Opinion contributors kicked off 2023 with practical advice and emotional reflections on a range of education debates, including school leadership, teacher overload, and civics education. But one topic kept coming up: the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT.
Still not sure what that even is? You’re not alone: When we asked educators on LinkedIn if they’d heard of it, the nearly 3,000 respondents were split 50/50. (Edweek reporter Mark Lieberman’s handy explainer on what this emerging technology means for the field can bring you up to speed.) Dozens of readers also chimed in with their reactions to the chat bot on Facebook and Twitter.
Opinions weren’t limited to social media. Two English teachers writing in EdWeek Opinion reflected on both the potential for the bot’s misuse and the opportunities for it to help develop richer assignments in What ChatGPT Means for How We Teach Writing and Don’t Ban ChatGPT. Use It as a Teaching Tool. In a letter to the editor, one reader—an education advocate from China—urged educators to teach students how to co-exist with the new technology—all the better to build a “future-proof education.”
On his opinion blog Classroom Q&A, Larry Ferlazzo rounded up tips from his fellow classroom teachers for how to manage the contested tool:
- Educators Need to Get With the AI Program. ChatGPT, More Specifically
- 19 Ways to Use ChatGPT in Your Classroom
- ChatGPT: Teachers Weigh In on How to Manage the New AI Chatbot
In a Teacher Try This video, Arkansan teacher Tyler Tarver offers another view from the classroom on how the AI chatbot can reduce teacher busy work, but his advice comes with a caveat emptor: ChatGPT may work faster than your human brain, but it’s not necessarily smarter.
Finally, in the Rick Hess Straight Up opinion blog, Hess offered his own prognostication in Will ChatGPT Unflip the Classroom?: “There will only be one practical response: Bring writing back into the classroom, where teachers can observe the writing process or engage with students about each writing assignment.”
The debate over ChatGPT and other emerging technologies doesn’t end here. Look for more to come, and consider weighing in yourself.