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DWEC & The Use of AI in the Irish Classroom

DWEC & The Use of AI in the Irish Classroom

Artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) have revolutionised the way we interact with technology. One of the most exciting applications of AI at the moment, is in the education sector. Teachers can leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to create personalized learning experiences for their students.

Dublin West Education Centre has always positioned itself within the emerging technology space. We have a history of embracing technological advances and pride ourselves as being early adapters, especially when it comes to emerging technology that can be of benefit to schools and teachers. So naturally, with ChatGPT becoming such a topical subject, we found ourselves exploring it.

It was a natural and exciting prospect then, when we discovered Shannon Ahern through her Instagram account @craic_matamaitic. Shannon had one post in particular which addressed exploring the use of AI in her classroom. Shannon delivered two webinars for DWEC in the Spring term 2023 on ‘Making Learning Fun with Artificial Intelligence & ChatGPT’ which both booked out. The interest out there amongst educators is vast and through Shannon’s webinars, we have been able to support teachers to better understand this emerging technology, both in terms of what its capabilities are and what its potential is as a classroom resource.

We continue to work with Shannon in providing innovative CPD in the area of AI in Education so keep an eye out every term for new CPD opportunities DWEC CPD Courses

Don’t just take our word for it! Join one of her webinars and experience her exciting take on the use of AI tools such as ChatGPT, as a classroom resource. Having attended her webinars ourselves, we can’t recommend them highly enough. We advise registering your place quickly though, as places always book out fast. 

Please keep an eye on our website and all of our social media channels (detailed below) for more information. Feel free also to reach out with any queries and/or suggestions to Zita This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via our social media channels. We love hearing from you!

*This article may or may not have used ChatGPT as a co-author*

A Word on the Practical Use of AI in the Classroom with DWEC Facilitator, Shannon Ahern

The increasing prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) around the globe has brought both opportunities and challenges within the field of education. Although concerns surrounding the ease of academic dishonesty have been raised, educators should not overlook the immense potential AI offers. 

As teachers, we often dedicate much of our time and energy to our students in the classroom, leaving little in reserve for planning and preparation in the evenings. Of course, thorough planning, particularly in subjects such as maths, can be the difference between completing the curriculum by June or falling short. AI can significantly reduce the administrative load associated with teaching, and can subsequently increase the quality of the planning produced. From the scheme of work to the end of module assessments, AI has helped me to produce a higher calibre of work in a fraction of the time. 

AI has also allowed me to create resources I previously would only have dreamed of. Recently, I used ChatGPT to generate HTML for a science revision game, despite having minimal experience with the language. AI enabled me to create exactly what I wanted for my website in seconds, a feat which otherwise would have required extensive hours of research on my part. 

While there are legitimate concerns that students may exploit AI to produce CBAs and Project Work, there is equal potential for them to employ it as a personal, private tutor. If used appropriately, AI can offer students the individualised instruction they deserve, which is often unattainable in larger class settings. In my opinion we need to be doing more to educate students about AI, and instil in them a sense of responsibility when using this technology. By teaching them to harness AI's potential ethically and effectively, we can unlock a wealth of opportunities for personalised learning and academic growth.


In the Press!

Irish Times - Education Section
‘It’s revolutionising the classroom’: Meet the teachers embracing AI
Peter McGuire
Tue May 7 2024

Insightful article featuring the Director of Dublin West Education Support Centre and podcast host of our Teachers Themselves podcast, Ultan Mac Mathúna.

If you haven't listened already, don't miss the podcast episode referenced by Ultan in this article featuring the wonderfully innovative, Shannon Ahern @craic_matamaitic

Season One, Episode 3: Practical Approaches to AI in the Classroom with Shannon Ahern

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