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From chalkboards to chatbots: A show-and-tell of cutting-edge AI classroom tools

By Simon Worley, teacher, North Vancouver


In December 2022, ChatGPT gained widespread attention from news outlets worldwide, prompting me to explore its capabilities, along with other artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. This period can be considered a golden age of AI learning, as there is an abundance of AI tools readily available, and many of them are accessible for free. This era resembles the early days of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where users could scroll endlessly without encountering advertisements. Similarly, we currently enjoy a relatively ad-free and accessible AI landscape, but it’s likely to change in the near future, as platforms like ChatGPT and its counterparts may transition to a pay-to-play model or introduce advertising to monetize their services.


Before this transition occurs, I would like to introduce some valuable AI resources that can benefit both teachers and students. It’s important to note that this environment is rapidly evolving, and by the time of publication, some of these resources may have already transitioned to paid models. Over the past six months, I have integrated these tools into my classroom, and I hope that sharing them will help make your life as an educator a bit more convenient, while making your classroom a more dynamic and engaging learning environment.


AI teacher tools

Magic School is the premier AI-driven teacher assistant. It offers over 50 features and tools, including a rubric generator, individualized education program creator, project-based learning and science lab generator, and numerous others, all of which are designed to expedite content creation, streamline administrative tasks, and provide enhanced support for students with diverse learning needs.

I have used Magic School to assist me in crafting assignments, deliver constructive feedback, and map out whole unit plans. The only warning I have when using Magic School for the first time is to make sure you set aside a few hours at least, because you can get carried away trying all of its functions!

Perplexity stands out among other generative AI chatbots because it allows users to ask questions and receive conversational responses. What also distinguishes Perplexity is its ability to provide clickable sources, enabling users to access additional context and information. This is a great way to go “down the rabbit hole” and is a one-stop shop to dig deeper into a topic.

To engage with Perplexity, simply visit its platform and pose a question or make a request. Initially, you’ll receive a concise version of the response, but you can click to explore a more detailed answer. Perplexity also provides a list of sources it used to gather information, as well as related topics. You can continue the conversation with follow-up questions, just like you would with ChatGPT.

I love this resource. It’s free and helps both me and my students better understand a topic. The follow-up questions prompt me to keep going deeper and discover more about an area of study.


QuestionWell is an invaluable tool that provides a vast array of questions, allowing teachers to allocate their attention to more crucial aspects of teaching. By simply inputting a reading passage, the AI within QuestionWell takes charge of composing essential questions, learning objectives, and multiple-choice questions that align with the content.

To use this resource, all you need to do is copy and paste the reading material into QuestionWell. You can then specify the topic and any desired learning objectives or standards. I have used this to create essential questions and multiple-choice banks for subjects that range from Napoleon to the Vancouver Canucks. My students have used this tool to enhance presentations and ask the audience follow-up questions that push the conversation forward. The AI also allows you to print the multiple-choice questions, with or without the answers.


AI slide generators

Tome and Gamma are presentation creators. They quickly create a multislide presentation based on a prompt provided by the user. These range from 6 to 12 slides and look pro-fessional and polished. They should be used as a starting point to build upon. I’ve used both of these to make slideshows on various subjects, but I did have to tweak the material and alter the images to fit my needs. That being said, it has saved me many an hour that I would have spent finding the right slide-deck template and populating it with information. My students have used these to make their simple slideshows pop in much less time. The free version only allows a certain number of saved slide decks, but you can always erase them and create new ones. These sites are winners: simple to use, easy user interface, and high-quality outputs.

Curipod is an innovative platform that swiftly generates interactive slide decks based on the topic you provide. Typically consisting of 9 to 12 slides, Curipod offers a range of engaging features including polls, word clouds, open-ended questions, and a drawing tool. Curipod is much like Gamma and Tome except it is better suited for a younger audience, as its presentation style is more playful.


While using the free plan, you can create up to five private Curipod decks. However, you can manage your decks by deleting old ones and creating new ones, ensuring you have ample space for your desired projects.


AI image generators

Scribble Diffusion is a user-friendly platform that seamlessly converts basic sketches into AI-generated images. With its intuitive interface, this website offers a straightforward process for transforming your sketches into visually captivating artworks. Notably, the platform is freely accessible, encouraging users to explore their creativity and engage in experimental artistry. This is just a fun site to experiment with, especially for younger students. I’ve been surprised at what it can render based on one of my atrocious scribbles!

Craiyon is a free AI image generator that creates content in artistic, drawn, or photographic styles based on text prompts. It will take a little over a minute to generate nine unique images, with many other suggested images below. The more specific the prompt, the more detailed the result.

I often urge my students to use this site when trying to find an image for a presentation. Why find an image when you can create the image yourself!


Among the vast array of AI tools available today, I’ve highlighted eight. These AI tools have the potential to be indispensable assets for educators in the classroom. They offer the capacity to streamline administrative tasks, customize the learning experience for individual students, and inject an engaging and enjoyable element into assignments. As we navigate this ever-evolving educational landscape, let’s begin to leverage AI to simplify routine and time-consuming responsibilities. By doing so, we can unlock more precious time for genuine, meaningful learning experiences.


P.S. Before you ask—yes—I did use AI to help me with this article. Its main use was to polish my first draft and provide the piece with a more informational and professional tone.


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