A hot topic in education lately is ChatGPT and the challenging impact it may have with student learning in the classroom. While much of what we're currently hearing is negative, we believe ChatGPT has some positive and helpful uses across all subjects. We hope it can become a helpful tool for students and teachers - much like a calculator is to math.
This month’s webinar addresses:
- Defining ChatGPT and Examples
- ChatGPT: The Good and the Bad in Education
- Getting Started with ChatGPT
- Using ChatGPT Across Subjects
Download Webinar Slide Deck: ChatGPT in the Classroom
Read the transcript below:
Hello, welcome to our next teacher webinar. This one is going to be on chat GPT in the classroom. I'm joined today by Angela and Jessica.
We wanted to talk about ChatGPT because we know that students have heard of it, we know that you as teachers have heard of it. If you're an admin, you've probably heard of it too. And we would rather students use it in the class productively, and teach teachers how to incorporate it into their class productively, efficiently, and responsibly. Instead of having it be this boogieman that students know about, and may be using, and teachers not having any control over outside of the classroom.
So for today, we're going to talk about what ChatGPT actually is, examples of it, the good and the bad of it in education for you as the teacher, how to get started in your classroom, how to use it across subjects, and then we'll include some useful resources as well.
So what is ChatGPT? ChatGPT actually stands for Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer. It is a chat bot created by OpenAI, some people even call it an AI itself. And the core function of a chat bot is supposed to mimic a human conversation. However, it can do much more and those will be seen on the next slide.
Some examples of what ChatGPT can do. So for example, it can write student essays. While that's awesome, we don't want our students to just have ChatGPT write their essays for them, so that will be talked about a little bit later too.
You can write student essays, it can write computer programs, it can even debug them too. It can compose music, can write teleplays, and fairy tales, and poems, and song lyrics. And not only that, it can also answer test questions depending on the test at an above average level.
Again, not something we want our students to do. We don't want them to just use it to get the right answer. It's just very fascinating that it can do this. Can simulate an entire chat room. It can play games, for example, like tic-tac-toe. It can simulate an ATM, and it even remembers previous prompts given to it in the same conversation.
ChatGPT: The Good and Bad in Education
So let's talk about ChatGPT in education, the bad about it. So Jessica just told you some of the ways that it can be used, and some of them sound a little daunting.
So students can use the program to complete assignments and assessments, including answering short questions, or writing entire essays, or answering test questions. It does lack as much thoughtful reasoning as humans. So the text may lack some insight, and you may be able to tell if you do have a student write an entire essay with ChatGPT. Not as they're doing it without your knowledge, just as an example that you have your classroom doing, we'll talk about that later.
You may see that it's very formal, but it doesn't talk about a whole lot of insight like a person would. It can provide inaccurate information, there's a couple ways that it can do this.
The program was created and it uses data that ends at September, 2021. So it hasn't been updated, and I'm sure it will be in the future as more people start using it. But the information is only based on the data that was used to program it. So the data that it has ends at 2021 in September. So anything past that is pulling information from different sources, and those may not always be accurate. It has incorrectly solved math equations before, and it has created citations that look legitimate but are entirely fake.
So let's talk about the good of ChatGPT. So this is for you, as the teacher. There are so many ways to help you in the classroom, help yourself just make your job a little bit easier. So it can provide tutoring for students, with the answers and the explanations to expand their learning.
So if your students have a question about how to answer an equation, you can ask ChatGPT, please help me understand how this equation works. Or, please provide the solution and the step-by-step process to solve this equation, and it will do that for you.
It can shorten reading passages for your English language learners, or students with reading difficulties. So if you copy and paste a story or you say, please provide a lexile reading level so-and-so for an Edgar Allen Poe novel, let's say, it will give it to you in a lower lexile reading level.
It can create short stories or articles at the student's reading level, depending on whatever subject you want it to. It can generate ideas or sentence starters for students who struggle with brainstorming. So I definitely had those students that always had ideas when it came to writing stories, or essays, or articles, or where whatever it may be. And then I definitely had students that would sit there for an entire class period and have no idea what to write about. So this program just helps them with the brainstorming process.
For you as the teacher, it can generate ideas for lesson plans, test questions, or classroom activities. You can go on and say, write a lesson plan that requires students to think, pair, share, write an essay, take a test, whatever it may be on, whatever subject you want it to. It can revise and edit student writing on the spot, and it can write responses to common teacher emails. So you can actually have it answer your emails for you.
Getting Started with ChatGPT
So using ChatGPT in the classroom, it can be a fun and interactive way for students to learn, and for them to explore new topics. But there are multiple steps the teacher should take in order to introduce ChatGPT into the classroom.
So the first one, is determine how it actually will be used in your classroom. And this will depend on your subject matter. You can use it for simple answers, math equations, essays, context in science, history, whatever it may be.
Introduce ChatGPT to your students. Make sure you explain what it actually is, how it works, what its limitations are. So the bad in the slides that we talked about previously, and how it can be used ethically.
Assign a question for students to ask the program. I think this would be a really fun thing to do with students. You just have them ask whatever question you can think of to ask the program, and then they see how it works in real time.
The question can be open-ended, it can be class-related, or something that students have been wondering about themselves. And you can try to come up with questions that could possibly lead to incorrect answers, and see if you can trip up the system.
Have students now come up with their own questions to share with you, partners, or the class as a whole. And if any of these questions lead to incorrect or unwanted answers, see if the students can revise those questions to better fit their needs.
And then lastly, reflect on the experience as a class. So did the students find any limitations? Were all of their answers correct? Could they see themselves using ChatGPT as a tool similar to a calculator? Which is what we hope to see it be used as in the future.
Using ChatGPT Across Subjects
So there are several ways that you can use ChatGPT across several subjects, and we'll go through each of those subjects now.
Language Arts or Literature
For language arts or literature, you can have ChatGPT answer questions about grammar, syntax, and sentence structure. You can have it help with writing, editing, or analyzing any written assignments. And you can use it to provide writing prompts.
I think that it also would be very interesting to deconstruct something that it's written, so your students would be able to use that grammar syntax and sentence structure in order to do that. So having them highlight different areas in different colors for subject, facts, things like that.
History and Social Studies
With history and social studies, you can use it to provide information about events, people, historical periods. It could be fun to assign your students a character and a timeframe, and have it create a dialogue or something talking about that. For say a wax museum, or something like that. You can chat as though ChatGPT were a specific historical character with that model.
In science, providing explanations for scientific concepts, theories, and principles. Provide definitions for scientific terms, and it can also help the students to find relevant research material.
So obviously you want your students, when they're in science, to be using those Rs and finding that information. Relevance is huge. So if you are using ChatGPT to pull up material, you can have them then analyze that as to whether or not it is relevant to what they are actually trying to solve.
In math, you can have ChatGPT provide explanations for concepts and calculations. It also can be used to provide step-by-step solutions to problems. I know that we've all seen that math calculator that will do that, where you take a picture, and photo math is what it's called. You take a picture, and it will show you the steps that the picture actually took in order to come to the solution.
I know that that can help students with that process, and being able to go from one step to the next. And in going through that process, they're actually learning that concept themselves. You can also use it to formulate mathematical equations, or questions as practice. So we all have those students that will fly through their assignments, and maybe need something a little bit more challenging. So we can use that, ChatGPT, to allow those students to challenge themselves for additional work. There are those students that like to have that challenge.
In foreign languages, it can provide translations like Google. You can use it to create practice exercises for those students, and answer questions about grammar, syntax, and sentence structure. So I know that when we are translating often from one language to another, a lot of the language programs do not restructure that. So it would be good to be able to teach those students to be able to restructure sentences in the language that they are translating it to.
And they can chat back and forth with ChatGPT in a different language. So in the past, memorizing has been a huge part of learning foreign languages. I know we've also started focusing on students being able to practice speaking it, but now they also need to be able to type it.
So they don't always have the ability to chat with people in different languages, or even have to come up with something on the fly in order to use that. So that would be something that would be available for them.
Electives, you can debate with ChatGPT about a topic. So you can choose the pro, and start a debate with ChatGPT on what you would like to convey in your debate. And in that process, if you have a debate team and they are consistently debating against this program, then when they are in a live debate, they'll have a better sense of what could come back at them and be able to debate more efficiently.
You can use it to generate a list of ideas for photography. So cooking, or even exercise routines. So you can ask it a question, it'll answer it, and that can give you ideas or even set up what you would like to do at the gym that day. And it can also provide explanations or context for psychological or sociological theories.
Thank you so much for coming to our training today. I hope that you guys can start using it in the classroom, and incorporate it into your everyday learning with your students if you have digital technology use in the classroom.
By now, students have probably heard of ChatGPT, and have considered using it in the classroom. And this is a better way to help them do that, and make sure that they're using it ethically and responsibly.
If you would like to view our other trainings, subscribe to future trainings. Or if you have any questions, please click here. And we'll see you next time for our next teacher webinar.
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