Last month, OpenAI came out with a controversial technology that is already making big waves in education. Less than a month ago, ChatGPT hit the market as an advanced chatbot designed to produce human-like responses to user-generated prompts, and it’s exploded in popularity. The innovation is genius, yet flat-out spooky, as noted in Will ChatGPT Destroy Secondary English?
While there are some undeniable perks to the integration of this software, there are definitely valid concerns too. Most of my colleagues are weary about the looming changes heading their way. I get it. It’s daunting to anticipate dealing with yet another change—one that might entice students to cheat.
Every generation of educators has had to adjust their methods to fit the changing technological landscape, and this generation is no different.
Over the years, teachers have successfully adapted to:
And the list goes on. Each of these technologies similarly infringed on the educational status quo, yet teachers managed to make it work. In my experience, most discussion about ChatGPT has pertained to preemptive planning around catching and disciplining students who use the tool to cheat. While there are learning curves with any huge innovation, there is also massive growth opportunity, and I find that it’s being overshadowed by dread.
By way of artificial intelligence, ChatGPT can help students by providing real-time answers to their questions, engaging them in personalized conversations, and providing customized content based on their interests. It can also offer personalized learning resources, videos, articles, and interactive activities. This resource can even provide personalized recommendations for studying, help with research, provide context-specific answers, and offer educational games. Wild, right?
Oh, and ChatGPT can be used to teachers’ advantage, as well. The tool can streamline your teaching practice by automating tasks like grading and providing feedback on student work. It can also be used to help create lesson plans (seriously—total game changer) and assessments. AI can also generate other content like writing prompts, reading comprehension activities, and vocabulary lists that are often time-consuming for teachers to write themselves.
While constant technology innovations can be daunting, it’s the stark reality of the world we live and teach in; and the more willing we are to embrace these innovations in the classroom, the better. Technology and AI help to promote skills that are essential for success in a modern, technology-driven economy, which will help prepare students for life beyond school. As educators, our responsibilities are vast (and sometimes unreasonable), but our primary focus is to equip students with the tools they’ll need to lead successful lives. As our technological frontier shifts and expands, we need to shift with it and leverage these emerging resources for our students’ benefit.
AI and tech innovations are nothing new. Teachers have been successfully adapting to these shifts for generations and will continue to do so. ChatGPT is simply the newest development, and with proper guidance and support, AI can and should be leveraged to enhance the educational experience for teachers and students alike.
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