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If you’ve been following the news lately, you’ve likely seen a lot about ChatGPT. We wanted to take a moment to address this technology and its implications for our classrooms.

What is it? 

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an artificial intelligence (AI) bot launched in November 2022 that can chat, compose essays and poems, and write computer programs. It reached 1 million users in 5 days. Learn more at Wikipedia.

What does this mean for teachers?

This is a complex question. While cheating on assignments has always been a reality for us, ChatGPT is another very powerful tool with that potential. It is likely that some students have already used it and that they will continue to use it. While we have blocked ChatGPT on district filters, this does not stop students from using it on their own devices. 

We encourage secondary teachers, in particular, to address this technology with their students. It is important for them to know that we are aware of it and to invite them to think critically about its use. 

But the existence of these technologies also suggests that we may all need to look at how we have structured our assignments to make the use of these technologies irrelevant or insufficient. For example, we can require students to show us how their writing progresses through stages, including outlining, drafting, revising, peer review, final drafting, and presentation. We can also develop writing prompts that generate personal or another unique connections that would not be readily available to an AI.

Will we be using this with students in the district?

For now, at least, the answer is no. The ChatGPT terms of use require that all users be over 18, so we can not endorse its use in our classrooms. But we do encourage teachers to become informed about this technology and understand how it is used. You might even try using it with your own assignment prompts to see the kinds of work it might generate. And, again, it is worth discussing this with your students to help them understand when using a tool like ChatGPT may be useful and when it would really interfere with their learning and integrity.

Where can I learn more?

For more information about ChatGPT and its implications for education, we invite you to review the resources below. These resources do suggest ways for you to use ChatGPT with your students, but keep in mind that it is unlawful for students under 18 to use it and that it is blocked on district filters.

Banning AI Writing Tools Isn’t the Answer

ChatGPT Through an Education Lens

ChatGPT, Chatbots, and Artificial Intelligence in Education

A Teacher’s Prompt Guide to ChatGPT

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