My partner is obsessed with Chat GPT. 

Right now he’s using it to help plan our 1,500 mile vacation across the Western United States. 

“What are the 5 best hikes for two in shape climbers in the Las Vegas region? Please rank them according to difficulty.”

“We are travelling through Arizona and Nevada before returning to California. What are the best places to camp in the forest with electric hookups, a great view, and cost less than $30 USD?”

Before he could even blink, his new AI friend detailed answers that helped him plan our upcoming itinerary. 

And while I begrudged Lawrence chatting with AI more than me,, I have to thank Chat GPT for helping co-plan one of the best road trips of my life. 

Chat GPT can also simplify our lives as learner-centered PBL practitioners.

From co-creating our essential questions, and planning milestones for learning experiences, to connecting to community resources and exhibiting student work, Chat GPT can manage tasks that previously sucked every spare minute out of our busy lives. 

Here are 5 ideas, borrowed from creative PBL practitioners just like you: 

  1. Finding Community Partners: Looking for non-profits in the area focusing on water conservation for your water scarcity project? Exhibition spaces to feature student work? Ask Chat GPT to find them for you. You can even use it to help draft the introduction letter. 
  2. Drafting a Project Overview + Introductory Letter to Parents: I used to spend countless hours putting these things together. Not anymore. Provide Chat GPT the general concept, driving/essential question, learning objectives, and a few activities, and it will draft your project overview and introductory letter for you. You can then edit it to make it sound more ‘you.’ 
  3. Building Project Rubrics: Let’s face it, most of us hate writing rubrics. And oftentimes, they aren’t even very useful for our learners. And while it is BEST practice to co-create rubrics with your students, if you need to create something quick to map out project expectations, have Chat GPT build them for you. Just ask it to build a rubric based on your chosen learning standards, or final product. 
  4. Mapping Curricular Standards/ Skills: Some of us are lucky enough to have unit planning software with simple tick boxes for mapping standards/skills to our units. But with PBL experiences, that cross a multitude of disciplines, it’s not that easy. Let Chat GPT find the relevant cross-curricular standards to include in your “Community Garden Building” Project. 
  5. Building a Project Timeline: Visualizing how so many moving parts will come together in a 5-6 week meaningful, cohesive PBL experience is a mind bend. Let Chat GPT bend its artificial mind. Provide it with your hoped outcome, topic, and total hours of instruction, and it will build a skeleton around how to scaffold the learning. 

Let me be crystal clear.

I DO NOT think AI will ever be able to replace the magic of a learner-centered PBL facilitator. That level of human touch, creativity, care, and understanding cannot be automated. 

But Chat GPT can support us in the more mundane tasks we must shoulder.   

I hope we are able to embrace it with the same excitement as our students. 

Your [co] learning experience designer,

p.s. Here’s Lawrence and at our campsite in the Mojave Desert- a stop recommended by our AI friend 🙂