4 Ways to Use ChatGPT to Your Advantage in the Classroom

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

If you’re not using ChatGPT, you should start–here are 4 ways to use ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom.

AI is everywhere. It’s found its way into creation tools and search engines. It’s generating blog posts (not this one–sorry, I like to write), jingles, and images. It’s also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It’s time to talk about how to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom.

As a social studies teacher, I’m always looking for patterns. It’s how we learn from the past. There’s a clear pattern between the advent of ChatGPT and the advent of the calculator. Math teachers had to completely rethink instruction a long time ago. It’s our turn to do the same in the other subjects.

Literacy is the cornerstone of instruction. The introduction of the powerful AI tool ChatGPT has teachers terrified that students will no longer see the point in developing those vital skills. Students are already less than enthusiastic about reading and writing. Will AI be their final “unfriending” of literacy?

Students have already learned how to use ChatGPT to their advantage. The enemy of teachers everywhere has been identified. It’s time to follow the adage and keep it close.

We need to make ChatGPT our frenemy.

The closer we keep it, the more ways we’ll find for using ChatGPT to our advantage while still maintaining student work integrity. ChatGPT can work for us by streamlining personalized learning, differentiation, assessment generation, and more. We need to borrow strategies from savvy math teachers, long beleaguered by the calculator, to have students show their work with literacy instruction.

In this post, I’ll be discussing specific ways teachers can use ChatGPT to their advantage in the classroom.

In my next post, I’ll discuss specific strategies to get students to “show their work” in literacy instruction in order to prevent too much reliance on AI. Students desperately need to hone their literacy skills.

If you’re new to AI, check out what it looks like in action:

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

To get started, head on over to OpenAI and create a free account. You interact with ChatGPT by entering commands into the message bar.

Here are 4 Ways to Use ChatGPT to Your Advantage in the Classroom

ChatGPT Classroom Advantage 1: Differentiation and Personalization

You can enter a text into the message bar and instruct ChatGPT to level it according to your students’ different lexile scores.

Here’s an example:

Command: Make this easy to read for a 10th grader with a 1000 Lexile Score + the text.

I’ve tried this a few different ways and then entered the text into a free Readability Checker site. GPT’s pretty good about nailing it. If it’s off, just reword your command. ChatGPT remembers and adapts.

ChatGPT Classroom Advantage 2: Assessment Generation

In order to get ChatGPT to generate the types of questions you want, you need to be specific. I had to teach it about the various Depth of Knowledge Levels, but that was easy. I just had to copy and paste their definitions.

Here are sample commands:

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

Command: DOK Level 1 Explanation + Generate 3 DOK Level 1 Multiple Choice Questions appropriate for sophomore World History students studying Classical Greece.

Command: DOK Level 2 Explanation + Generate 3 DOK Level 2 Multiple Choice Questions appropriate for junior US History students studying the Cold War.

Command: DOK Level 3 Explanation + Generate 3 DOK Level 3 Multiple Choice Questions appropriate for senior psychology students studying the psychological research process.

Try adding this Additional Command: Provide an explanation as to why each answer choice is correct or incorrect.

That additional command is fantastic because you can use the feedback to create a self-checking Google Form. When a student selects a response, it takes them directly to the feedback. This post explains how you can do that.

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

ChatGPT Classroom Advantage 3: Lesson Planning

Do you ever have a standard you have to teach and no idea where to begin? ChatGPT can help you find inspiration. Here are some ideas for lessons you can ask it to create:

  • Projects
  • Stations
  • Jigsaw Activities
  • Simulations (make sure they’re appropriate!)
  • Differentiated Activities

The possibilities are endless. You will still need to add your resources to ChatGPT’s ideas, but it really helps out when you’re in a rut.

Here are sample commands:

Command: Generate two 50-minute lesson plans for this standard: SSWH14.A, I can examine absolutism through a comparison of the reigns of Louis XIV and Tsar Peter the Great. Create one for gifted learners and one for struggling learners.

Command: Generate an engaging classroom simulation for a 50-minute class for 12th graders with this standard: SSCG4 Demonstrate knowledge of the organization and powers of the national government.

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

ChatGPT Classroom Advantage 4: Grading

That’s right, my friend. You now have your very own grading assistant.

I teach AP World History and IB Theory of Knowledge, so I have a ton of essays to read. Constantly. The possibilities of AI to help classroom teachers with grading feedback are astounding.

But remember, you have to train ChatGPT and you have to correct it a lot at first. It adapts, though.

I definitely read the essay myself and know what score I’d give it, but the feedback is incredibly helpful. HUGE timesaver.

I started with SAQs (Short Answer Questions) and then trained it to score LEQs (Long Answer Questions).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Paste the rubric text into the message bar.
  2. Paste the prompt into the message bar.
  3. Paste the student response into the message bar.
  4. Command ChatGPT to score it according to the rubric and provide feedback.
  5. Check for errors on ChatGPT’s part and point them out in the message bar. This will help it adapt.
  6. Paste another student response into the message bar and hit enter. ChatGPT will score it as long as you’re using the same Chat. You can send limitless messages within each Chat and name the Chats to help you stay organized.

Check out the portion of the Chat below so you can see the training process and how ChatGPT adapts. I didn’t include the prompt or the student responses because it is proprietary (College Board).

AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...
AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...
AI is everywhere. It's found its way into creation tools and search engines. It's generating blog posts, jingles, and images. It's also generating essays for our students. For better or worse, AI is here to stay. It's time to talk about 4 ways to use the powerful AI tool ChatGPT to your advantage in the classroom. This might change your life...

Do you see how making ChatGPT your closest frenemy will save you time and work to your advantage in the classroom? You’ll have your very own virtual assistant–for free.

Come back next time. I’m going to give you practical classroom literacy strategies–adapted from our math friends–that will keep literacy alive in the age of AI.

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