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  • Writer's pictureDave Taylor

How Chat GPT can be used by Teachers and a Word of Warning Before You Do.

Updated: May 2, 2023

Everyone appears to be using ChatGPT and talking about the benefits of this new technology. It is true we can all use ChatGPT to be more efficient and teachers can use it to generate lesson plans and resources. Yet with all new technologies it has to come with a warning. While it’s good for some things, it’s terrible for others and not only do we have to be careful but we have to teach the students to be careful as well.


Accessing ChatGPT

To access ChatGPT you can visit: https://chat.openai.com You will need to create an account and then log in but it is free to access. However, you may find it is unavailable if lots of people are using it.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a powerful and versatile chatbot that can generate natural language responses based on a given context or prompt. You talk to ChatGPT like you would talk to a human being and give it tasks.


How Teachers Can Use ChatGPT

As Teachers we could give Chat GPT the following input:

Can you generate a lesson plan for 10-11 year olds? The lesson needs to be 1 hour in length and discuss how to use "Show Not Tell" to improve students creative writing. Please provide some age appropriate examples they can look at. The lesson needs an introduction, a group activity, smaller group activities and a plenary.


This will then generate the lesson plan below:

Chat GPT Generated Lesson Plan
.pdf
Download PDF • 110KB

As you can see, it’s not a perfect lesson and it needs tweaking but the idea is ChatGPT will save you a lot of time and effort.


It is important we give ChatGPT as much information as possible. We haven’t just asked for a lesson plan on “Show not tell” we’ve specified the length of the lesson, the age group and how the lesson should be broken down.


You could also use Chat GPT to:

  • Generate questions or quizzes based on a topic or text.

  • Generate stories or scenarios based on a theme or genre.

  • Generate summaries or paraphrases based on a text. Teachers can input a text and ask ChatGPT to generate a summary or a paraphrase of it. This can help teachers teach their students how to summarize or paraphrase information effectively and accurately.

  • Generate jokes or riddles based on a topic or a word. Teachers can input a topic or a word and ask ChatGPT to generate a joke or a riddle for their students to help make the lessons more enjoyable.

Challenges of Using ChatGPT

This all sounds wonderful but there is a word of warning. One of the main challenges of using ChatGPT is that it is not reliable or accurate when it comes to facts or references. ChatGPT is not a fact-checker or a source of information; it is a generator of language based on patterns and probabilities. Therefore, ChatGPT may produce responses that are incorrect, misleading, outdated, biased, or inappropriate.


Teachers need to be careful and critical when using the technology and not trust everything that it says. Facts and references have to be verified carefully. We also need to teach our students how to do the same, and how to evaluate the quality and credibility of the information that they encounter online.


Another challenge of using ChatGPT is that it may not always align with the learning objectives or outcomes that teachers have in mind. ChatGPT is not a teacher; it is a tool that can assist you as a teacher in creating lesson plans. Therefore, it may not always generate responses that are relevant, appropriate, or effective for the learning goals you want to achieve with their students.


This is why we need to be clear and specific when using ChatGPT, and provide enough context and guidance for it to generate useful responses. Then review and edit the responses it generates.


Conclusion

ChatGPT is an amazing tool but it’s not perfect nor will it ever be. As educators we need to embrace it to help us save time and effort but also be wary of its shortcomings.

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