Three ways teachers can use ChatGPT to elevate their planning process
Yes, you read it right – This is a post about some of the benefits of ChatGPT for teachers.
Over the past few months, as I scrolled through my teacher groups on various social media platforms, there was a massive outcry around ChatGPT. Then, I saw the articles come in; everyone now asking, What does this new AI software mean for education?
For those who may not be as familiar with the chatbot, ChatGPT is an impressive artificial intelligence program that allows users to ask it to do mostly anything, like write a well-crafted and convincing essay. Now, as teachers, we know our students pretty well, and I would like to think that I could recognize my students' writing even if other plagiarism-checking sites couldn’t pick up on the fabricated writing. However, I can truly understand the fear here.
Fast-forward beyond the fear to this week. I saw a video of a teacher using this program to help with planning by creating a model essay for an upcoming unit. They even created three different leveled responses to use and writing models. This inspired me to jump into the program and start playing with ways to use ChatGPT to add student support, like comprehension questions, research guides, and evidence-based thinking.
The following are three ways that I have found ChatGPT as a helpful planning partner:
1. Generating discussion questions to support reading comprehension
In the science classroom, students need time to process their learning. So, I took a text from our middle school curriculum and asked my new AI friend to create three additional discussion questions to help students make sense of the text (Figure 1). Any teacher could pull text and ask the ChatGPT to produce questions.
Now, I have some simple questions to ask students after reading the text together or even have them share in pairs. If you have a customizable curriculum, like Stile, you can add these questions directly to your lesson plan (Figure 2).
2. Creating guiding questions for open-ended research
Research is a critical science component. I noticed that my students always needed help with where to start. However, they thrived when I provided additional questioning to get them started on research paths. So, I took an investigation from our lesson and asked ChatGPT to create some further guiding questions. I simply added them in Stile under my investigation prompt (Figure 3).
3. Providing students with sentence starters to share evidence
My students often need help with evidence-based thinking and writing. Particularly with longer, more complex responses, I find that giving them sentence starters gives them a jumping-off point to begin their writing. So, this time, I used my virtual planning assistant to create sentence starters to respond to a question where they need to describe the evidence. Then, I added it right into my Stile lesson (Figure 4)!
We are still in the early stages of understanding what this kind of technology means for the world and for our classrooms. However, in the meantime, we educators can take advantage of this power to quickly plan for additional student support in the classroom.