Get to Know AI Before Your Students Turn In an Essay Made With It

Artificial Intelligence is the trending edtech topic of the year so far. If you haven’t been asked about it yet, you will be soon. If you haven’t tried an AI writing tool yet, you should try it because your students are probably trying it.


ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence tool that will create documents for you based on some minimal input from you. For example, I simply typed into ChatGPT “Ten Canva Features for Students” and got this article from it. ChatGPT can also be used to create poems like this one about sunglasses worn by Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas.

With a little tweaking of what you put into ChatGPT you can create longer articles than the one that I published yesterday. A simple, “tell me more” or “what about X” can generate more material from ChatGPT.

Magic Write in Canva Docs

“Magic Write” sounds like the name of a product that ten years ago a tech company would have announced as part of an April Fool’s joke. Today, Magic Write is a real feature of Canva’s new documents tool.

Magic Write works in a manner that is quite similar to ChatGPT. To use Magic Write you simply select it from the insert menu in Canva Docs. Once Magic Write is opened you then enter a short prompt like “green screen video tips” and Magic Write generates a short list or paragraph for you (formatting depends on the prompt). You can then insert that writing into your document as it was written or you can edit it before including it in your document. Watch this short video to see how Magic Write in Canva works.

Living With AI

I remember teachers telling students that they couldn’t use Internet sources in their research papers. And I remember many raging debates about whether or not students should even look at Wikipedia. Hopefully, I’ll live long enough to remember the current debates about the use of AI in education.

AI isn’t going away so we need to figure out how to teach knowing that it exists. I’ve seen some people suggest requiring students to include a level of personalization in their writing and or presentations that “proves” they didn’t use AI. The trouble with that is the AI is improving all the time and soon highly refined personalization via AI will be easy to do.

I’m still thinking about how AI will fit in the context of classrooms. I don’t have a perfect answer and I might not ever get to a perfect answer. But that’s okay because “perfect” is a moving goal anyway when we’re trying to figure out what’s best for the kids in our classrooms today.

Last week I had to go up in the attic of my 171 year old house. Whenever I do that I feel like Clark Griswold in this scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I asked ChatGPT for ideas on how to insulate my attic. This is what it suggested.

50 Tech Tuesday Tips & Workshops

50 Tech Tuesday Tips is an eBook that I created with busy tech coaches, tech support staff, and media specialists in mind. In it you’ll find 50 ideas and tutorials that you can use as the basis of your own short PD sessions.

I offer on-site and online workshops on a variety of educational technology topics. Book me for an in-person workshop in 2023 and I’ll include copies of my eBook for all of your staff. Send me an email or fill out this form to learn more.