Tuesday, March 14, 2023

AI Tools are Coming to Google Workspace Tools

It was only a matter of time until Google made a big announcement regarding artificial intelligence in their productivity tools. That announcement came today

All of the details about Google's implementation of AI in Google Workspace can be read here. The short version is that new AI features will be added to Google Docs and Gmail throughout the course of this year. Those new features will be used to generate suggestions for rewriting selected sections of your Google Docs and selected sections of messages that you compose in Gmail. 

Other AI features in Google Workspace to look for later this year include auto-generated images and videos in Slides, data analysis tools in Sheets, and notes capture in Google Meet. 

Applications for Education
I didn't see anything in today's announcement that specifically mentioned whether or not these AI tools will be available in Google Workspace for Education accounts. It will be interesting to see how Google addresses that moving forward. An AI-powered rewrite function in Google Docs could have a significant impact on how we teach the writing process. Likewise, auto-generated images and slides could have a significant impact on how we teach students to design presentations.

How to Record a Google Earth Tour

The Amazing Race is the only reality game show that I've watched with interest for as long as it has been on television. Years ago I created a classroom game based on the same premise of the show. Last spring I updated that game with some new graphics and new challenges and then published it as a PDF on PracticalEdTech.com

Recording a Google Earth tour is the capstone activity in Around the World With Google Earth. There are a couple of ways that students can do that. Students who are using the desktop version of Google Earth can use the built-in recorder. Students who are using the web version of Google Earth can use a screencasting tool like Screencastify to record a tour

In this short video I demonstrate how to record a Google Earth tour in your web browser by using Screencastify. 

Whimsical - An AI Concept Map Generator

For the last handful of months whenever I scroll through Product Hunt and just about every other new product is an AI-powered product. Or at least they claim to be using AI. One that recently jump out to me is Whimsical

Whimsical is a mind mapping and concept mapping tool that I first tried a couple of years ago. In addition to mind mapping and concept mapping it can also be used for creating Venn diagrams and other common charts in a collaborative environment. Now Whimsical has an artificial intelligence component. 

Whimsical's AI tool generates concept maps based on any keyword or phrase that you center on the screen. To use Whimsical's AI concept mapping tool you simply have to start a new concept map, enter a keyword or phrase, and then click the AI icon. The tool will then generate a simple concept map of linked terms and phrases. 

Applications for Education
Whimsical calls their AI tool an "AI mind mapping" tool. However, it's actually a concept mapping tool because the AI is doing the work for you that your mind would have otherwise done. That doesn't make it a bad tool, it just means that it shouldn't be viewed as a mind mapping tool. As a concept mapping tool it could prove to be quite handy for generating a diagram of connected terms and phrases. Showing those connections could be helpful to some students who are in need of assistance in seeing how concepts are connected.

For more AI resources, take a look at the links below:

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