Ep 55: How to properly leverage AI in the classroom


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Join the discussion: Ask Kelsey and Jordan questions about AI in Education
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More about Packback: Packback.co


AI technology has gradually made its way into various industries, transforming the way we work, communicate, and learn. In the realm of education, AI has the potential to revolutionize classrooms, empowering both educators and students alike. This article explores the insights shared in a recent episode of the Everyday AI podcast, highlighting the importance of properly leveraging AI in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.

Enhancing Critical Thinking and Access to Information:

As AI technology becomes more pervasive, concerns arise regarding its impact on critical thinking and the ease of accessing information. However, the podcast episode emphasizes that AI can actually facilitate these processes when used correctly. By tapping into AI tools like ChatGPT, students can receive assistance in organizing their thoughts and creating outlines for assignments, enabling them to think more critically and develop well-structured arguments.

Establishing Clear Expectations:

To maximize the benefits of AI in educational settings, it is crucial for educators to establish clear expectations at the beginning of each term. By guiding students on how to ethically and effectively utilize AI tools, instructors can ensure that technology is used as a supplement rather than a replacement for learning and critical thinking. This way, students can leverage AI to enhance their education while still actively engaging and applying their knowledge.

Adapting Assignments for Authentic Learning:

The rise of AI chatbot technology, such as Packback, challenges educators to rethink traditional writing assignments and prompts. Rather than solely focusing on regurgitating information, educators are encouraged to design more authentic assessments that require students to act, learn, apply, present, and engage with course material. Through these holistic assignments, students can cultivate critical thinking skills, demonstrate practical knowledge, and engage with the subject matter in a meaningful way.

Overcoming Barriers and Addressing Challenges:

While AI technology in the classroom presents numerous opportunities, it also raises concerns about students solely relying on AI-generated content. Educators must be proactive in addressing this issue by adapting their teaching methods and incorporating proactive conversations with students. By striking a balance between AI assistance and authentic engagement, educators can cultivate an environment that promotes critical thinking skills, original thought, and deep learning.


The integration of AI in the classroom offers vast possibilities to enhance the learning experience for both educators and students. By properly leveraging AI tools and technologies, educational institutions can empower their students to think critically, access information efficiently, and engage authentically with course material. As AI continues to evolve, it is crucial for educators, decision-makers, and business owners to understand its potential benefits and embrace its responsible usage to shape a brighter future for education in the digital age.

Topics Covered: 

- Introduction to Everyday AI podcast

- Recent news stories on AI detection of deepfakes, robots giving press conferences, and NVIDIA's market share in AI chips

- Introduction of guest, Kelsey Behringer, CEO of Packback

- Using AI in the classroom and the speaker's belief in the importance of critical thinking and easy access to information

- Announcement of giveaway and promotion of everydayai.com for resources and newsletter

- Thanking Kelsey for sharing about Packback and answering questions

- Thanking Kelsey again and invitation to join tomorrow's episode

- Speaker's personal use of AI tools like ChatGPT for webinar series agendas and outlines

- Belief that using AI for organizing thoughts and creating outlines is not cheating, as long as students write their own words

- Recommendation to set clear expectations and guide students on using AI tools correctly

- Importance of being connected to students and the speaker's love for teaching

- Discussing the misguided reaction of banning generative AI in classrooms

- Importance of instructors explaining why AI may not be appropriate in certain situations

- The benefits of using AI for students who want to learn and get something out of education

- Acknowledgement that technology cannot fully replace teaching due to the crucial aspects of human interaction and inspiration

- Suggestion that AI should supplement, not replace, the instructor workflow

- Caution against using blue books for exams and the impact of GPT and chat to PT technology on writing assignments and prompts

- The need for authentic assessments and holistic assignments to challenge students

- Expectation for educators to be dynamic and constantly update assignments, acknowledging the workload

- Belief that GPT technology can help eliminate tedious tasks and enhance productivity

- Argument against the idea that technology leads to less critical thinking and application, suggesting it improves the quality of work

- The possibility of students solely relying on GPT and a need for educators to adapt their teaching methods

- Personal example of how GPT could have helped the speaker overcome their fear of reading older texts

- Discussion on legal cases regarding appropriate use of GPT in the future

- Clear guidelines for using GPT in assignments and conversations with students who violate these guidelines

Podcast Transcript

AI [00:00:01]:

This is the Everyday AI Show, the Everyday Podcast where we simplify AI and bring its power to your fingertips. Listen daily for practical vice to boost your career, business, and everyday life.

Jordan Wilson [00:00:17]:

should AI not be used at all in education or should it be used everywhere? Those are some of the things that we're gonna tackle today on. everyday AI. This is a daily livestream podcast and free newsletter helping everyday people Keep up with AI. There's a lot going on. Let's let's be honest. You could take a week off from reading AI news, and everything has changed. So that's what everyday AI is here for, and that's what we're gonna do today. So before we have a GPT guest come on and talk about AI and education, let's first talk about what's going on in the world of AI news. So now we're detecting AI deepfakes with AI. So a new report looks at how the GPT is using an AI deep fake detector. So kind of kind of crazy that the deep fakes are obviously being made with AI, but we're using AI to detect them. I'm not sure how that works. So make sure to check that out in the newsletter today. Another one, this was somewhat weird if you haven't taken a look at it yet. So there was a press conference given by robots yesterday at the AI For Good Conference in Geneva. So pretty interesting stuff, but don't worry. They promise not to kill humans, and they said they wouldn't take our jobs, but it's it's pretty funny. We'll link to it in the newsletter. They did give some strange looks when we asked them some of those questions. Last but not least, our 3rd big AI news story for the day. So NVIDIA, their AI market share is soaring. So Citi Citi said that NVIDIA will have 90% market share in AI chips. That's wild. So we've talked about this on the show before, but here's why chips are important. specifically for the economy because all of these generative AI tools, they all require these GPU chips in in Nvidia, in a couple other companies here in the US. US is really the leader in in making these chips and sending them you know, exporting them overseas as well. So there's been a lot of discussion on should the US, you know, be sending these chips to other countries that might be using them to either or their economy or to use them in war. You know? We talked about that yesterday kind of previewing a a Netflix documentary that came out about that specific thing. So with that, as a reminder, we are live. Rastafai, thank you for the comment already saying good morning. So if you are checking this out on the podcast later in the day on Spotify Apple or wherever you get your podcast, make sure to join us. We do this live every single weekday at 7:30 AM Central Standard Time where we bring on amazing guests. So speaking of amazing guests, Let's bring one on right now. So we have with us today, Kelsey Behringer, the CEO of Packback. Kelsey, thanks for joining Hey. Thanks for having me. Alright. So quickly, just tell everyone what Packback is because there's a lot of and and, again, pack back almost said it wrong. You know, I almost say backpack, but tell us a little bit about -- Yeah. -- Packback and and what you all do in the education space. Yes. Fortunately or unfortunately, we are often autocorrected to payback, Packback, many different things. But what we are high level is an AI powered

Kelsey Behringer [00:03:44]:

writing and discussion platform for higher education mainly, but we also just entered the K Twelve space about 18 months GPT. The way that you can think of us at a high level is for students. What we do is offer AI assisted feedback, a writing assistant, and also research assistant. We give them feedback on the research that they're doing. And then for instructors, we're offering some grading support. We won't don't wanna do a 100% of the grading for an instructor because they're ultimately the content experts, but we do wanna support them with grading things GPT grammar mechanics so that they don't have to be a red pen and they can truly be content experts.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:18]:

Yeah. That's great. So so more or less, it is It's AI assisted tools for both students and for educators.

Kelsey Behringer [00:04:25]:

Yep. Absolutely.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:27]:

So so I know that you're a former educator yourself, So what are your you you know, if if if you take off the the CEO hat for a minute, what's your take just on AI in education in general? Is is this something that, you know, maybe if you would have told yourself 5 years ago that you would feel the same way you do now? Or what's your your take if you take out, like, take out the the the role that you are right now? Yeah. Absolutely. So I think more more broadly, when I first started teaching, I was teaching really large course sizes

Kelsey Behringer [00:05:01]:

of teaching high school chemistry, and I had 36 seats and 46 students in my classroom. It was it was bananas. And I was 23 myself. So what I did was I used and I embraced technology to solve the problems that I felt like I needed more support. on. So I used Kahoot. I was a huge fan of Kahoot. I built my own website. So in general, I think technology as a whole is amazing at solving problems when used correctly. Right? When it's used poorly, it adds stress. It adds inefficiencies. And I think of AI the exact same way. AI is just really wonderful, magical technology that can be leveraged as a tool and when used properly, it's extraordinary, and it saves instructors time, and then they get to spend more time doing what they wanna do with their students, which, by the way, is not, like, grading them on spelling there incorrectly in this, you know, context. So I think AI And Education has its place and it also has best practices and worse practices.

Jordan Wilson [00:06:03]:

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Speaking, let's just jump straight there. So -- Yep. -- speaking of worst practices, Right? So -- Yeah. -- I know that students are not always using AI as a compliment or a supplement. They're using it as a replacement. But then on the same side, I think you have professors maybe using AI incorrectly, you know, kind of the famous or infamous story. is the UT Austin professor that decided to fail most of his students because he declared that they were using AI when you can't really declare that. So what's what's your thought on kind of that that that line of where AI should be used versus, okay, it's it's time for for humans to to get involved here. Yeah. Yeah. Well, let me just start this by saying my heart really does go out to the professor and the teacher right now, especially the professors who

Kelsey Behringer [00:06:57]:

did this job because they love teaching their discipline and want to be connected to the students. So I wanna I wanna preface with I have the most sincere empathy for right now. But I think one of the most misguided reactions we could have to generative AI is banning. So we we can't just see a new technology and say, it doesn't have a place in my classroom. Maybe it doesn't have a place near classroom. Like, maybe it would be really inappropriate to use AI, but I think it's so important for instructors to explain to students why it would be inappropriate. And if the reason is because the instructors just don't want students to cheat, we have to dig deeper. We have to, like, turn inward and self reflect. Is this really about students not cheating? Is it about control? What what is this really about? But I think Behringer is misguided because students are using it. They wanna use it, and they wanna hear from instructors about what's appropriate and what's not appropriate because 80% of students don't wanna Right? They they don't wanna feel achy. They want something out of their education. And then just, again, maybe putting my CEO hat on, but also my former teacher hat I do not think technology will ever fully replace some of these different careers like teaching because so much of teaching is being able to, like, connect with a student and differentiate content for that specific student have a face to face or zoom to zoom human interaction and inspire that student challenge that student. something that I just think humanity needs to be there for. So I don't think AI should be holistically replacing an instructor workflow. I think it should supplementing pieces of it because most teachers are not working less than 60 hours a week, and it's unsustainable.

Jordan Wilson [00:08:48]:

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Alright. We already we already have some great questions. I wanna get to him 1 or 2 at a time. So Nancy, shout out GPT Cruz. So Nancy saying, can you bust the myth that teachers know if students use AI for writing assignments? Kelsey, what's what's your take on that one? Yeah. So AI detectors are not very accurate.

Kelsey Behringer [00:09:08]:

So my advice is if you are using an AI detector, you have to do research before you make any claims against that student. So the the best case scenario, and if not every educator could do this, my recommendation would be first day of class, have them do a written writing assignment that would establish their unique voice, and then use that as your data point to juxtapose a writing assignment that maybe got flagged for AI detection or your kind of, like, your alarm bells are going off. At the end of the day, I think educators who have been doing this for quite some time, have been grading, writing for quite some time, understand the holistic student voice and what the average student is going to say in a piece of writing. And when they get, like, this really wonderfully written, expert written piece of paper from a student that maybe doesn't show up a class, your alarm bells go off. Again, do research. Take it with a grain of salt. compare it to previous writing samples, compare it to previous writing samples from other students, and then have a conversation with the student. But I think my my main takeaway is you can't take detection at face value. It's going to be

Jordan Wilson [00:10:15]:

a dicey place to live. Yeah. And we did we did chat pre show about this briefly. Yeah. My take is Nancy. No. They're all It it it like, I haven't used all the enterprise solutions, but anything commercially available, I've tried very easy to bust. I won't say they're They're nonsense, but, yeah, they don't they're meritless. I'd say I'll say it that, like like like that. So follow-up question, which is GPT. And I think this is could talk about this for hours. But another question is using AI for class assignments. Always considered cheating.

Kelsey Behringer [00:10:48]:

The answer is no. I've been using ChatGPT to help me create outlines and agendas for this webinar series that I'm running. And I'm the webinar is my own words. I'm I'm putting together my own slides, but I'm using AI to help me just with the outline and to organize my thoughts. And I think A lot of us would agree that if a student was had to write a 5 to 10 page paper and ask GPT for feedback on their or asked UPT to help them with an outline, but then wrote their own words. I don't think any of us would consider that cheating. I think words say that they've found a really efficient way to I have to go to the writing lab and maybe just use GPT at 3 AM. Right? But, ultimately, I think this is where my recommendation to so many instructors is set your expectations at the start of the term and reiterate your expectations. And if a student blatantly disrespects an expectation you set, then, yes, they're cheating. But you know, I think it's it's our duty as educators to guide students in how to use these tools because if we don't, they're they are going to misuse them. Yeah. -- at the end of the day. That's that's a great point. And, you know, Kelsey, even going back to the original,

Jordan Wilson [00:11:58]:

you know, setting the expectation before and, you you know, using that as a comparison, I think, is a great tip for educators and just for students to know too. Right? Like like, your your teachers, professors, TA's, You know? They know that you're probably using it, so I love that that concept. So another another question here, So Rastafaa is asking about Packback. Yeah. I think so. Can you share tools across users, supervisors, own the content? So, yeah, tell tell a little bit about the actual platform and how that works

Kelsey Behringer [00:12:31]:

in terms of ownership and access. Yeah. Well, the platform itself is mainly used in higher indication. Instructor adopt Packback as a tool in their course. Kinda like they would adopt a technology like clickers or top hat And we're usually a portion of the grade because we are an online discussion platform. See us about 15% of the GPT, and then also a writing platform for long form that could be upwards of a 100 percently great. Right? It's all student driven inquiry based discussion or student written work. So all of the information that's in Packback, all of that data is owned by the student. That is their voice, that is their work, and we house it in Packback. We have service in the US and a separate server in Canada, and right now, we're only US and Canada. But it's their work. The instructors are obviously guiding them on how to use it, and the instructors are GPT content, things like that, but it's student loan work. Yeah.

Jordan Wilson [00:13:22]:

GPT great great thoughts, and we have a couple couple more comments I get wanted to get to. So, yeah, Doctor Castro, thanks for joining us, saying, I think we need to redefine how we teach and how we Absolutely. You know? I I've I've said this on the show many times. If I was a professor, there would be a 10 to 20 page paper due every single day in class. Brownwyn, good afternoon from South Africa. Love South Africa. I'd love to go back f y i. Another question, though, from Audrey. Audrey, So so, Kelsey, where do you draw the line, student input versus GPT powered work? That's a great question, and I have no clue how you can

Kelsey Behringer [00:14:00]:

provide a good answer, but that that's what you're here for. That's why we bring on the experts. So, yeah, where does that where do you draw the line? Yeah. It that's such a good question. It's, like, I I'm already seeing in a few years, like, supreme court cases, right, of, like, students challenging you know, I'm I'm just seeing it all happen. And and it's not a line. It's, like, this very thick GPT area. And I don't know if I have the best answer for this. I think I just keep going back to if I were an educator right now, which I used to assigned a lot of writing, specifically lab reports, so it wasn't, like, creative writing. It wasn't argumentative writing. But what I would be doing is every single assignment reminding my students. This is the appropriate way to use GPT on this. This is the inappropriate way, and I would probably model it for them. And then if I felt like they were violating these guidelines that I set up, I would have a conversation with them. And it's pretty easy to tell. Like, the when I've talked to instructors about how they're approaching these conversations, it's like, alright. Tell me about how you came up with the idea for this paper. Alright. How did you come up outlined. What about this? I thought this was an interesting point. And if a student can confidently say, like, this is what I thought about this. They can explain their process, They probably wrote that paper themselves or at least did it with very little input from GPT. They probably used it properly in the same way that adults are using it to most of their careers. Now if a student looks at you, wide eyed, you're probably like, alright. Let's let's talk about this. Why did you use GPT? You know? then you have a conversation with them. And, again, most students are not trying to cheat because they're, you know, ding dongs. They're they're and bad kids, they're usually cheating because they're working multiple jobs, and they're busy, or they're in this assignment because they or in this course because they have to be here. So help them understand why they did it and try to address the behavior, but I think it really goes down to what's the what's the true relationship and perp the purpose of the relationship between the student and teacher and let's, like, let that inform the line and not I don't know if that answer works, but that's kind of how I feel about it. Yeah. I I think with some of these things is there's no

Jordan Wilson [00:16:11]:

right or wrong answer yet because I think for a while, higher ed, especially, is going to be operating in this gray area because, you know, whether students admitted or not, I'd say the majority of students are using GPT to write their papers I've I've heard from them. They're you know, you even see these photos of, you know, people who graduate and put the ChatGPT GPT logo on the top of their graduation cap. Right? It's just amazing. Yeah. Yeah. But as as a former educator -- Yep. -- and and I'm sure you still have have friends who are still in the field. Mhmm. How do current teachers view ChatGPT GPT? What are their thoughts? Are they totally against it? Is it like Is it, like, the dark side, you know, Star Wars? What are what are their thoughts? It's obviously maybe different for you now because you're pushing the technology and advocating for it Mhmm. But what are teachers now viewing

Kelsey Behringer [00:17:06]:

the chat EBT technology as? Yeah. It's a huge spectrum. So I've been leading these series of workshops and webinars with the league for innovation in the community colleges. It's a wonderful association that basically advocates for transformative, you know, approaches to pedagogy and and community colleges, and we'll survey, you know, a 1000 attendees of a webinar. And could not be more varied. It's, like, 25 percent wanna ban it. They're super scared. Student voice is dead. Long live education and critical thinking. 25% are like, we're requiring it in all of our courses and all of our assignments. My students have to use it in order to pass. And that middle where is, like, the the the majority of, I think, our voices are, I know it's important that my students learn how to use this correctly. I know it's important I learn how to use this correctly as an educator, I don't know where to start. I don't know how to move forward. So I think that's where the majority lies, but it's still a very broad spectrum. And, you know, education tends to move slower when it comes to adopting technology like my you know, my 1st classroom. I was bringing in all the technology personally. And my biggest fear is that we'll we'll just kind of sit back and wait, or, like, institutions will be like, well, we need to we need to do a limited test study, and then we need to run research. And 5 years later, they're ready to embrace AI in classrooms, which is, like, we're just gonna have to be a little bit more, I think, like, listen to our guts instead of take the time to inform, like, let data inform our decisions over years of of research. because that tends educators tend to be like that. They wanna use, you know, research back strategies in their classroom.

Jordan Wilson [00:18:50]:

For sure. Do you see with you know, and obviously so many classes are, you know, online classes now, so people are on the Internet, on a computer. But do you see in the near future arise in kind of old school education, more handwritten assignments, more tasks that maybe, you know, fewer papers, more tests. Do you think education is is going to be shifting in any of those ways?

Kelsey Behringer [00:19:18]:

Oh, I think a lot of instructors have brought back blue books and will. I would caution against it if I was asked write a five page paper right now by hand, I would actually feel, like, physically sick after writing because I haven't done it in so long. Like, I journal, but I'm not journaling a five page essay. It's been so long since we've had to do that, so just I'd be mindful of that. Now I do think this viral rise of chat to PT is forcing instructors to really reflect on the writing assignments they're doing. And if it is easy for GPT to get an a on your paper, you need to rethink your assignments and your prompts. So I just think that it's going to challenge what we've been doing and force us to build more authentic assessments. And, like, for example, hey. I want you to go out into the world, do some research. I'm instead of you doing a ten page paper over the course of 8 weeks, I want you to actually come into office hours. You're gonna give me 5 minutes. You're gonna tell me about the progress on your project. And at the end, you're gonna actually present to me your and then the paper will just be part of it. So it's I think more, like, holistic assignments that really force students to act and learn and apply and present and engage I think that's what's gonna happen. And I think it's also gonna force us to be much more dynamic as educators and change our assignments more often and update them That's also a good thing, but it does put a lot of work on educators. So that's just I think something to be mindful of is constantly reinventing the wheel is a lot of work

Jordan Wilson [00:20:51]:

for our teacher. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I'm not you know, personally, I do think I feel for the teachers. You know? I have a I have a cousin who was a teacher for years and just got out of education, and I can I can see why, you know, the the jobs, I think, are getting harder The pay is not necessarily reflective of the increased demands. So, yeah, it's it's definitely it's definitely a a space and a sector that is is facing challenges. And and the AI, you know, piece doesn't help. I don't I I don't think. So we've we've we've talked about a lot. We've talked a little bit about Packback and what you all are doing we've talked about, you know, some of the challenges and some of the, you know, features and benefits that this that this new technology brings. But let's let's end with this. So another great question. So Nancy's saying, criticism she hears is that students will lose critical thinking skills. So Let's end with that one. Kelsey, what's what's your what's your take on that?

Kelsey Behringer [00:21:54]:

Yeah. So my take is some of the smartest people I know are using GPT off in. And so I'm like, I I think I push back on this concept of technology forces us in the direction of less thinking and, like, less application, it actually probably helps us get rid of tedium and noise and actually level up what we are doing. Now with students yeah. There is a there is a total possibility that when a student goes into a gen ed course, they use GPT for all assignments, and then they don't do any application. They don't critically think they just GPT every assignment. So that's possible. I think it's going to, again, just challenge the way in which educators teach courses that maybe are required at the university level are required for the major, are challenging or hard or intimidating. I hated reading anything that wasn't written in this century because I found it really challenging. And if I had GPT to help me digest the content, I would probably be less scared all the time. So, yeah, I think I think we we are at risk of students not authentically engaging in courses sometimes.

Jordan Wilson [00:23:10]:

Yeah. Absolutely. I'll I'll throw in as we as we close out. I'll throw in my take I think it's hard. I think the more and more we use and we see the benefits of this AI technology, I think it is harder. You know? Having more and more easy access to a world of information even faster and and and more, you know, in bite sized pieces. I do think it hard like, critical thinking, Nancy, I think, is gonna be hard. But we could talk all day. We won't, though. Thank you, Kelsey. Coming on sharing about Packback back. Thank you so much for for taking all of our great questions, and really appreciate you coming on the show. Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. Alright. As a reminder, if you like some of the things that you heard from Kelsey. If you wanna check out Packback, if you wanna see some of the other resources we are talking about, make sure to go to your everyday AI.com. That youreverydayai.com. Every day we sent out a newsletter breaking down the conversation that we had live on the show, sending more resources So make sure you check that out. Also, we did just launch our new giveaway, free 6 months of chat GPT plus and private training. So make sure to check that out. So, Kelsey, thank you again for joining us, and we hope to see all of you back tomorrow and every day on everyday AI. Thank you.

AI [00:24:30]:

And that's a wrap for today's edition of everyday AI. Thanks for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a rating. It helps keep us going. For a little more AI magic, visit, your everyday dot com, and sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't get left behind. Go break some barriers, and we'll see you next time.

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