AI Essentials for ECC Faculty

The AI Subcommittee’s resource collection for faculty encompasses five critical areas:

Understanding AI

AI Resources to Try

  1. ChatGPT – The industry standard. Free version is accessible after creating an account with email and password. The paid version includes an update to a superior version, as well as plugins that increase other capabilities. For example, Code Interpreter massively improves 1) math performance, 2) logic & reasoning, 3) coding/programming, and 4) data interpretation. The (Android and Apple) phone app has excellent voice recognition tools which can be helpful for a number of applications (for example, giving feedback on students’ oral presentations from different perspectives).
  2. Bing Chat (Must be used in Microsoft Edge) – After creating a free account with Bing, Bing Chat is available to use in Microsoft Edge browser. Its Creative Mode is built on ChatGPT-4, otherwise only accessible through paid subscription. Further, it has access to the internet and can cite/link to sources on the web. These should still be checked for accuracy, but they provide more transparency than is possible with other similar tools.
  3. Claude – Considered the best available competitor to ChatGPT-4, Claude by Anthropic is free for the general public. The primary upgrade over ChatGPT is the ability to upload text documents (up to 5) that the tool can understand and summarize/analyze. It is able to “remember” a context of almost 70,000 words, so conversational threads can continue for much longer and analysis of longer texts is more balanced and accurate. The tool is considered excellent at creative writing and poetry. It also is considered a more pleasant bot to interact with than ChatGPT.
  4. Perplexity.AI – Designed to be a citation search engine, this AI will provide quick Wikipedia-like explanations of topics, as well as list links to reputable sources on that topic. It is fairly reliable (finds real sources), but not entirely useful (doesn’t provide access for those sources, not always relevant) for finding peer-reviewed sources on a particular topic. Probably provides utility only for source-finding over Googling.
  5. Google Bard – Currently an afterthought in the AI text generation space, as there is no unique use case or instance in which it outperforms other available tools. Updates are expected, though.
  6. – A free AI tool to turn a lesson plan (or even just a small prompt) automatically into a nearly finished PowerPoint presentation. Here’s a video showing how it works. This is a functionality that will likely exist inside Office 365 within 2023. However, in the short term, it’s still a simple, massive time-saver.
  7. Guidde – A paid tool available only as an extension in Chrome (for now) to quickly create explanation videos, GIFs, or PDFs explaining a process. Helpful for creating documentation about how software or websites work for your students.
  8. Synthesys – A paid tool to create AI audio, video, and realistic human avatars from text prompts and scripts.
  9. DALL-E2 – An image generation tool with 15 free uses per month. Quick way to create “stock images” for use in presentations, etc.
  10. Midjourney – Midjourney is considered the best image generation tool available, but it has no free options and only operates through Discord.
  11. Stable Diffusion – Stable Diffusion is a free, open source image generation tool. The best available free version of the tool is ClipDrop, which is built upon Stable Diffusion’s tool.

Each resource provides insights into how we can harness AI to optimize our teaching methods and engage students, as well as how to manage potential pitfalls and maintain the integrity of our coursework.

We hope these resources will help you navigate this complex yet exciting terrain. Your questions, suggestions, or requests for additional assistance are welcome.