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Almanack, Product Updates

Turn a PDF into a slide deck using AI

Greetings, Almanack users! It’s time for another product update, and this is one we’re particularly excited about.

Now in Almanack, you can upload a file such as a PDF or a Word Document and use it to create any resource such as a slide deck or a worksheet.

Here’s what the feature looks like:

Whenever you create a new resource, you have the option to create it from learning outcomes or from another document. This is pretty powerful. It means that you can, for example, upload your lesson plan and create a slide deck from it.

This feature is now available to all users of Almanack. In the coming weeks, we’ll be expanding on this feature to make it more powerful and useful.

Please give it a spin and let us know in the comments below what you think!

Almanack, Product Updates, Tech

Can you create worksheets with images using ChatGPT?

As teachers begin to use ChatGPT (and other AI tools) to generate course materials using AI, a common question that pops up is: can the AI add images to this?

The current crop of publicly released large language models (LLMs) and their associated chatbots such as ChatGPT and Bard are text-based. This means that while they produce excellent text content that can be a basis for class materials, it lacks images and other visual elements.

A common suggestion that is brought up often is to use AI-based image generators, such as DALL-E 2 and Midjourney. The problem with those is that they are good at creating art and photorealistic images, but lack the ability to create accurate diagrams and drawings that are needed for educational purposes.

For example, here is what you get when you ask DALL-E 2 to create a line drawing of a human neuron:

While stylistically relevant, it is not accurate enough to be used in the classroom.

How to create worksheets with images in Almanack

Considering the limitations of AI-generated images in educational applications, we decided to go a different route.

If an image is needed, Almanack inserts a placeholder and asks you, the user, to pick an image:

You can then click on the placeholder to select an image that would work:

This is a small step towards making Almanack more useful as a resource generator and as we add more visual elements, we’ll be keeping you up-to-date through this blog and through our social channels, so don’t forget to follow us!

Almanack, Product Updates

Creating curriculum-aligned quizzes in Google Forms

Happy Monday, Almanack users!

We’re happy to announce our newest feature this week: Export to Google Forms.

This feature works exactly as it sounds: you create a curriculum-aligned quiz, test, or assessment in Almanack on pretty much any topic and you can send it to Google Forms with a click of a button.

Here’s what it looks like in Almanack:

And here’s what it looks like in Google Forms:

Unlocking automatic marking with digital assessments in Google Forms

Almanack lets you, the teacher, harness the power of generative AI and combines it with knowledge of the world’s top curriculums to create relevant quizzes, tests, and assessments. These can be exported to Google Docs, PDF, and Microsoft Word for printing, or, now, with the addition of Google Forms, taken by students digitally.

The benefit of making assessments digital is that they can be automatically marked. This includes not only multiple choice or fill-in-the blank questions, but even freeform text that students may write for short answers or essays.

Google Forms is versatile, easy to use and efficient. When combined with the power of generative AI it can increase classroom engagement and instructional effectiveness.

Almanack has its own Grading module that evaluates essays according to a rubric you provide, and with the introduction of this feature, we plan to incorporate assessments into it too. We’ll be writing more about the Grading module in a future blog post.

Coming up: Google Classroom integration with Almanack

As an extension to the Google Forms integration, we’re actively working on full Google Classroom integration, which promises to unlock new capabilities.

The true power of generative AI in education lies in creating tailored learning experiences, and Google Forms integration is an important aspect of that.

We’d love to hear from you

We’ve been receiving valuable feedback from teachers around the world that helps shape the direction of Almanack. We would highly encourage you to let us know how Almanack works for you, and more importantly, how it doesn’t. Would you like to see a particular curriculum? Integration with a particular LMS? Specific resource types? Send a note to feedback@almanack.ai.

Almanack, Product Updates, Tech

Curriculum Integration with AI

We just completed Almanack’s integration with the Australian curriculum and thought it would be a good opportunity to delve into why curriculum integration with AI Large Language Models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT, is important.

Australian curriculum integration with Almanack

Australian curriculum integration has been in the works for over a month and we’re excited to announce that it is now ready for teachers to use in the Lesson Planning module.

This means that Almanack now supports the following curriculums:

  • Australian Curriculum
  • UK National Curriculum
  • Cambridge Curriculum
  • Ontario Curriculum

Why is curriculum integration with AI important?

Before making a significant investment towards integrating curriculums with Almanack, we took a step back and thought long and hard about whether the investment would be worth it. The answer, fortunately, was a resounding yes. Here are the top benefits that convinced us of the value of curriculum integration:

First, curriculum integration ensures that the course materials that Almanack creates are aligned with the learning expectations outlined in the curriculum. This makes it easy for a teacher to ensure that they are meeting curriculum objectives.

Second, curriculum alignment gives the AI well-defined confines to operate within. This makes it less likely for it to hallucinate. With hallucinations being one of the major problems associated with large language models (LLMs), anything that helps reduce them gets our thumbs up.

Third, curriculum integration equips the AI to evaluate student-submitted work against curriculum standards. This is how we see Almanack’s Grading module evolve, where it automatically creates rubrics based on the curriculum and evaluates student work based on those.

Calling early adopters in Australia!

We are working directly with teachers to develop features specific to Australia and the Australian curriculum. If you have any suggestions or ideas, we would love to hear from you. Please use the “Send Feedback” button on Almanack or send an email to feedback@almanack.ai.


Introducing Almanack

We’re incredibly excited to announce the general availability of Almanack, our AI-based teacher’s assistant that has been in the works for the past few months. Starting today, teachers all around the world will be able to use Almanack by signing up on www.almanack.ai

So what is Almanack? At its essence, Almanack is a platform that utilizes AI to help teachers with all facets of their jobs and improve learning outcomes. Almanack generates curriculum-aligned lesson plans and other resources such as worksheets and assessments. It also helps with grading by evaluating work submitted by students.

Our vision with Almanack is to empower every teacher to deliver a tailored and enriching learning experience to their students.

What sets Almanack apart from the other AI-powered education tools in the market is that it’s not simply a wrapper on top of ChatGPT. In fact, our platform is AI-agnostic and we use multiple AI models to deliver the best experience possible. We’re also looking into training our own models to perform some of the tasks that the publicly available models are not very good at.

Another important distinction between Almanack and others is that Almanack has knowledge about curriculums and uses learning expectations to create resources. This ensures that whatever Almanack comes up with is high quality, well aligned, and has a lower likelihood of hallucinations.

We also believe that a truly useful tool needs to fit in with your existing workflows. We’re in the process of integrating Almanack with LMS such as Google Classroom and Brightspace. This will eliminate the need to copy and paste text back and forth and will make it easier to export resources.

We’re rapidly adding new features and will be announcing them here on this blog as they are released. 

In the meantime, we hope you do try out Almanack and let us know what works and more importantly, what doesn’t work for you. 

Welcome aboard!

Almanack General Availability

Almanack is now available to teachers in 180+ countries!

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