How should the teaching world respond to ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chat box that uses text-based language to ‘generate’ human-like responses. The software is already disrupting the edtech sector globally …
What is ChatGPT?
Artificial intelligence is increasingly relevant and influential in education. As technology advances, understanding the pros and cons of using ChatGPT (meaning Generative Pre-Trained) can help teachers and schools make informed decisions about its use in the classroom.
I have used artificial intelligence for 15 years, particularly voice technology and, more recently, Open AI for the last 18 months. ChatGPT was launched in November 2022. I jumped straight in to learn how this might reduce teacher workload and improve the way we work.
I feel I am now in a confident position to start writing about it to offer support, guidance and new ways of working.
Why is it important to talk about AI?
Many industries are now experiencing potential disruptions, risks, and the ethics this new technology will bring. In the teaching sector, student work completion and assessment will probably be the most obvious areas we must consider.
At a higher level, the generation of misinformation and disinformation, particularly artificially created, will become increasingly harder for us all to see.
On my personal Twitter account, I have been following one of the U.K.’s leading voices on AI ethics. Nina Schick has been telling the story of generative artificial intelligence for a number of years. She is leading the way and, in my opinion, is someone worth following if you want to better understand AI’s pros and cons.
Some schools, universities, teachers and academics are already using the software. I had a conversation with my doctoral supervisor this week about the technology and what is already happening across the sector.
- Currently, there are 8,000+ academic references to ChatGPT.
- Since launching, over 100 million people used the software after 2 months!
- Searching across education, there are ~3,400 articles on “ChatGPT in education”
- … and 503 references to its use/research in England.
This is new research territory.
How have I been using ChatGPT?
I thought it was worth sharing some examples of how I have been using/integrating artificial intelligence, particularly the ChatGPT tool, into teaching practices and its implications for teachers and students in English primary and secondary schools.
- Here is a screenshot of me using ChatGPT to generate this blog post. As a default, you should mistrust the information it publishes back to you, but specificity is key as you learn how to use the tool.
- I used Discord to generate the header images in 30 seconds! Copyright: @TeacherToolkit (I think!)
- I’ve used it to generate ideas for teaching and learning policies, lesson plans, assessment rubrics and coding.
- I also used ChatGPT for the first time to generate ideas for this curriculum teaching resource.
- Plus, my 11-year-old son has already experimented with using it!!
Conclusions and Ethics
Teachers can weigh the benefits and drawbacks of ChatGPT by staying informed about research and best practices (see links below) and considering their classrooms’ specific needs and context when deciding whether to implement it.
For school leaders, assessment, marking and just about any school policy will need to be revised and discussed with parents, governors and pupils as soon as possible.
There there are the ethics and copyright areas for concern. Legal battles are already emerging …
Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform teaching and learning, but it’s crucial for educators to carefully evaluate tools like ChatGPT before integrating them into their classrooms. This is a significant task for the government, exam boards and publishers to name a few sectors that must be one step ahead to offer some guidance.
‘Banning’ ChatGPT will not be a wise solution…
Recommendations for teachers:
- Reflect on how AI, specifically ChatGPT, can support or hinder your teaching and students’ learning experiences.
- Consider any potential ethical concerns or limitations of using AI in the classroom.
- Assess the resources and training needed to effectively implement ChatGPT in your school or classroom.
- Use ChatGPT as a supplementary resource, rather than a replacement for direct teaching and human interaction.
- Monitor and guide students as they interact with ChatGPT, to ensure appropriate and effective use.
- Encourage critical thinking by discussing with students the credibility and limitations of AI-generated content.
- Implement ChatGPT to save time on routine tasks, freeing up more time for teaching and relationships.
- Stay up-to-date with research and best practices to ensure responsible, evidence-based use of AI in the classroom.
Recommended Resources, Books, and Websites:
- UK Department for Education: Ethical Guidance for AI in Education
- The EdTech Podcast
- Dan Fitzpatrick, the AI educator.
- Artificial Intelligence in Education: Promises and Implications for Teaching and Learning by Charles Fadel
- Machine Learning by Arthur Samuel.
- UNESCO have published a guide to demonstrate how it could be used (thanks, TheoKuechel).
We must explore the world of artificial intelligence before our children do. We must consider the potential of tools like ChatGPT to support or hinder teaching and learning in schools.
- I have used ChatGPT to ‘generate’ some ideas before posting. It’s the first of two blogs found across this site. All the other 2 million words are human-generated.
- … and yes, I used AI to generate the blog post image.