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.

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

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: