ChatGPT is a free AI chatbot that can spit out long-form answers to just about any question, in a way that sounds eerily human. Unlike a Google search, the new tool can deliver full paragraphs of information, and it does so in a way that seems like the AI is having a conversation with you.
It offers a number of time-saving opportunities for teachers:
- use ChatGPT to provide students with a first round of feedback on work.
- use ChatGPT to remix student work. A fifth grade teacher (and the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year) took a student story and asked ChatGPT to remix it as a nursery rhyme, a soap opera, a sea shanty, and a children’s book — with suggested illustrations!
- use ChatGPT to create outlines for essays. For instance, one teacher had it compare and contrast two 19th-century short stories that touch on themes of gender and mental health: “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin, and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Once the outlines were generated, her students put their laptops away and wrote their essays longhand.
- use ChatGPT to write personalized lesson plans for each student (“explain Newton’s laws of motion to a visual-spatial learner”).
- use ChatGPT to generate ideas for classroom activities (“write a script for a ‘Friends’ episode that takes place at the Constitutional Convention”).
- Ask ChatGPT (or a similar tool) to write some lesson plans for you. Or some questions for a quiz. Ask it for some jokes about your content so you can slip those into class. Of course, you don’t have to use everything that it provides you verbatim. But it might give you a starting point you can modify — or if you already have something, it can give you ideas to improve.
- Use ChatGPT to generate quizzes. One teacher fed the bot an article about Ukraine and asked it to generate 10 multiple-choice questions that could be used to test students’ understanding of the article. (Of those 10 questions, he said, six were usable.)
Debate the Bot
- Let students (as individuals, in pairs or small groups, or even as a whole-group activity) debate ChatGPT (or a similar tool). Students take one side of a debate. The AI takes the other. Students plug their points in and ask the bot to rebut. It gives them low-stakes practice — and as much practice as they want — to hone their debate skills. Plus, they may see talking points for their own stance (or that their opponent may use) so they can strengthen their argument.