Don’t ban ChatGPT in schools. Teach with.

Don’t ban ChatGPT in schools. Teach with.

Don't ban ChatGPT in schools. Teach with.

Cherie Shields, a high school English teacher in Oregon, told me that she recently tasked students in one of her classes to use ChatGPT to create their essay outlines by comparing and comparing contrasting two 19th century short stories that tackle the themes of gender and mental health. health: “The Story of an Hour”, by Kate Chopin, and “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Once the outlines are generated, his students put away their laptops and write their essays by hand.

The process, she said, not only deepened students’ understanding of the stories. It had also taught them how to interact with AI models and derive a useful response from them.

“They need to understand, ‘I need this to produce a plan on X, Y and Z’, and they need to think about it very carefully,” Ms Shields said. “And if they don’t get the result they want, they can always revise it.”

Creating blueprints is just one of the many ways to use ChatGPT in the classroom. He could write personalized lesson plans for each student (“explaining Newton’s laws of motion to a visual-spatial learner”) and generate ideas for classroom activities (“write a script for a “Friends” episode that takes place at the Constitutional Convention”). He could serve as an after-hours tutor (“explain the Doppler effect, using language an eighth-grader could understand”) or a debate partner (“convince me that the tests on animals should be prohibited”). It could be used as a starting point for classroom exercises or as a tool for English learners to improve their basic writing skills. (The educational blog Ditch That Textbook has a long list of possible uses for ChatGPT in the classroom.)

Even ChatGPT’s flaws — like the fact that its answers to factual questions are often wrong — can become fodder for an exercise in critical thinking. Several teachers told me that they had students try to trigger ChatGPT or rate its responses like a teacher would rate a student’s.

ChatGPT can also help teachers save time when preparing lessons. Jon Gold, an eighth-grade history teacher at Moses Brown School, a K-12 Quaker school in Providence, RI, said he experimented with using ChatGPT to generate quizzes. For example, he sent 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.)

Ultimately, Gold said, ChatGPT was not a threat to student learning as long as teachers associated it with substantive classroom discussions.


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