The latest disrupter in education: ChatGPT

Logo for Open AI with text "ChatGPT"

Today’s blog post is NOT a guest post. It’s written by me and really continues the discussion started in the previous entry.

Everyone is talking about it. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arrived in the classroom – what will it do to our assignments, assessments, and entire educational system?  That is the concern.

Some think it can help by forcing teachers to create more authentic and personalized assignments and assessments.  Others worry it’s the death of thinking and learning.

ChatGPT has entered the (class)room.

GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer, which is a program that can realistically write like a human.

While some define ChatGPT as an “AI writing bot”, it really can do so much more than write papers (even though that’s concerning enough to English teachers all over the world).

I encourage you to try it out yourself, but here’s a sample of what others have found:

  • ChatGPT really doesn’t understand geometry or the Pythagorean Theorem
  • A teacher “interviews” ChatGPT

I went down the ChatGPT rabbit hole myself and was pretty impressed with the responses I got for several things I asked it. Here’s some of my results:

  1. Tell me a story …
  2. Create a lesson plan …
  3. Write a song ...

I’ll note that, while one of the biggest features of the AI is the ability to carry on a “conversation”, I really didn’t test that part out very much with these first attempts.  Mostly I asked one question and maybe one follow-up. However, I did test that out later and was pleasantly surprised that the responses I got from ChatGPT improved as the “conversation” went on.

I’d taken notes on a webinar I recently attended and I copy / pasted those into ChatGPT along with a prompt asking it to write a blog post based on these notes that would motivate someone to watch the recording of the worksop. The first attempt was fair, but had some problems (for example, it thought one of the panelests was a graduate student rather than a faculty member in the graduate program).  I kept adding more details and info, even asking ChatGPT to get more information from the web, and, by the end, the results were at least satisfactory.  Drop me an email if you’d like the “back and forth” on that part of my AI test.  

worried tech.jpeg

“Disruptor” is a good descriptor for ChatGPT.  Many are taking actions to ban or somehow prevent the use of the AI.  For example, NYC education department blocks ChatGPT.

As you can see, there’s good reason that educators and administrators are concerned (and why students are potentially celebrating) about the existence of ChatGPT.  Interestingly, there’s already been an app created (by a student no less) that will tell you the likelihood that the text you’ve entered was written by an AI like ChatGPT: GPTZero.

Also, many educators are trying to find the silver lining and brainstorming ways the AI could be *helpful instead of viewed as a problem.  See this post on how it might help English language learners or this post asking “Can ChatGPT be a blessing?” as examples.

As always,  I’d love to hear what you think.  Just in case you missed it, here’s the blog written by ChatGPT.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comparison between the two posts.  Thanks as always for reading.



Video Tuorial on How to Use ChatGPT

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Author:  Dr. Diana S. Perdue

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