I asked ChatGPT “What are some guidelines I could share with teachers regarding the use of ChatGPT by students?” and this is what I got…

There has been a swarm of conflict, disconnect, confusion, and fear in K-12 and high education in the use of ChatGPT or any artificial intelligence (AI) program, and yes, there are many others out there and some we use everyday but do not realize it. For example, TLDR this is a Google Chrome extension that I use on occasion to summarize a chapter, article, or webpage and word prediction software is also a form of AI. As a doctoral student, I find myself in the role of both a student and a professional, and have been using or tinkering with ChatGPT since late December, early January when it was released. I do a lot of work and have a strong research interest in educational technology including virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and artificial intelligence generally speaking so ChatGPT was on my radar fairly early on. For example, I have personally used it recently as a doctoral student when I asked, “What are the top researchers in special education services in online learning environments?” when I was gathering articles for a literature review. While many of my favorite authors were not listed, and there were gaps, there were many I was able to find that were new that led me to some amazing research journals, articles, and networking with authors in the field.

I get approached frequently about ChatGPT in both general and professional conversation and most recently I was at a conference and we were discussing its use in the classroom and the future of education that spurred this post. We also discussed how ChatGPT may push educators to rethink their instructional practices and move towards more video-based submissions, backwards learning design, project-based learning, or large scale learning opportunities versus the traditional essay, discussion board post, or “type in the box” response. It will be interesting to see where we will all be 5, 10, 20 years from now. In 2004, just 19 years ago, I was one of the ones who got the very first iPhone 1 that came out and now look at where they are today.

In order to be better prepared for my own conversations with educators and colleagues in the field of educational technology, I was curious about what ChaptGPT had to say when it came to educators helping students understand the appropriate use of ChatGPT in the classroom. So I asked ChatGPT, “What are some guidelines I could share with teachers regarding the use of ChatGPT by students?” and here are the seven guidelines I received:

ChatGPT stated,

“Here are some guidelines you could share with teachers regarding the use of ChatGPT by students.

1 Emphasize that ChatGPT is a tool, not a substitute for learning: ChatGPT is a powerful tool for learning and research, but it should never be used as a substitute for direct instruction, independent study, or human interaction. Encourage teachers to use ChatGPT as a supplement to, not a replacement for, other forms of learning.

2 Discuss the limitations of AI: ChatGPT is a language model, which means that it has limitations in terms of understanding context and nuance. It is important to emphasize to teachers that the answers generated by ChatGPT should always be critically evaluated and verified.

3 Encourage ethical use: It’s important to emphasize that ChatGPT should be used ethically and responsibly. Teachers should educate students on avoiding plagiarism, proper citation practices, and the responsible use of technology in general.

4 Encourage students to ask clarifying questions: ChatGPT may not always understand the exact context of a student’s question. Encourage teachers to instruct students to ask clarifying questions if they need further information or if the answer generated by ChatGPT is unclear.

5 Foster an understanding of the role of AI: Teachers should encourage students to think about the role of AI and automation in our society, and to consider the ethical and social implications of its use.

6 Discuss the importance of privacy: Teachers should discuss the importance of privacy and security, and encourage students to be mindful of the information they share with ChatGPT and other AI systems.

7 Emphasize the importance of critical thinking: Finally, teachers should emphasize the importance of critical thinking and encourage students to use ChatGPT as a tool for learning and exploration, rather than simply relying on it for answers.”

(Developed by OpenAI ChatGPT, February 21, 2023)

While not an exhaustive list and not research based by any means, it is a great start for educators who are already seeing an immediate impact in the classroom. I challenge you to ask the same question or a variation of the same question and you may notice you get a slightly different response.

I recently heard in a podcast recently that, “Artificial intelligence (AI) will not replace you, but those who use AI will.” I believe in some cases, depending on your field, it may be the same for educators. “Artificial intelligence (AI) will not replace educators, but educators who use AI will.” Open your mind to the possibilities of the future and also what jobs K-12 students will have in the future. The job market today, will not be the same as the job market in the future and preparing them for the use of AI could lead to amazing opportunities as adults.

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