ChatGPT – Good or Bad for Elementary Schools

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Whether we like it or not, the world of artificial intelligence (AI) is with us and getting more powerful by the day. The AI most in the news in late 2022/early 2023 is ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT launched on Nov. 30 but is part of a broader set of technologies developed by the San Francisco-based startup OpenAI, which has a close relationship with Microsoft.

It’s part of a new generation of AI systems that can converse, generate readable text on demand and even produce novel images and video based on what they’ve learned from a vast database of digital books, online writings and other media.

But unlike previous iterations of so-called “large language models,” such as OpenAI’s GPT-3, launched in 2020, the ChatGPT tool is available for free to anyone with an internet connection and designed to be more user-friendly. It works like a written dialogue between the AI system and the person asking it questions.*

What Can you do with ChatGPT?

Here is an example, ask the new artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to write an essay about the history of George Washington and you can watch it churn out a quick consise paragraph or two in a matter of seconds.

We asked the following question to the Chat bot:

How can teachers use chat ai in classrooms?

The response from the AI was:

There are several ways that teachers can use AI chatbots in the classroom:

  1. Language practice: Teachers can use AI chatbots to give students the opportunity to practice their language skills by having conversations with the chatbot in the target language.
  2. Homework help: Teachers can use AI chatbots to provide additional help and support to students who are struggling with their homework assignments.
  3. Research assistance: Some AI chatbots are designed to assist with research by providing information on a particular topic or by helping to find and organize sources for a paper.
  4. Classroom management: Teachers can use AI chatbots to help manage their classrooms by setting up reminders for students and answering frequently asked questions.
  5. Engaging students: AI chatbots can be used to create interactive and engaging lesson plans, which can help keep students interested and motivated.

Overall, AI chatbots can be a useful tool for teachers in the classroom, helping to support and enhance student learning in a variety of ways.

Then we asked:

Is chat ai bad for students

The bot responded with:

It is not necessarily bad for students to use AI chatbots, as they can be a useful tool for learning and education. However, it is important for students to use AI chatbots responsibly and to understand their limitations. AI chatbots are not able to provide the same level of personalized feedback and guidance as a human teacher, and they may not always be able to provide accurate or complete information. It is also important for students to be mindful of their own learning needs and to use AI chatbots as just one part of their overall education and learning strategy.

Should ChatGPT be allowed in schools?

New York City school officials this week started blocking the impressive but controversial writing tool that can generate paragraphs of human-like text

The decision by the largest U.S. school district to restrict the ChatGPT website on school devices and networks could have ripple effects on other schools, and teachers scrambling to figure out how to prevent cheating. The creators of ChatGPT say they’re also looking for ways to detect misuse.

The free tool has been around for just five weeks but is already raising tough questions about the future of AI in education, the tech industry and a host of professions.*

The infancy of chat bots is in the first inning. Much more is ahead. The key to using it efficiently is asking the right questions. This could be a boon for both teachers and students. Especially now that classroom learning is changing from rows of seats to pods of students in mini masterminds.

How about for parents?

Here’s a very astute parent that wrote the following on Reddit**

Using ChatGPT to generate bedtime stories for kids

I have a 5 year old who’s always asking me to tell her bedtime stories. Her favorite stories are the ones I make up on the spot. After a rough day of work and dealing with the kids, the last thing my brain wants to do is be creative. So, I figured I’d give ChatGPT a try.

I asked my daughter what she wanted her bedtime story to be about. She told me the characters, their names, and so on. I entered all of that information into the ChatGPT prompt (along with the length of the story, some personality attributes of the characters, and so on) and finished it off with a “moral of the story”. In 10 seconds, it generated a short story which was significantly better than anything I could’ve come up with on the spot.

But it gets better. Because I now started a thread and established personality traits to these characters, my next prompt was simply “write a new story with the same characters but this time the moral of the story is {new moral of story}”, and it did. Again, much better than anything I could come up with.

But wait, it gets better. One night, I got lazy so I simply asked it “can you write a new story where the moral of the story is of your choosing. Surprise me.” And it wrote a story with those same characters who were on a stroll through the forest and found a lost baby kangaroo looking for its mom. The characters helped the baby kangaroo find its way back home.

Every day I’m learning new ways to use ChatGPT to improve my life — whether it’s in my professional world or personal.

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If you’re a teacher or parent, what are your thoughts?

*https://apnews.com/article/what-is-chat-gpt-ac4967a4fb41fda31c4d27f015e32660
**https://www.reddit.com/r/ChatGPT/comments/107g79q/using_chatgpt_to_generate_bedtime_stories_for_kids/

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