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AI in the Classroom: A Balanced Look at Opportunities and Challenges

ChatGPT launched just over a year ago and the tool quickly entered the already fierce debates about education technology. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly advancing into education, but faculty often remain unsure about using it in their classrooms. It's understandable to worry what could happen if AI becomes a permanent part of colleges. Will it replace human connections and weaken teacher roles through increased use of automation? Will tenure track educators be replaced all together? How will bias and data issues be handled? And, who will provide quality control when AI provides incorrect information?

These are just a few of the concerns I’ve heard from FACCC members when discussing the role of AI at colleges. I strongly share this perspective and have positioned FACCC to be proactive in the realm of AI policy as it relates to community colleges and promoting the role of faculty. However, I believe thoughtfully implemented AI could complement faculty, not replace them. It could allow more time for mentoring and individualized support of students. The key is approaching AI primarily as a supplemental teaching support tool, which will require policymakers and administrators to reinvest in teaching and learning while resisting the pressure to consider AI as a cost savings tool. If we stay focused on students and educators while understanding AI's shortcomings and risks, we can carefully evaluate when AI may improve learning and when it should be kept away from the learning process.

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How to Write a Non-Fiction Book Using AI

In December 2022, an event occurred that caused a revolution in how we find, interact, and record information- ChatGPT was released. In response to the growing array of newly introduced software, the term "AI" (Artificial Intelligence) became a notable addition to our vocabulary. AI has revolutionized the process of writing both fiction and non-fiction books, creating artwork, and modifying existing films. This is one of the major issues in the SAG-AFTRA strike. Notably, it has been used to de-age actors, as seen in movies like the latest "Indiana Jones" and "The Mandalorian". Technology has enabled the creation of abstract animated images, as shown in the introduction to "Secret Invasion" on Disney+. These advancements in visual effects have opened new possibilities for filmmakers to bring imaginative and visually stunning scenes to the screen. This article will focus on the potential advantages of integrating AI within your roles of higher education, exploring its application in the creation of non-fiction literature, and navigating the collaborative process of working with AI as co-authors and editors.

AI writing tools can be used to generate outlines, create lecture notes, develop assessments, provide feedback on student writing, identify areas for improvement, suggest revisions, and create personalized learning experiences based on individual needs and learning styles. For instance, an English instructor could use an AI writing tool to generate a list of potential essay topics for their students, while a history instructor could use an AI writing tool to create a timeline of events for a particular historical period. Choosing the right AI writing tool is crucial for success. Each tool has its own unique strengths and limitations, so it is important to select the one that aligns with your specific project requirements. AI writing tools can be a valuable resource for community college instructors, helping in developing course materials, providing feedback to students, creating personalized learning experiences, and enhancing their own writing. These tools can help instructors streamline their workflow, improve the quality of their teaching materials, and provide more individualized attention to their students.

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Flexing the Classroom Boundaries

So, you have mastered Zoom teaching, you are an expert at asynchronous classroom design, and you can adeptly handle yourself in a face-to-face classroom. Now, it’s time to flex those teaching muscles yet again, or to be more precise, hyflex them. Hyflex is the latest teaching disruption to come to the community college classroom; with many schools actively using it this fall as part of the normal schedule options for students and faculty. 

First, what is a hyflex classroom?
A hyflex classroom refers to a versatile learning space that combines both face-to-face and remote teaching methods. It allows students to participate in a single-class session through various modes, including physical attendance, virtual participation, or by accessing recorded lectures. By utilizing technology tools like video conferencing and learning management systems, hyflex classrooms enable seamless interaction and engagement among students and instructors, regardless of their location. This approach prioritizes flexibility and accessibility, accommodating different learning preferences and circumstances. The idea behind adopting the hyflex model is that educational institutions can work towards establishing inclusive and flexible learning environments that encourage student engagement and cultivate a sense of community among both in-person and virtual learners.

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Zoom Dreams

A poem by Amy Leonard, De Anza College

Blackness overtakes your box 
A countdown plays in front 
Heart quickens... your future.. 
Breathe, just breathe and check your background 
You appear 
Smiles exchanged  
Time to take your shot  
Banter ensues  

67 minutes later 
Life stories told 
Laughs, smiles, momentary connections  
End with a wave  

Screen down, background gone 
Just me left to wonder 

FACCC blog posts are written independently by FACCC members and encompass their experiences
and recommendations. FACCC neither condemns nor endorses the recommendations herein.