Groundhog Day Lesson Ideas

bill murray groundhog day

I wanted to share a few lesson ideas with a Groundhog Day theme in my weekly newsletter to teachers, but I also wanted to include some deeper learning competencies in those lesson ideas.

So, I ran over to ChatGPT, gave it a prompt, and got these ideas. No, they’re not full lesson plans, but they are a good start. And it took less than two minutes to get these ideas going.

Use AI as a tool to help, and you can come up with some pretty cool ideas. For now, here are those lesson ideas. Feel free to use and share:

Groundhog Day Lesson Ideas:

1. Groundhog Day Science Project

Activity Description: Students research the science behind Groundhog Day, including how groundhogs predict weather and the accuracy of their predictions compared to meteorological data. They can then create a presentation or report comparing folklore and scientific weather prediction methods.

Learning Competencies: Critical thinking, research skills, data analysis, and presentation skills.

2. Creative Writing Assignment: A Groundhog’s Perspective

Activity Description: Ask students to write a creative story from the perspective of the groundhog. They could write about the experience of Groundhog Day, the groundhog’s life throughout the year, or a fictional adventure.

Learning Competencies: Creativity, perspective-taking, writing skills, and empathy.

3. Debate: The Relevance of Groundhog Day

Activity Description: Organize a debate on the relevance and accuracy of Groundhog Day predictions in the age of advanced weather forecasting technology. This could involve research into meteorological science and folklore traditions.

Learning Competencies: Critical thinking, argumentation, public speaking, and teamwork.

4. Groundhog Day Math Challenge

Activity Description: Create math problems related to Groundhog Day, such as calculating the probability of the groundhog seeing its shadow based on historical data or designing a survey to find out how many people believe in the groundhog’s predictions and analyzing the results.

Learning Competencies: Problem-solving, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation.

5. Environmental Science Link

Activity Description: Students could explore how groundhogs (and other animals) impact their ecosystems. They could research groundhog habitats, their role in the ecosystem, and how climate change might affect them. This could culminate in a project or presentation.

Learning Competencies: Environmental awareness, research skills, ecology, and presentation skills.

6. Groundhog Day History and Folklore Lesson

Activity Description: Students could delve into the history and folklore of Groundhog Day, exploring its origins and how it’s celebrated in different parts of the world. This could be a research project, poster, or multimedia presentation.

Learning Competencies: Historical research, cultural awareness, and communication skills.

7. Philosophy and Ethics Discussion: Groundhog Day Movie

Activity Description: Use the movie “Groundhog Day” to start discussions about ethics, free will, and personal growth. Students can watch the movie and then engage in guided discussions or write reflective essays.

Learning Competencies: Ethical reasoning, critical thinking, reflection, and discussion skills.

8. Groundhog Day Art Project

Activity Description: Students create artwork inspired by Groundhog Day using various media. This could be a drawing, painting, digital art, or even a sculpture that reflects the day, the groundhog, or the themes of prediction and time.

Learning Competencies: Creativity, artistic skills, and self-expression.


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Snow Days and AI Plays

kentucky schools in winter
Live look at Kentucky schools

It’s a Friday in mid-January, which means there’s snow on the ground here in Kentucky, and many of our schools are either working remotely or out of session. I’m checking in with my teachers while enjoying cup of coffee number 3, swaddled up in my old man sweater.

Next week, I’m attending FETC and will be presenting on Thursday afternoon. If you’re there and want to chat, hit me up!

For now, here’s this week’s 10 Things. Stay warm!

10 Things Worth Sharing


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

OpenAI Partners with Arizona State University

grand canyon
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For all the AI haters out there…

  • OpenAI on Thursday announced its first partnership with a higher education institution.
  • Starting in February, Arizona State University will have full access to ChatGPT Enterprise and plans to use it for coursework, tutoring, research, and more.
  • The partnership has been in the works for at least six months.
  • ASU plans to build a personalized AI tutor for students, allow students to create AI avatars for study help, and broaden the university’s prompt engineering course.
AI for Educators: Learning Strategies, Teacher Efficiencies, and a Vision for an Artificial Intelligence Future
  • Miller, Matt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 132 Pages – 03/16/2023 (Publication Date) – Ditch That Textbook (Publisher)

OpenAI announced a partnership with Arizona State University, giving the university full access to ChatGPT Enterprise in February 2024. The collaboration, in planning for six months, will integrate ChatGPT into ASU’s coursework, tutoring, and research. ChatGPT Enterprise offers unrestricted access to GPT-4, enhanced performance, and API credits. ASU aims to develop a personalized AI tutor and creative AI avatars for students. The partnership emphasizes student privacy and intellectual property protection, with OpenAI not using ASU data for training models. This initiative follows concerns about AI chatbots in education, particularly around cheating.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Winter breaks…

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

-Percy Bysshe Shelley
low angle photo of snow field

There are only a few days left before Winter Break for most schools here in the US, and the holiday feelings are already very strong. I’m wrapping up a couple of projects (and another semester of doctoral work) before settling in for a long winter’s nap.

At least, I hope I’m able to get a few naps in 😉

Anyway, here are 10 things I think you might enjoy…

10 Things Worth Sharing

That’s all, folks. Thanks again for hanging out with me on another Friday. I hope you continue to find value in this weekly newsletter.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Does the new AI Framework serve schools or edtech?

architecture building campus clark hall
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Australian Federal Government released the Australian Framework for Generative AI in Schools on November 30, 2023, as a guide following the introduction of ChatGPT. While acknowledging AI’s potential in education, the Framework emphasizes human wellbeing, privacy, and safety. However, concerns are raised about its relevance and adequacy due to the rapidly evolving nature of generative AI. Critics argue that the Framework, with its six core principles, underestimates AI’s inherent biases and reliability issues, placing unrealistic expectations on educators.

At the 2023 Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) conference, Jane Kenway encouraged participants to develop radical research imaginations. The extraordinary impacts of generative AI require a radical policy imagination, rather than timid or bland statements balancing opportunities and threats. It is increasingly clear that the threats cannot readily be dealt with by schools.

Lucinda McKnight and Leon Furze

The article suggests improvements to the Framework, such as redefining generative AI, acknowledging its limitations, addressing the digital divide, and emphasizing evidence-based policies. It also calls for policies that are inclusive and consider diverse perspectives, stressing the need for teacher-led policy development in AI education. The authors advocate for a radical policy approach that accounts for the far-reaching impacts of AI and ensures that schools play a pivotal role in shaping a just future with AI.

For a comprehensive understanding of these issues, the full article can be read on EduResearch Matters.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Are We Entering an Edtech Renaissance?

low angle photo of the florence cathedral
Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

I remember the days of the early 2010s as a number of edtech tools we now all know and use regularly first hit the scene. And everyone talked about the coolest thing they’d seen and how it would “revolutionize the classroom.”

Plot twist: It didn’t.

Now, we see all the hype around AI and the onslaught of new AI apps made specifically for education. Of course, I’m excited about the potential, but I also see the problem of focusing on the wrong questions.

Catlin Tucker has a good take on what’s happening right now in the world of edtech:

It reminds me of the early days of the edtech boom when I would attend the Computer Using Educators (CUE) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conferences, and the most popular sessions had titles like “50 Tech Tools in 50 Minutes.” I remember questioning how effective those sessions would be at improving teaching and learning. Yes, attendees were exposed to a list of fun tools they might use, but they were not learning how to use those tools in service of strong pedagogical practices. That is the same concern I have now.

Scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, I see endless videos of teachers sharing AI-powered tools. They demonstrate the efficiency and simplicity with which these tools generate lists of questions, create quick assessments, and plan lessons or entire units. I can appreciate the excitement since lesson planning is a time-consuming endeavor. The piece of the design puzzle missing for me is how educators can use these AI tools to architect student-centered learning experiences that better meet the specific needs of learners.

Catlin Tucker, PhD

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Some days are sad days…

funeral

“Don’t wait until the fourth Thursday in November, to sit with family and friends to give thanks. Make every day a day of Thanksgiving!”

— Charmaine J. Forde

It’s been a week here at the Paul house as we processed the passing of my wife’s grandmother. Most days are great, but some days are sad days.

Anyway, here’s this week’s 10 things:

10 Things Worth Sharing


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Embracing AI isn’t just about using flashy edtech

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@add_rien_20?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Adrien</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/diagram-2IX3TlrCuZQ?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>

Prince George’s County Public Schools, under the leadership of Superintendent Millard House II, is at the forefront of integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their educational system. House believes that AI tools like ChatGPT can revolutionize classrooms by equipping students with essential digital-age skills.

House’s focus on technology and AI aligns with the district’s commitment to preparing students for a technologically advanced future. The partnership with the AI Education Project, as part of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s broader economic initiative, aims to provide cutting-edge education to students, teachers, staff, and school leaders. The district has also prioritized AI literacy and training, empowering nearly 1,500 educators to confidently use and innovate with AI tools. Addressing challenges such as data privacy, algorithmic bias, and ethical use, Prince George’s County Public Schools is dedicated to shaping a future where their community thrives in the age of AI.

AI is no longer a futuristic concept; it is a tangible reality with the potential to enhance and individualize the educational experience for a student population with diverse needs and teachers in our district. So far during the course of this school year, we have trained nearly 1,500 educators. It was amazing to watch the excitement on the staff’s faces when they got to engage with AI tools to support their work and help their students understand the power of AI.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

Common Sense launches AI tool reviews

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@possessedphotography?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Possessed Photography</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/robot-playing-piano-U3sOwViXhkY?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>

One of my favorite places to check for reviews of tech tools, sites, and such is Common Sense Media. I like their content so much, that I use their digital citizenship curriculum in my schools.

They’ve launched an AI tool review system to help everyone understand a little more about the current AI invasion.

Key components of the initiative include:

  1. AI Product Reviews: Common Sense Media recognizes that AI is a socio-technical system, meaning it’s inseparable from the humans and processes that shape its development and use. Their AI product reviews provide contextual analysis, examining how these products fit within society and identifying potential blind spots in AI systems. These reviews serve as “nutrition labels for AI,” detailing a product’s opportunities, considerations, and limitations.
  2. AI Principles and Assessment: The initiative grounds its AI product reviews in eight principles that reflect Common Sense Media’s values for AI. These principles create a shared understanding and guide for evaluating AI products.
  3. Review Categories: AI products are categorized into three types: Multi-Use (like generative AI for chatbots, image creation, translation tools), Applied Use (specific-purpose AI not designed for kids, like streaming recommendations), and Designed for Kids (AI specifically built for children’s use at home or in school, including educational products for teachers).

Currently, they have 10 reviews posted, including reviews for ChatGPT and Bard.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!

14 November 2023

Quote of the Day

"Nontraditional students appear to be more at home and successful as learners in classrooms where teachers connect them to subjects in new ways. The students we interviewed recognized and appreciated teachers’ efforts to get to know them and to create classroom settings that encouraged academic engagement and expression of ideas. Yet nontraditional students describe most of their classes as highly structured, teacher-controlled, and regimented."

“Nontraditional students appear to be more at home and successful as learners in classrooms where teachers connect them to subjects in new ways. The students we interviewed recognized and appreciated teachers’ efforts to get to know them and to create classroom settings that encouraged academic engagement and expression of ideas. Yet nontraditional students describe most of their classes as highly structured, teacher-controlled, and regimented.”

Jal Mehta, A Pernicious Myth: Basics Before Deeper Learning

Musical Interlude

Daft Punk is releasing a “drumless” version of their 2013 “Random Access Memories,” and I am absolutely here for it. Here’s the drumless version of “Motherboard”

Long Read of the Day

No one fully understood how smartphones or social media would transform every aspect of our life in the span of fifteen years. AI is a dynamic field, and its impact on education is beyond what any of us could probably comprehend today. The only way we can keep up is by building strong guardrails and regularly assessing and evaluating the extent to which AI tools are enhancing educational outcomes. We must also constantly anticipate and respond to unintended consequences as they emerge. This should include information from academic assessments, surveys, and feedback from teachers and students. The data collected should be used to refine AI implementation strategies and inform policy decisions.

Let’s get this right.

Khaled Ismail

Photo of the Day

library books

At my daughter’s academic team match last night, I thought I’d grab a quick pic of one of the library shelves. Apparently, there are some Brandon Sanderson fans at this school.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about my obsession with Notion as my primary productivity tool. I do my best to put everything in my Notion workspace in some form.

Today, Notion released a beta of the “Q&A” feature that allows you to “talk” with the information in your workspace.

I’m chasing the ultimate content curation strategy with my own Zettelkasten implementation, and this may just be the final piece to the puzzle form. Imagine having quick access to the thousands of articles, highlights, and more you have stored in your Notion workspace. All just by asking a simple question.

Pretty frickin’ cool.


Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you’ve enjoyed the insights and stories, consider showing your support by subscribing to my weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to stay updated and dive deeper into my content. Alternatively, if you love audiobooks or are curious to try them, click here to start your free trial with Audible. Your support in any form means the world to me and helps keep this blog thriving. Looking forward to connecting with you more!