Are you familiar with the world of artificial intelligence? I admit I was skeptical when I first heard of AI. I recall a conversation with a teacher who expressed concerns about how students were leveraging AI to complete school work. She was worried about the challenges this was going to create.
While there are certainly concerns about the misuse of AI, I decided to explore it myself. In my 30+ years in education, I have been an early adaptor of many technological applications. I was exploring global connectivity in education in the late 90s before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, etc… My students and I were connected with others around the world. We were having online conversations about books, sharing our writing, and studying writing techniques together using tools like Instant Messenger and website forums.
As someone passionate about technology, I usually start by exploring new innovations – especially when I see the potential for instructional coaches and educators in general. I need to understand its potential applications before sharing it with others. As educators, we need to adopt the same approach toward AI. It’s a rapidly evolving field that’s here to stay, and we must explore its proper uses in our personal and professional lives and the lives of the students and teachers we serve.
Although I’ve only scratched the surface of using AI in instructional coaching, I’m excited to share what I’ve experimented with in the area of coaching. One of the most sought-after resources we have is time, and I’ve discovered that AI is an excellent tool for saving time. So in this post, I’ll discuss how AI can be leveraged as a time-saving tool. I foresee other AI blog topics in the future!
If you’re new to AI, like I am, I encourage you to take time to explore with an open mind. It’s perfectly normal not to completely understand its capabilities, as that’s what learning is all about. No one masters a new skill right away, so take your time to delve deeper into the world of AI and expand your knowledge.
First Things First
I’ve only had the opportunity to use Chatgpt as an AI tool. Go to Chatgpt and register for a free account to try it out. All your requests and interactions (referred to as “Chats”) will be stored once you’ve created an account. You can remove them, but I prefer to keep mine for future reference.
To request AI to produce something for you, input your query into the “Send Message” box. Then AI will generate a response. I promise you’ll be amazed.
A Brainstorming Partner
At times, instructional coaching can leave you feeling isolated, especially when you’re the only coach at your school. It can be difficult to have no one around to brainstorm ideas with. Even as a virtual coach and trainer in instructional coaching, I know the feeling of isolation. AI has become a great brainstorming partner!
For example, co-moderate a weekly chat for instructional coaches called #educoach (each Wednesday at 8 pm CST). Recently when I needed a new topic idea, I asked ChatGPT to generate a list of topics for instructional coaches to chat about on Twitter. Within seconds (yes, seconds), I had a generated list to think about. Here is a quick example:
I chose a topic from the list and then had ChatGPT generate potential questions. I used some of the questions, revised some, and wrote others on my own. A task that used to take me hours was greatly shortened!
I have used ChatGPT to generate other lists like blog topics and training topic lists. All have been revised to my liking, but having a quick brainstorming partner has proven very beneficial.
APPLICATION: Think of a list you need to be generated and give it a try! Do you need some topic ideas? Or do you need a certain number of main points to express on a topic?
REFLECTION: What did you think of the list you generated? Did the ideas prove helpful? What difficulties did you encounter while compiling the list?
I Needed a Little Bit of Coding Done
I recently had my website redesigned, and instead of asking my web designer for a small piece of code, I thought of giving ChatGPT a try. ChatGPT helped me generate the code for my homepage. I had to refine it a bit to get the line spacing, font, and color exactly how I wanted it. I don’t know much about HTLM, but I was able to figure out the needed changes from what was generated. While this may have been a time saver for my web designer, rather than me, it was a task I could do myself for my own website. Learning something new was an added benefit!
APPLICATION – Many Instructional Coaches have their own website. Perhaps this tip will help you in your web design. Or what other task do you need to be done? How could ChatGPT save you time?
Reflection: How did using ChatGPT to generate website design tips or complete specific tasks save you time as an instructional coach? In what ways can you continue to use AI-powered tools like ChatGPT to streamline your workflow and optimize your productivity?
Reflective Question Bank
In my role as a trainer of instructional coaches and a virtual coach for educators, I frequently recommend that my clients create and/or gather sets of reflective questions. One technique that I used as an instructional coach and now teach to others is the ORID technique. Our book, The Coach Approach to School Leadership, provides an in-depth look at ORID, and some examples of the technique can be found here.
To be honest, I found using the ORID technique as an instructional coach to be time-consuming. As a bit of a perfectionist, I felt I needed to create the perfect set of questions. I often turned to Jo Nelson’s book, The Art of Focused Conversations for Schools (2013), to save time. Recently, I decided to try out ChatGPT to see what it could do. I typed in my query, and in a matter of seconds, I received four sets of questions. As a coach, I can choose which questions to use or modify them to suit the needs of the teacher or coach I’m working with. I was amazed that it generated four sets of questions without being prompted. It’s a huge time saver!
APPLICATION: Why not have ChatGPT generate some reflective questions for you? Simply describe your situation or the desired technique. Do you need some goal-setting questions, questions for after a classroom observation, or questions to use when a teacher isn’t seeing progress toward their goals? The possibilities are endless. Give it a try and see what ChatGPT can come up with!
REFLECTION: What benefits did you experience by using ChatGPT to generate reflective questions for your coaching practice? Which of the questions proved to be the most helpful, and how can you continue to use them to support ongoing growth and development in your role as an instructional coach?
Developing Session Descriptions & Agendas
As both a coach and a trainer of instructional coaching, I’m always creating agendas. When I initially start with a client, I listen to their needs. It would be incredibly helpful to be able to jot down those needs and have a potential agenda generated for me. So, I decided to give ChatGPT a try.
Coaches always ask me how they can introduce their role to teachers in the fall. I decided to use that as my query. I briefly described the session and mentioned the amount of time for the session. ChatGPT proved to be an excellent brainstorming partner, generating a starting point for a session complete with an agenda marked with the timing to consider. From there, a coach could revise and tailor the agenda to suit their specific needs and carefully plan each section of the session.
APPLICATION: Think about a professional learning session you have coming up (or even one next fall). Briefly describe the session. Ask for a session descsription and agenda. See what ChatGPT provides.
REFLECTION: Was the session description and agenda helpful? If this was an actual session what revisions would you make? Do you see an idea in the agenda that you’d like more information about? Simply ask ChatGPT for more clarity or to give you ideas on what you could do in that section?
Editing and Revisions
No, ChatGPT did not write this blog post; however, I did utilize its editing and revision capabilities to improve the clarity of certain sections. As a writer, I often generate ideas quickly and need to edit and make changes. I already use Grammarly to revise my writing at the sentence level, so I decided to see how ChatGPT could help in certain instances.
Using AI to edit, revise, and craft ideas can offer several benefits. For instance, AI-powered tools can help identify and correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure errors, ensuring that written communication is error-free and easy to understand. AI tools can help writers improve the clarity and coherence of their ideas by suggesting alternative word choices, reorganizing paragraphs, and identifying potential gaps in the logic or flow of the writing. As an author, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing this level of support from many AWESOME professional editors. However, when it comes to my blog posts, I’m left to rely on my own capabilities. Having a guide on the side when needed has been helpful.
By leveraging AI-powered tools for editing and revising, instructional coaches could save time and streamline their workflow, allowing them to focus on other tasks and responsibilities. Moreover, AI can help writers enhance the quality of their writing and improve the effectiveness of their communication, ultimately leading to better outcomes and results.
APPLICATION – Give it a try. Open ChatGPT Write something (like an email) and ask ChatGPT to rewrite for the tone you wish to convey (more concise, improve clarity, or add a professional or friendly tone, etc.)
REFLECT – In what ways did using ChatGPT to modify the tone and style of your writing enhance your communication skills? How did ChatGPT assist you in achieving the desired tone, and what methods did it employ to achieve this goal? How can you apply these strategies to your future writing?
What do you think?
In this post, I shared five ways I have explored AI’s potential. However, I recognize that there is so much more to discover and learn about this technology. As an educator, it is important for me to stay informed about the responsible and ethical use of AI and its potential benefits and drawbacks.
To that end, I will continue seeking new ideas and opportunities to integrate AI into my work as an instructional coach and share my learning. I believe that AI has the potential to save time and streamline the coaching process while also promoting fairness, accuracy, privacy, and accountability.
I would love to hear your thoughts on AI and how you might use it in your own work. Were you skeptical about using AI at first, like I was? Did you try any of the applications I mentioned? Did seeing what ChatGPT generated help add clarity to its capabilities? Do you have any other ideas for incorporating AI into coaching practices? Please share your ideas in the comments below, and let’s continue to learn, grow, and SHINE together!
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