Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to What the Edtech podcast - the show that explores the ever-evolving landscape of technology in education. I'm your host, Rob Dickson, and as always, I'm joined by my co-host, Dyane Smokorowski.
Today, we're thrilled to welcome a special guest, Shannon Davenport, who is the Director of Professional Learning at the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE). Shannon is an expert in educational technology and has been working with educators across the Pacific Northwest to integrate technology into their classrooms.
In this episode, we'll be discussing the latest trends and innovations in edtech, and exploring how technology is transforming the way we teach and learn. So sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into the world of edtech with us and our guest, Shannon Davenport.
Welcome, everyone, to our fifth episode of what the Ed Tech. My name is Rob Dickson and I'm here with the most amazing Diane. Smoke you want to tell us who we got on store today? Hey, Rob, I'm excited to be here. And even better is our third host today is the amazing Shannon Davenport, Director of Professional Learning with NCCE. Hey, Shannon. Great to see you guys. It's awesome to have you with us. Rob, what is happening in the world of edtech these days that we need to chat about, man, I'm telling you, my our latest what the Ed Tech, we sent out, opening up all of chat GPT. And so Shannon, have you been on the chat? GPT yet? Yes, of course, very excited about chat, GPT and all the capabilities that it has to offer. I think lots of us have experienced it at home in our professional lives. And I've enjoyed playing around with it a little bit. I'm really excited to see what it can do for our work with students. I would tell you like my first iteration of using it, we created a streaming guideline and policy with it. And I think we only changed like three words. And I was like, wow, this is amazing. And this last week, I used an iteration of auto GPT. Have you guys ever heard of auto GPT? Small guy, I'll talk to you about it a little bit. So auto GPT is it takes a problem, you define a problem. And then there are three goals that you want the problem to address. And then it's autonomous like so you have to pay for an open API key. But then, which is like miniscule, I had the thing run for 30 minutes, and it cost me like $1.30. But it produced 58 pages worth of content for me live of like a concept school that we're looking at developing here in Wichita public schools, all generated the entire, like marketing plan the focus, like all the key areas that you would normally just go out to a community and grab, it's almost like a crystal ball. I don't know how to explain smoke. What do you think of the data that came out of it?Dyane Smokorowski:
Well, I think it's very interesting is the amount of problem solving you can do in a very short amount of time. If you would imagine if we were wrestling with something very big, let's say we're planning a week of professional learning or something like that, we would probably schedule six or seven different meetings in order just to plan what the format would be much less than pull in, you know, content for what would happen in each session. With this particular tool. Not only is it building the entire conference experience, but we can say these are the top trends that we need to address. It would design that set it at a grade level. So if I need things for primary things, or secondary teachers, handouts, marketing, it would do it all in less than a day.Shannon Davenport:
That's virtual assistant, right?Rob Dickson:
Yeah, yeah. Shannon, what ways have you used it?Shannon Davenport:
Well, we've used it for some articles, some blog posts, kind of verifying, I feel like everyone's doing this right now trying to verify information just to see what it would give back. One of my lit, least likely tasks happens to be posting the social media. And so if you're at an event, and you want to be included in that event, at social media bloody generate those posts for you, and because that would be something that it can do we help teachers look up lesson plans. I'm most excited about though, that it's really causing us to think critically in what we want to ask it to do for us. And then when you see the results, you get to iterate those results just to drop down, you know, to what you were looking for. And so I think that's going to be exciting to watch the way that we begin to challenge our students to be able to ask questions and ask tasks actually, critically, to be able to get the results we want, you know, that we're hoping to get. I think the amazing thing is, go ahead. No, I just want to clarify Shannon's talking about chat GBT where Rob, you are starting with auto GP. So I don't want to make any confusion there. But I agree with you Shannon chat. GPT takes the ideationDyane Smokorowski:
of what we do as teachers stead of jumping into a Pinterest board or seven and hope links are active to help me kind of formulate what I will do with students. Not that I can't do that on my own. But sometimes I need that inspiration to kind of grab ideas here and there, or teachers are jumping into pre purchased options for classroom experiences. This is free. And I can specifically ask Chad GPT like I want to cover a lesson over figurative language for eighth grade students. And specifically, I really know that my students in this classroom come with different learning styles, I'll have students who have ADHD, I will have students who might need some visual elements, because there are English learners, I can ask GPT not only to give me ideas in a creative and challenging, that's the key word you say challenging and creative activities to do around this content. But I will say include elements of kinesthetic for students with ADHD, include elements with strong visuals for children who are learning English, and it will design those specifically for the learners in my classroom. I can come up with that 100% On my own, but quite often, that happens to me at four or five o'clock in the morning when I'm in a shower with an epiphany, right? Or wakes me up out of my sleep of like, now I know what I'm going to do. This sets me up for success from the beginning.Rob Dickson:
I think one of the amazing things I mean, you were talking about Universal Design for Learning Strategies, right there, a teacher that has not went down that path, this would allow them to facilitate that in a classroom very easily. Right. And so it goes into context. I think the biggest thing for Chad GBT for me is I have a conversation response and context and can go deep, why? I can go back up. I can, I can dig further, I could do a whole design thinking activity within that chat interface. And I think one of the things I would love to do is to tackle a problem with an entire group or an entire class, using design thinking strategies, but then having the students or the staff utilize chat GBT as a knowledge source to walk through that journey with them.Shannon Davenport:
Just think about the personal learning network, it's almost opening. So we're so fortunate that we have each other and we have these powerful conversations. Not all educators have that. And so that's just opening the world to them to get, you know, to those results. So yeah, super powerful.Dyane Smokorowski:
And what are my favorite elements now that we're playing, as you know, as you jump into chat, GPG and you think, Oh, yes, you can come up with, you know, activities here that and yonder. But I can also think about it of using materials in my classroom in a creative way. So I opened up my cabinet of what school supplies do I have in here before they all you know, for the years over, I probably have several glue sticks that are bound on the end of their lifespan, right. And I might have some green construction paper and just some random pieces, maybe some orange copy paper, just little bits of this and that I can take whatever my students are covering in class, if I go back to that figurative language piece, and I can ask Chad GPT designed for me three to four different art activities, where students can practice figurative language, using only the materials in my cabinet, which include green construction paper, glue sticks, paper clips, I can list as those random pieces, old cards, greeting cards, and it will generate the five to how many ideas that I want. And I can actually say, Man, I can use those things without them going to waste. That's the That's a game changer for me as well.Rob Dickson:
He just helped me make dinner tonight. I was trying to figure out what was I going to do. And I don't have very much my fridge but I could literally just paste that into my fridge and make dinner.Dyane Smokorowski:
Exactly, it works really well.Rob Dickson:
And think about that.Dyane Smokorowski:
It's it's anytime you need to ideate that is a great place to start. Even if you want to design like opportunities where you want to do a Jeopardy game or you would like to have math games for littles and you only have a few elements in your classroom. What are some fun games or strategies that I can use to to have fingerplay and have four year olds figure out some math concepts? It's it's all the things that I would Google I now get it on demand and I have to tell you, that is a game changer in education. That and I'm gonna throw an end in there, when I am helping students as a writing coach. So coming as an an ELA teacher, the amount of grading it hours it takes to grade essays and that sort of piece. What I always found frustrating as a teacher is, I just didn't have the time to sit down with every student individually, and do that writing conference that each one desperately needed. And I wanted to have that connection with them. So now, as an ELA teacher, what I would do is as students are writing their rough drafts, digitally, most likely, the students finish a rough draft. And I'll say, What feedback specifically do you need for this? Do you need help with just grammar and spelling? Do you need help with ID ideas for better fluency word improvement? What is it that you specifically would like in feedback? I can take that student's writing and drop it into chat GPT and have that answer pretty quickly. Now, that doesn't mean that I'm not grading this, I want to make this very clear. What happens is different. The students if you can imagine this Google Doc being opened, or where a document, students rough draft is sitting at the top, I would have them insert a horizontal line. And then the feedback that cat GBT had offered. And then another horizontal line for them to write the second draft, what I'm going to have them do for me, is then a reflection. This is what I thought when I wrote my rough draft. This is the feedback I received. This is my thinking now, that reflection is going to be what I'm specifically going to grade and put into the gradebook every single day. And now I'm actually grading the learning process, not just an essay, that's the final product at the end. And I'm having that one on one experience with students with the help that I need.Rob Dickson:
And how do we get this type of stuff into our colleges to get our pre service teachers ready for this type of delivery? Like Shana, what, how do you? My question to you being a director of professional learning is, how do we how do we change how teachers think about building lessons around this type of technology?Shannon Davenport:
Well, and I think it goes back a little bit into the process that Diane was talking about with your students. So now as we're beginning to train our students, that you have this on demand reflective process that you're able to use throughout your learning process. And we're not as educators, we're not holding the keys to the grading, right. And you guys have been working with standards based grading, I believe in Wichita making that transition. And isn't that what that's all about, is the learning process, not just the final evaluation grade. It's all about shifting that mindset to that we're learning and growing the whole time. And so I think that if we're able to produce students that are capable of learning and growing through their whole learning process, not just for final grade, because oftentimes, that's what we were trained as students, we just wanted to get that final grade and move on. Right? So we're creating a new type of learner that can be reflective, make some decisions, evaluate the information, do they like the feedback that they were they received? Or do they not? Right? Do they want to take that there's still accountability on the learners part. And then when we so hopefully, those are going to be our future educators that we're right training up in our classes right now. And we're really causing them to think critically outside of A, B, C, or D, right? So that that's going to be a benefit. One of the things that so I'm going to kind of answer your question, Rob, and they kind of not but I love, I love this. I love just sitting back and watching and showing educators this type of tool, and just watching the reaction, because I think that tells a lot about who we are as individuals, you know, is this something that you can get excited about? Or does it cause you a lot of hesitation? And sometimes it might be both right? But how can we use these tools in a positive way? And so I think that we have to have that positive reaction ourselves, and just what we do with all digital tools, we look at them, we evaluate them for what they are, we use their strengths, but we know their weaknesses as well. And so I think exposing pre educators or pre service teachers to all of these things, is very necessary and having those conversations with them. Because oftentimes, if they don't have those conversations and and get to receive those different opinions and inputs, they may end up in a place where they just have one person's input that could be stifling. So I think that it's great that we look, we look at the capabilities, and we have these discussions, and you don't encourage your peers around you to try things and not be fearful of them. We actually use chat GPT in a recent professional learning, and the whole reason we used it was because we are working with some teachers that we feel like are going to be influencers in a district. And so what we said is, you're gonna always find tools like this, that you're you're not sure about, and there's going to be mixed reactions. So how are you going to handle that as an influencer, to your peers? And that's what we're doing right now. Right? That it makes us pause and think how we're gonna use this. And you guys have shared some great examples with me that I haven't even thought about, that you'd have to be open to that.Rob Dickson:
Yeah, you know, I see that. Everything that you just said, when we go into we've been going into our secondary schools with the EdTech team, and training staff on chat GPT. And I think one of the things you see in there, when they do pair share, or work together in small group is that you'll see the eyes light up, and some, you see some that are like, like, reevaluating their World Viewpoint kind of in a moment, you know, and then others that are like, you know, I can, I can see how this is efficient, you know, they're, they're already creating lessons, you know, and everything out of it. So it's interesting when something so, you know, technologically advanced as this is going to be disruptive, when you just kind of lay the foundation out there, and you just watch people from every kind of digital literacy level, both low and high react, if there's something, there's something there and a lot of magic can be in the room, although there's a lot of anxiety can be in the room at the same time.Shannon Davenport:
And as a leader, it's important to be respectful of that, because we do have to be respectful that everybody's at their own process, or at their own stage in the learning process, rather. And so I think that, you know, the most hesitant person could end up using it beautifully with students, but I think we always have to remember, we don't have to be the keeper of the knowledge. We it's okay to you know, try things and practice with it and you know, see what happens, and then maybe do a slow, gradual release, not everybody has to jump in, you know, and get right into it. But I love that it's causing us to think about our educational practice to think about our thinking. It's, it's a, it's a great, great conversation topic right now.Dyane Smokorowski:
I'm most excited for pre service teachers to recognize that they have agency and how they can deliver high quality gray Critical Thinking activities with students, if we guide them on how to use this tool to achieve that. Instead of breaking out your Madeline Hunter, you know, we've all been there to experience your anticipatory set, they now can say, chat in the chat JpT I'm getting ready to study the butterfly lifecycle, what are five ways that I can help activate prior knowledge? For my students who are seven years old? It's just that ideation of getting students ready to be teachers pre service or teachers ready to do the work. And already think about how do I build engagement? How do I build metacognition? How do I build critical thinking into my classroom and meet those different levels of Bloom's? I could even say I need to reach the analyzing level of Bloom's. How could I do that with seven year olds, it's going to help all of us be better practitioners, by thinking about specific elements. So I'm trying to achieve with students. I don't know a teacher who isn't trying to reach targets, who's also trying to help students be better people, as well as academic, you know, people who excel in academics. So if I as a teacher value empathy, or I value students having service projects, even, I now can take that butterfly activity and say, How do I help seven year olds create a community service project to support butterflies, and it's going to add that other element in there as well. It's finally for the first time I would say, easy to dream big make for your classrooms and not be overwhelmed by the dreaming process.Rob Dickson:
That's amazing. I just came from my Kansas City CIO group last week. And we met with Chris Harper, who is the CIO of KU Med Center and KU health system. So he's kind of a dual CIO. And they're using a localized version of GPT. For that they're getting ready to train their staff on to take the internal data of KU Med, and offer suggestions to a doctor or nurse based upon symptoms and other things. So think about having an expert like at your, at your right hand, right, in your hand of that device. As you're going through something very technical sometimes, and sometimes, maybe not, I think, I think the future of medicine in some of these other areas will just be transformed, based upon having all of the knowledge Right, right. In your hands, I think we've always taken a thought that we always had the right knowledge, or all the knowledge there, but you had to search. And you had to like that out yourself, you still have to do some betting because I think there's, you know, sometimes GPT will lie to you in a very, you know, convincing way. But being being able to be that subject matter expert and wading through that validation pieces is so important. So as we go ahead, Jenna,Shannon Davenport:
well, and we're all still the subject matter experts. We're just getting a little bit of that help that we always needed, if you would have asked any, any of us as educators, you know, how can we help you do more? What did people always tell us, it's time, we just need more time. So really, if we take time, right now, on the front end of a digital tool such as this, we can gain so many hours of instruction and really quality time with our students by being able to leverage that technology. And that's, that's what the world's going to demand. That's what our students that citizens are going to demand. They're going to expect that type of medical care, and they should expect that from us and education as well.Rob Dickson:
I love it. I love it. Shannon, we use your services that NCCE here in Wichita public schools to help provide from providing professional development to our teachers, especially around CTE and doing certifications to our clerical and service. Folks, you help us with that kind of training. You've you've worked with us on a lot of different fronts from is st certifications to other things. Once you tell us a little bit about NCCE. And where we can check you out. All right, yeah.Shannon Davenport:
NCC is a nonprofit organization. And we focus on digital innovation. And so any professional learning that happens to fall into that category we love to plan with districts. We are a Microsoft trading partner, as well as a Google training partner. So we are able to share information on all of those topics. But we have a cadre of about 85 professional learning specialists all around the country and what makes our professional learning so powerful. And both of you know and from our work in Wichita is it's educator led, it's educator created. And so it really resonates with educators.Rob Dickson:
That's awesome. Smoke, you got anything else for us?Dyane Smokorowski:
I would just say that, you know, now the chat GPT has been around since November. That sounds like it's been here a while but it's still very fresh in many teachers experiences. I would say the magic is waiting if you jump in, and I'm very excited at here, which type of public schools that we have it open for all staff and for parents and librarians, nurses. It's a wonderful way to help teachers and those faculty people start to discover the possibilities before we guide students through that next step. So I encourage them jump in and see what magic is waiting.Rob Dickson:
Awesome. Well, thank you, Shannon, for being here and having a great conversation with us about some interesting topics today.Shannon Davenport:
Yeah, thanks for having me joining and thanks for all the work you guys are doing.Rob Dickson:
Well Till next time, folks, thanks so much.