Classroom Technology

More Teachers Are Embracing ChatGPT. Students? Not So Much

By Arianna Prothero — July 18, 2023 2 min read
Photo of girl using desktop computer.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Turns out that students, not teachers, are the bigger skeptics when it comes to using ChatGPT.
Results of a new survey flip the early narrative on ChatGPT—that students would rush to use it to cheat on assignments and that teachers would scramble to keep up—on its head.

Half of students, ages 12-18, said they have never used ChatGPT, according to the poll conducted in late June and early July by Impact Research on behalf of the Walton Family Foundation. A quarter of students reported using ChatGPT at least once per week. That’s compared to 40 percent of teachers who said they used it at least once a week.

Bigger picture, 6 in 10 teachers now say they have used ChatGPT in their jobs, marking a 13-point increase from February when a similar survey was done. And three-quarters of teachers say they are at least familiar with the technology, which can generate lesson plans and write essays in seconds with a simple prompt, and 58 percent say they have a favorable view of the chatbot.

Those are among the latest findings in a second survey of teachers, students, and parents conducted by Impact Research for Walton. (The Walton Family Foundation provides support to Education Week for coverage of race and opportunity and other topics).

Parents, too, are eager to have their children use the generative AI technology in the classroom. Sixty-four percent said they think teachers and schools should allow students to use ChatGPT to do schoolwork, with 28 percent saying that schools should encourage the technology’s use.

Student reluctance emerged in February when Impact Research conducted its first survey of ChatGPT use among teachers and students.

Only 35 percent of students said in this most recent survey that ChatGPT has had a positive impact on their schooling experience, compared to 54 percent of teachers who said the new technology has been positive. And when asked whether they believe ChatGPT has legitimate educational uses that can’t be ignored, 39 percent of students agreed compared with 49 percent of parents and 61 percent of teachers.

See also

Image of AI sources and tools.

The survey found that a third of teachers are using ChatGPT to help them plan lessons and create instructional materials, 30 percent say they are using it to generate creative ideas for their classes, and 30 percent say they are using the chatbot to help build their background knowledge.

Teachers are also using ChatGPT to create tests and assessments, grade students’ work, and communicate with students, parents, and colleagues.

Many teachers and education technology experts say that it’s vital for educators to teach students how to use AI tools such as ChatGPT and to model the proper use of those tools for their students. But there are still many potential pitfalls to using it.

For example, ChatGPT’s track record on accuracy is spotty at best—the chatbot sometimes makes up information—so using it for acquiring background knowledge on a subject can be risky if teachers aren’t diligent about fact-checking the information.

For this latest survey, Impact Research polled 1,000 teachers, 903 parents, and 1,002 students ages 12-18.

When it comes to preparing students for the jobs of the future—including those in artificial intelligence—students, parents, and teachers question whether schools and teachers are currently up to the task.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology From Our Research Center The AI Classroom Hype Is All Wrong, Some Educators Say
Amid all the encouragement to try the technology, there are plenty of educators who don’t plan to start.
1 min read
Illustration of a large, sinking iceberg forming the letters "AI" as a business professional stands on the tip of the iceberg that remains above water with his hands on his hips and looking out into the large sea.
Classroom Technology What Worries District Tech Leaders Most About AI? (It’s Not About Teaching)
A new report from the Consortium for School Networking explores district tech leaders' top priorities and challenges.
3 min read
Motherboard image with large "AI" letters with an animated magnifying glass pans in from the left.
Classroom Technology From Our Research Center How Educators Are Using AI to Do Their Jobs
Educators are slowly experimenting with AI tools in a variety of ways, according to EdWeek Research Center survey data.
2 min read
Tight crop of a white computer keyboard with a cyan blue button labeled "AI"
Classroom Technology Opinion Let's Not Oversimplify Students' Cellphone Use
Vilifying the technology, including social media, is easier than digging into the societal issues that contribute to mental health issues.
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."