Ask teachers what one thing they want more of from their school, and I PROMISE you the answer is not “More Jeans Days Passes.”
The majority of teachers would probably respond with a loud “TIME!!!! I NEED MORE TIME!!” And while I haven’t figured out a way to add more hours to the day- and I REFUSE to try to add more hours to a school day, I have uncovered a way that has delivered a few more precious hours back for me. I’m talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Before you immediately click on the next article and instantly dismiss the idea of embracing any AI, such as ChatGPT, hear me out.
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to revolutionize education by providing teachers with powerful tools that can help us streamline our workflow, save time, and improve our effectiveness. You just have to give it a chance.
What is AI?
So a quick lesson (remember I am a teacher) Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to using computer systems to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as natural language processing, pattern recognition, and decision-making.
One example of AI that is becoming very popular in education is ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a conversational agent that can understand natural language and generate human-like responses to text-based messages. One study that supports using AI in the classroom (remember, I am an English teacher that demands evidence for support) is “Artificial Intelligence in Education: Promises and Implications for Teaching and Learning,” by Rose Luckin, published in the British Journal of Educational Technology. The study argues that AI can enhance teaching and learning by providing personalized learning experiences, automating routine tasks, and improving assessment and feedback.
That is Lovely, But Seriously, How Can I Use This?
There are thousands of ways AI systems like ChatGPT can make your life as a teacher easier. Here are just a few.
ChatGPT can provide teachers with personalized support by answering your questions and helping them plan lessons. Here’s an example of how a government teacher might use ChatGPT to plan a lesson on the Bill of Rights: First, the teacher types in a message to ChatGPT: “Hi, can you help me plan a lesson on the Bill of Rights?” ChatGPT responds immediately, asking for more details about the lesson objectives, the class size, and available resources. The teacher explains that she wants to focus on the first ten amendments to the Constitution, their historical background, and their relevance to current issues. She also mentions that she can access a textbook, some primary sources, and a few online resources.
ChatGPT quickly generates some ideas for lesson activities, such as a jigsaw reading exercise, a class debate, and a video analysis. It also suggests some discussion questions, such as “What rights do you think are most important to protect?” and “How has the interpretation of the Bill of Rights changed over time?” The teacher decides to use ChatGPT’s suggestions and creates a lesson plan. The teacher can also create all the pre-reading activities, jigsaw reading exercises, class debate, and video analysis on her own or ask ChatGPT to create them.
Neat huh? Here’s another example:
Assessment and grading: ChatGPT can also assist teachers in assessing and grading student work. ChatGPT’s advanced natural language processing capabilities can quickly analyze student responses and provide teacher and student feedback.
Here’s an example of how a junior English teacher might use ChatGPT to provide feedback on short answers for a formative writing assignment: The teacher has assigned her students a formative writing assignment in which they must respond to three short answer prompts to a novel they are reading in class. She has received over 110 submissions and needs help finding time to grade each individually. (For those of us that don’t teach math, that is 330 paragraphs)
She then types in a message to ChatGPT: “Hi, can you help me grade these short answer responses for my junior English class?”
ChatGPT responds immediately, asking for more details about the assignment objectives, the grading criteria, and the expected responses. The teacher explains that she is looking for responses demonstrating a deep understanding of the novel’s themes, characters, and plot. She also provides some examples of strong and weak responses.
ChatGPT quickly analyzes student responses using its advanced natural language processing capabilities. It identifies each response’s key themes, characters, and plot points and provides teacher and student feedback. The teacher can quickly review the graded responses provided by ChatGPT and provides additional feedback where necessary. She can easily track each student’s progress and identify areas needing additional support.
Before you even think about it, While ChatGPT can provide valuable assistance in grading and providing feedback to students, it’s important to note that it doesn’t take the teacher out of the evaluation process. ChatGPT is meant to complement the teacher’s expertise, not replace it. The teacher is still responsible for making the final assessment of the student’s work.
Additionally, ChatGPT is only as effective as the instructions and criteria provided by the teacher. You must still provide clear, detailed instructions to ensure the grading criteria align with the assignment’s learning objectives.
Here is a final way:
Student engagement: By leveraging the power of AI, ChatGPT can also help teachers engage with their students in new and exciting ways. For example, it can help you create interactive learning experiences that adapt on-demand to your students’ needs and learning styles.
Here’s an example of how an AP Calculus teacher might use ChatGPT to engage with their students in new and exciting ways: The teacher creates a list of learning objectives he wants to cover. He then inputs this information into ChatGPT, which uses machine learning algorithms to create a personalized learning experience for each student.
When students log into the platform, they get interactive exercises and quizzes tailored to their needs and learning styles. As students progress through the exercises, ChatGPT provides real-time feedback and support, helping them to stay motivated and engaged.
In addition to the interactive exercises, the teacher can use ChatGPT to create personalized study materials for his students. For example, he inputs a set of calculus problems into the platform, and ChatGPT generates a series of practice problems tailored to each student’s level of understanding. As students work through the problems, ChatGPT provides real-time feedback and support, helping them to identify areas where they may need additional practice or support.
Final Thoughts on ChatGPT, Teachers and Saving Time
I understand the challenges teachers face daily. I am in there every day with you. From managing multiple classes and grading assignments to preparing lesson plans and adapting to different student learning styles, we know teaching is demanding and time-consuming. And on top of that, we are often required to do administrative tasks such as data input and bus duty, which also steals more of our precious time away. Embracing AIs such as ChatGPT can give you back some of that stolen time. Finally, and maybe most crucial, the time saved by incorporating ChatGPT can help alleviate some of the daily stress, and workload burdens many of us face.