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Chat GPT for Educators: An Overview of What You Need to Know

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Just when you switched to “go green” parent forms, created shared drives and calendar invites for your staff, automated your sign in procedures and went from teacher newsletters to websites and online classrooms, along walks in, or rather sprints in ChatGPT. ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer developed by Open AI and was launched in November 2022. The goal, according to Open AI is to “benefit all humanity” by using AI or Artificial intelligence that is “generally smarter than humans.” Essentially, ChatGPT is a model designed to create natural human language. If you are confused and unsure how this will impact our schools in general, don’t worry, everybody is in the same boat. As a matter of fact, most linked articles in this blog have been published within the last six months.

In a small nutshell, ChatGPT is based on an artificial neural network (ANN) that uses a database (often called a dataset or corpus) to complete tasks that the user asks. Still considered in the training or development phase, ChatGPT is much more than a search engine. Search engines, like Google, allow the user to scan the internet finding information about a specific topic. ChatGPT is much more sophisticated in that it understands and responds to natural language for a specific purpose and can create output for tasks such as creating learning targets, lesson plans and assessments, writing a parent email, creating paragraphs for a summative evaluation, generating learning activities with differentiation based on a the standards of a specific state and much, much more. Think of it as a very smart chatbot that has the potential to boost productivity.

It is worth noting that not everything AI is on the up and up. Recently, AI was used to clone a child’s voice in order to convince an Arizona woman that her daughter was in danger. This event caused the frightened mother to urge Congress to take action about the misuse of AI. OpenAI, the developer of the ChatGPT app, is aware of the benefits and potential challenges that are present with this type of technology and states in its mission that it aims to create “safe and beneficial” information. Right now OpenAI is the leader in artificial general intelligence (AGI) but earlier this year Google Bard is getting on board with some success.

For now, here’s what you can do as an educator:

  • Find out more: Use the links in this blog to learn about ChatGPT. Search away and find out all you can about it. You will quickly find out that it is new, very new, and you will find that most information is reacting to ChatGPT as it forges ahead.

  • Go to and log in/register

  • Ask any question

    • I asked, “create a short email to a parent about a student who didn’t do their homework” and this is what I got:

Dear [Parent's Name],

I wanted to inform you that [Student's Name] did not submit their homework for [subject] on [date]. Completing assignments on time is crucial for their academic progress and understanding of the subject matter.

I kindly request your support in addressing this matter with [Student's Name] and emphasizing the importance of timely completion of homework. Together, we can help them develop better study habits and take their academic responsibilities seriously.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss this further, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you for your attention.

  • You can also ask ChatGPT to try again or “regenerate” its response. It will learn from you as you ask and tweak each task. It even apologizes for misinformation.

  • Discuss with your colleagues and create a tentative stance on ChatGPT.

    • Remember, as with any technology, ChatGPT and AI is constantly changing. Be cognizant of its uses, its downfalls and how it can support education. Hold regular conversations with your team about how AI can and will impact education and try to be a step ahead of it. Discuss how it can be used and misused by educators and students. Be ready for how to identify student use of ChatGPT and how it will be addressed. Right now it is hard to find a district with an applicable policy in place.

At the moment, ChatGPT is free, however the developer, OpenAI, states that there may be a charge for its use in the future. The podcasts, blogs and articles are flying out faster than a cheetah on rollerskates (this was just generated after asking, “what is a funny analogy for something that is fast”).

As with any form of technology that is designed to assist, it is important to remember that this technology should not replace the pedagogy and expertise of a qualified educator. ChatGPT is not a substitute for best teaching practices. Educators may use it as a tool but should always very carefully review the responses for accuracy and adapt the information to ensure it is suitable for their specific context.

As with most trends in education, continue to further your understanding of ChatGPT by trying it out, reading/listening about its impact in education and discussing with your peers. It’s an exciting new world that continues to evolve. Make sure you are knowledgeable and prepared!

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