a table of pro/cons for each of the programs and then write a summary recommendation with justification.

Using an If-Else Statement:

Using a While Loop:

Using a For Loop:

This can generate class discussion of higher value and in a shorter period of time.  You could follow up on whether they have a different and more efficient solution they could suggest and have them code that.

The second activity is a debugging challenge.  You can take one of your existing code snippets and ask ChatGPt to introduce a deliberate and have the student tourble shoot the code.  IN this case I asked it to highlight the bug for illustration purposes.  

Third activity:  It is good practice have regular retrieval tasks within your lesson.  However, its also good to develop new possible questions.  The advantage of using ChatGPt is it can generate new questions with our subconscious  bais on knowing what we have taught.  It can also generate questions that we may not consider, increasing the variety and breadth of their practice.  A quick way is using the curriculum points from your authority to generate questions from.  Simply copy and past and ask for sample students qesutions of the complexity you wish.  

Using theses curriculum points, lets see what questions it can generate.

Nice an easy problem generation.

If any students has been struggling in one particular area, you can narrow your focus for that individual students and quickly generate a range of questions for them.  We do this by focusing on one curriculum point and ask for questions only on that point: Lets focus on one-dimensional arrays.

Very quickly we can generate a variety of questions to test our students.  You can specify enough questions for 1 per person in your class and then have them share their answers with the rest of the class as an activity.  This can be done on the fly in class as needed.  You can use these to build a bank of possible questions to feed into other tools such as quizlet, cahoot, quizzes etc. 

Where can you go from here?

ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for computing  teachers looking to create interactive and engaging coding lessons. The ability to generate coding problems, tutorials, and games tailored to the specific needs of your class can save time and make it easier to differentiate instruction. The ability to introduce deliberate mistakes and have students troubleshoot the code can also provide an opportunity for hands-on learning and problem-solving. Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to generate sample student questions on specific curriculum points, providing a quick and easy way to create a variety of practice questions for your students. While the code generated by ChatGPT may not always be perfect, it is a great starting point and can be easily edited to fit the needs of your class. Overall, ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for computing  teachers looking to make their lessons more interactive and effective.

ChatGPT and the History Teacher: A beginning

With all the discussion around ChapGPT, what can it for history teachers? Let’s start by asking ChatGPt, what it think it can do for us?

What does ChatGPT have to say for itself if we ask it:

“ChatGPT can assist history teachers in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

1. Generating engaging and interactive lesson plans: ChatGPT can be used to create interactive and engaging lesson plans that incorporate historical events and figures.
2. Creating quizzes and assessments: ChatGPT can be used to generate quizzes, tests, and other assessments that can help teachers evaluate student understanding of historical topics.
3. Providing historical context: ChatGPT can be used to provide historical context for events and figures, helping students to better understand the significance of what they are learning.
4. Generating discussion prompts: ChatGPT can be used to generate discussion prompts and other activities that encourage students to think critically about historical topics and events.
5. Researching historical figures and events: ChatGPT can be used to assist teachers in researching historical figures and events, providing them with a wealth of information to incorporate into their lessons.
6. Providing primary sources: ChatGPT can be used to generate primary sources, such as speeches, letters, and diary entries, which can be used to bring historical events to life for students.
7. Creating virtual tours: ChatGPT can be used to create virtual tours of historical sites, allowing students to explore historical locations from the comfort of their own classroom.
8. Translating historical texts: ChatGPT can be used to translate historical texts, making them accessible to students who do not speak the original language.
9. Summarising historical events and figures: ChatGPT can be used to summarize historical events and figures, providing teachers with a quick and easy way to introduce new topics to their students.
10. Providing additional reading materials: ChatGPT can be used to generate additional reading materials for students, such as biographies, articles, and primary sources, which can be used to supplement classroom instruction.”

That is a good range of different activities that you can experiment with. I am going to focus on a couple such as 2 Creating quizzes and assessments, 6 Providing primary sources & 10 Providing additional reading materials. These example below were created in about 30 – 60 seconds from the prompt into the AI.

But how do those work in practice, far more than I’m going to cove win this post.  As a history teacher the most time consuming activity is locating primary resources and scholarship to support our programs.  So how have I been experimenting with ChatGPT to solve that problem.  

Say I’m after a response on the fall of singapore that can include primary and supporting histography.  

My first query:

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians “

Not a bad response., but I could have gotten that from a quick goggle search (thought it would have taken longer).  And as I say to my students where is the evidence to support those arguments. 

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians with quotes from historians”

A bit more of what I was looking for.  But how do I know they are the quotes from those historians and bit just made up with them name placed in there.  I need to able to check the references myself.  How do I find them.   Simple, we ask for referencing. I will ask for Chicago style as it’s my preferred style.

“what was the impact on the Fall of Singapore according to historians with quotes from historians with Chicago referencing and page numbers “

Better.  So that how you can put together a possible response to a question.  

Yes students can do that as well.  How we can use this to our advantage.

Suggested task / activity: Debate the A.I.

We generate such a response very quickly, I meaning about 30 seconds. Then we can have the student debate the AI.  Have them critique the response and evidence.  Does it hold up, are there different views, does it leave out other possible interpretations.  The AI draws on public data, it does make mistakes (found some assuming ones) and finding and correcting them is a key historical skill in critical thinking for our students to develop. It would further reinforce their own knowledge.

We can also use it to quickly locate starting point resources. Lets look for the existing histography not he Fall of Singapore. 

“list the histography of the Fall of Singapore with full Chicago referencing “  

But we may want to focus on the best. 

“list the histography of the Fall of Singapore with full Chicago referencing “

Look at the disclaimer it give to its list, the best is subjective.

Or I can just look for 3 quotes from historians on the event. 

So we can understand the power of the quotes.  Does it work on primary sources.  Lets find out.

“primary source quotes on the Fall of Singapore with Chicago referencing “

Very handy stuff….  That is recent events with numerous sources, can we delve further back.  What about the  Battle of Hastings and a primary source quote.

We know the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle had an entry, can we find out what it said?

 I know medieval historians will look at that.  And say hold on, that is not the same translation as found in the British Library. So we revert to what historians do. We collaborate the primary source. Are there other variations in the translation by different historians, and so on.

We can focus on specific historians.  

It can also help us quickly locate the histography of historians, if you are studying Germany, the work of Ian Kershaw is a must use.  But do you know all his works on the topic. Yes you can try other sources, but a 30 second search will give most of what you need. You can even ask for a summary os his argument (Not shown)

Lastly, looking to generate some quick revision questions, what can it produce.

“write a list of 10 sample student questions on the Fall of Singapore”

You;ll find that it’ll follow similar patterns in question style if you ask for the same of another topic. though I have noticed the same question the next day will produce a different style of question. Not sure why yet.

We have our questions, but can it answer them. So I ask it.

“write a short answer to each of the following questions: What were the main reasons for the fall of Singapore in 1942? How did Japan’s military strategy contribute to the British surrender at Singapore? What impact did the fall of Singapore have on the British Empire? How did the fall of Singapore affect the population, both British and Asian? What role did the Malayan Campaign play in the fall of Singapore? How did the fall of Singapore change the course of World War II in the Pacific? How did the British government respond to the fall of Singapore? What were the conditions like for prisoners of war following the fall of Singapore? How did the fall of Singapore impact the relationship between Britain and its former colonies? What lessons can be learned from the fall of Singapore in terms of military strategy and defense?”

Are you happy with the short response, I’ll let you decide for yourself.

What I have shown here is just the surface on what ChatGPT and other AI system will reign to us.

While it is a text based AI, it can create tables and other features you can create in a basic word processor. As seen by the table below.

1919DAP is foundedThe German Workers’ Party (DAP), the precursor to the Nazi Party, is founded by Anton Drexler.
1920Hitler joins DAPAdolf Hitler joins the DAP and becomes the party’s leader.
1921Name changeThe party’s name is changed to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP)
1923Beer Hall PutschHitler and the Nazis attempt to overthrow the German government in the Beer Hall Putsch, but the attempt fails and Hitler is arrested.
1924Hitler’s imprisonmentHitler is sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch, but serves only nine months.
1925Mein KampfHitler publishes “Mein Kampf” while in prison, outlining his political ideology.
1929Economic crisisThe Great Depression begins, leading to economic hardship in Germany and increasing support for extremist parties like the Nazis.
1933Hitler appointed ChancellorThe Nazis, now the largest party in Germany, gain power and Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany.
1933Enabling ActThe Enabling Act is passed, giving Hitler dictatorial powers.
1934Death of President HindenburgHitler declares himself Führer and combines the office of Chancellor and President.
1935Nuremberg LawsThe Nuremberg Laws are passed, stripping Jews and other minority groups of their civil rights.
1939Invasion of PolandGermany invades Poland, marking the beginning of World War II.

This is a brief summary of the key events in the rise of the Nazi Party, there are other important events that happened, but this should give you a general idea of the rise of the Nazi Party.

ChatGPT is not without its faults and limitations.  However, it brings more to history teachers than it can take away.  However, it has more potential to enrich our programs.

Our students will be using this tool as there has been enough news around it, that they will know about it. For most students, the quick answer will provide someone around a basic C grade response in middle school.  It will change how we assess some aspects of the courses.  

However, we need as educators to use these tools, as they will only become more common and easily accessible.  Importantly we need to teach our students to us these tools.  These are the skills they need to develop as they move from schooling to the workforce.  

Using Social Media to build your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

As a educator, I find that using Twitter and other social media platforms can be incredibly valuable tools for creating a personal learning network (PLN) and gaining access to new resources and advice. By connecting with other educators on these platforms, I am able to share ideas, strategies, and best practices with others in my field. Additionally, I can also gain access to a wide range of educational resources and materials that I may not have been able to find otherwise.

My personal preference is Twitter. With just a few clicks, I am able to connect with other educators from around the world who share my interests and passions. By following other educators on Twitter, I can gain access to new lesson plans, activities, and assessments, and learn about new technologies and teaching strategies that I can use in my own classroom.

Another advantage of using social media to create a PLN is the ability to share and receive feedback on my own ideas and materials. For example, by sharing a lesson plan or activity on Twitter, I can receive feedback from other educators, which can help me improve the material and make it more effective. Additionally, by sharing my own successes and struggles on social media, I can receive support and advice from other educators who have gone through similar experiences.

In addition to sharing resources and receiving feedback, social media can also be used to create professional development opportunities. For example, I can use Twitter to join in on virtual book clubs and reading groups, or to participate in online professional development opportunities like webinars or online discussions. These opportunities can provide me with new ideas and strategies, and can also help me stay current on the latest research and best practices in education.

Finally, by connecting with other educators through social media, I can also gain access to a wide range of educational resources and materials. For example, I can use hashtags on Twitter to discover new educational websites, apps, and videos that I can use in my own classroom. Additionally, by joining online communities and groups on social media, I can gain access to a wealth of knowledge and resources from other educators who have been in the field for years.

For history teachers explore : #historyteacher

So, I believe that Twitter and other social media platforms can be powerful tools for all teachers looking to create personal learning networks and gain access to new resources and advice. It is essential that educators incorporate social media into your own professional development plans in order to stay connected, informed, and effective in your teaching practices.

ChatGPT and it possibilities

There has been lots of discussions around #chatGPT for #teachers #students #careers #education and #business The tool will change how people use AI tools in the same why Google changed search, for the “masses”. You could describe it as google on steroids. There should not be fear in its use in #education by both staff and students, it needs to be embraced and students taught how to use such tools to improve their opportunities as they develop through life. Some way its can help you:

Are you looking to simplify complex topics, summarize articles, edit your writing, generate headlines, write university papers, discover new ideas, do content research, summarize books, or use a search engine? Look no further than ChatGPT!

ChatGPT is an incredible tool for simplifying complex topics. Just type “Explain [complex topic] like I’m 5 years old” and it will provide you with a simple and easy-to-follow response. This is great for learning and understanding difficult concepts.

Reading articles on the web can be a hassle, with annoying paywalls, unnecessary paragraphs, and distracting advertisements. ChatGPT can help you save time and frustration by summarizing the main points of any URL you give it.

In need of a writing assistant? ChatGPT is here to help! Simply copy and paste your writing into the tool and ask it to proofread for spelling and grammar errors, recommend changes, or edit in a specific style. Say goodbye to Grammarly and hello to ChatGPT.

Having trouble coming up with a catchy headline? ChatGPT can generate various options for you based on a certain topic. Use them as inspiration or pick your favourite to use. This is great for videos, threads, and newsletters.

As a college student, you know the struggle of writing papers. ChatGPT can write plagiarism-free papers for you and even find relevant quotes from articles to cite in APA, MLA, Chicago, and more. Just make sure to add your own thoughts to the paper as well.

ChatGPT is also a fantastic idea-generation tool. Simply tell it to list ideas related to a specific topic and then repeat the process with the new idea as the umbrella topic. You’ll never run out of content ideas using this method.

Conducting research for a new project can be time-consuming, but ChatGPT makes it a breeze. Just type in “List [#] [type of content] on [topic] with links” and it will provide you with a list of relevant videos, articles, and podcasts on your chosen topic.

Short on time but still want to learn about a particular book? ChatGPT can summarise the major ideas, quotes, and actionable tips for you, saving you time and providing a quick overview of the book’s key points.

Need to search for something but tired of sifting through Google’s ads and endless links? ChatGPT is a great alternative, providing direct answers and no ads. Keep in mind that it only has information up until 2021 and may occasionally be incorrect, but these issues are expected to be fixed in the future.

Have a play…

Curating research using Apple Notes

Apple Notes for collection and curation of resources

One of the challenges for ourselves and our students is the collecting and curation of resources.  There is now a vast ocean of resources and ideas that can be accessed online or created by ourselves.  Some old figures is shown in the image,

17 domo data never sleeps 5 01

Access to lots of information is detrimental to student development, more is not better.  Students need to be taught how to curate and focus on the valuable information to make informed decisions.

A tool I like to use myself and encourage my students to use Apple Notes. True, there are lots of tools that serve this purpose such as Evernote which has been around for awhile.  However, I will talk about Note simply because it comes standard on all Apple devices.  It also easily synchs across all of a users devices, meaning the notes/resources follow them around.

Using Apple Notes you can teach your students to create a system of collections of information by subject.  You can have them create their notes without any content and the guide them how to link information within those categories.  Intrinsically they will start to develop skills in thinking and sorting information to be quickly accessed later, whether for a project, research in depth or revision.  An example of some groupings are below:

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 39 19 am

Within each of those groupings are the links, notes and other digital information they have collected or entered manually.  A list of my sample Latin links are shown here.

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 52 49 am

Where the notes become enhanced is by the annotation of the links to provide depth to students.  It can also form part of the development process for students when creating an annotated bibliography.  Importantly it will provide context for why the students linked the information initially when they return to it at a later stage.  Have you ever booked marked a site and then when you returned later you could not remember why, requiring you to reread the site to trigger your memory.  Annotation reduces this time, triggers memory on the purpose of the link and provides greater depth of information that can be easily updated.  It creates the foundation of a student system to manage their learning resources which become invaluable in the later school and professional years.

So how do you link resources to online resources.  

In this example I will use Safari as the web browser.

So I was looking for some books for my daughter to read in Latin.  A good approach to develop new language skills is have students read a text naturally in the new language they wish to learn.  Of interest to my daughter was a Latin language version of Harry Potter 🙂 

So locate  a website with some good options.  

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 40 51 am

I don’t have time to read about each of these books know and I wish to return to them later.  Traditionally you may bookmark it, but that leads to lots of bookmarks that often you never look at again.   So I decide to add it to my Latin teaching note. 

On Apple products there is a “share” icon of the scare with the arrow. 

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 40 58 am

 When you click on that you will see a menu appear and we are interested din the “Notes” option.  Select that. When you do the following image appears.  

Screen Shot 2020 01 02 at 10 41 17 am

Sometimes you need to wait a few seconds for the page data to load.  At the bottom you can choose the note group your would like to place it in, or create a brand new note.  At this you have the first opportunity for annotation of the link.  You can add this later if you wish).  And then click save.  It will then be stored on in notes and starting to be synched across the related devices including their personal iPhones, meaning they take their resources with them and can them at any stage.  Press save when you finished annotating the link. 

When you go to the notes you will see the different links or other information you have entered.  

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You can then access your Lins by clicking on the links shown above.  You can also add additional notes over time as you learn more material.  It can be used for project research, being effective helping students organising their initial notes before they start the refining process.  They can delete an add resources as the projects evolve and they narrow their focus to their question.  

Over time it builds a well organised collection of resources.  I use notes to collect information from a range of sources, not just webpages, resources from twitter, instagram and other online resources.  

Hopefully this is useful for you and your students. 

A personal favourite – Hereford Mappamundi Source analysis

I have finally found some time to write about one of my favourite lessons. While I teach in two areas of computing and the humanities, the medieval period is my favourite period of History, though I love all history, The period has such an amazing range of sources and evidence of medieval though of the world as they slowly rediscovered the scientific foundations lost with he collapse of the Western Roman empire.

A favourite source I love to share with my students is the Hereford Mappamundi. If you ever visit Hereford definitely go see the original at the Cathedral it well worth the visit. I am not going to critique the source, there are lots of amazing websites that can do that for you with a little research. This activity is run for Year 8 Medieval history class.

The task I have designed is a whole class cooperative learning activity. The lesson students of all levels to participate and it relies on peer sharing and discussion to be successful It is also very engaging and it has never failed once to excite my students.

The setup:

I have made A1 size copies of the map. These were printed and laminated so that I can use them each and still look new after 5 years of use. (See photo)

I arranged the class into groups of 4 (Maximum number). I setup u the classroom are you see it below, so each group can work independently to each other initially.

Classroom setup before the start of the lesson

On each table I provide each drop with the same resources to complete the task. There is the map, two magnifying glasses (Limit of my budget) and a whiteboard marker. Each group needs a different whiteboard marker. This will be used for accountable for each group later. All history students should have a access to a magnifying class to analysis sources including etc based sources.

The resources of each group

Student brief: The students are not told anything about the map, only that it is a medieval source. The unknown factor is a big incentive for students, it creates a mystery for them. They will required to investigate the source and write what they find on a single whiteboard for all groups to see.

Task progression: The students will will initially start to note obvious elements of the source. But slowly they will discover patterns. The collective effort of the class will see ideas being quickly shared, providing clues to other groups, who build on those ideas as displayed below.

Whole class whiteboard of source elements

Normally about half way through yhe lesson I’ll pause for a whole class discussion to consolidate what they have learnt and if required build links. At this stage students will start expressing their hypothesis on what the source is and why it was created. In some circumstances if needed I’ll provide some clues or directions to look at specific elements of the map, such as why is that red body of water red (i.e. Red Sea) or the orientation of the map being a T-O Map in design. I would also explain some of the Latin phrases in the map. If you examinee the sample whiteboard you can see the level of contribution of each group by the colour of the whiteboard markers used by each group.

Once we have obtained enough information of the source, we begin the process of analysing it as a useful source in understanding medieval thought. The complex nature of the source as a historical record, a bestiary, world atlas on a single layered map means that students will alway find interesting elements to investigate further.

I hope you investigate whether this source and activity give it go.

P.S. Prior to my laminating my maps in A1 size. I used to use an A3 size map which was still effective.