What does ChatGPT mean for you and your students?

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

Cover image blog_ What does ChatGPT mean for you and your students

News about ChatGPT, OpenAI’s new copywriting software that mimics the way our brain works, is all over social media and the news. Teachers are worried about the effects it might have if used by their students. What if AI could support you and your students in your daily practice?

ChatGPT: friend or foe? 

Teachers in higher education have never seen anything like it. It’s mind blowing!! 

ChatGPT reproduces natural language conversations in a matter of seconds. For the first time ever, a software programme writes essays and answers exam papers like a capable student. It is very effective, self-improving, and for free.

Whatever your feelings or opinion about it, the software is already out there and chances are it will only get better. So how are you going to deal with it as an educator?


You know your students - ChatGPT won’t change that

To help you find your answers, we would like to point out some reassuring facts:

1. A chatbot won’t change your interactions with your students.

2. Learning is mostly about the learning process.

3. You know your students better than any chatbot.

Your role in the classroom won't be radically affected by a chatbot. You know your students and what works to activate and engage them. You also know how to guide them in their journey, and help them develop a sense of purpose.

Let's focus on what really matters: connection

Students who are enthusiastic about learning, and curious about the world around them are less likely to use ChatGPT to write an essay for them. Even if they do, it won’t hinder them in the long run, especially if they feel free to be their inquisitive selves in your classroom. 

Probably the most important question you can ask yourself as a teacher is 'How can I help my students express their innate drive to learn new things, and support them in the process?'

To answer this question you might want to think back about when you went to secondary school. Who was your favourite teacher? Why? Most of the time the reason ‘why’ has a lot to do with a teacher who believed in you, saw your potential, and made you ‘want’ to learn more. 

This connection and interaction between teachers and students is at the core of education and learning. No chatbot can change that.


How can ChatGPT assist you as a teacher?

At LessonUp we are certain that ChatGPT could assist you, as a research and support tool, in creating amazing lesson material. You remain to be the expert about education. Based on your knowledge and experience, you could use the chatbot to assist you in creating (interactive) learning material for your lessons.

Talk about ChatGPT with your students: guide them on how to use it as a research tool, or as a tool to assist them in learning.

The positive impact of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in education will be significant. It could be used to help students practice skills and receive instructions. This would allow you more time to focus on your students and connect with them on a deeper level.

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