Embracing ChatGPT in education: a powerful tool for the modern classroom

ChatGPT is just one of many AI tools available in the classroom. While these tools may seem daunting initially, it is crucial to recognise and use the potential benefits


As technology continues to evolve and advance, it is becoming increasingly important for educators to embrace new tools and integrate them into the classroom. One such tool is ChatGPT, a large language model developed by OpenAI, which is currently causing an earthquake in educational institutions worldwide.

While some educators may be hesitant to use ChatGPT in their classrooms, it is crucial to recognise the potential benefits and, rather than try to fight it, implement clear policies on its use.

Because let's be honest, students will still use it with or without the teacher's consent, and in a few months, a new, more powerful tool will emerge, rendering all of these efforts futile.

This is akin to the introduction of the calculator many years ago; at first, educators were hesitant, but today, it became common practice in every student's arsenal.

Because of this, all educators must help instruct students on using the tool correctly and harnessing its full power because learning to use AI is an important skill.

When using ChatGPT, it is essential to be aware of its limitations. Educators must guide students on refining their query, which will take effort but ultimately produces better results. They should not trust anything it says unless they verify it with authoritative sources. Students should shoulder responsibility and be held accountable for any errors or omissions.

When using AI for their work, they should include a paragraph at the end of any assignment explaining how they used it and the prompts they inputted to get the results. Failure to do so will violate academic honesty because they would be presenting work which is not theirs.

They also need to learn to be thoughtful about using the tool because it doesn't work in all contexts.

Teachers, on the other hand, should see ChatGPT as a valuable aid. The following is a list of ideas on how educators can use it in class:

  • Grading work automatically based on specific parameters, such as grammar, vocabulary, or content. For example, given an initial brief, a teacher can ask ChatGPT to grade all student essays on that topic.
  • Listing corrections in student work related to spelling, grammar, punctuation errors and much more. It can also give style suggestions and propose modifications.
  • Generating ideas around a subject, giving different perspectives on a given topic. For example, a teacher could create a list of potential research topics related to a specific issue, providing students with a starting point for their investigation.
  • Creating debating points to develop arguments for and against a specific topic, making it useful for discussions, thus facilitating class debates.
  • Drafting quizzes on specific topics and providing model answers making it easier for the students to study and help the teachers correct them.
  • Creating fill-in-the-blanks exercises, providing a way for students to practice any subject. A teacher could use it to develop activities based on a reading passage and then use it to test student comprehension.
  • Summarising text to help students understand the main concepts of a document and eventually use it as a study aid.
  • Collect, process and present online data in tabular view, making it useful for data analysis and visualisation.
  • Plan steps for scientific experiments, providing students with a guide for complex tasks.
  • Draft lab reports by assisting students with a guide on the content and asking ChatGPT for a critique of their work before handing it in.
  • Create study guides to give students a concise review of their study material. The system can also format it in a schedule that considers the study days available, thus allowing students to plan better.
  • Generate code snippets, helping students practice coding and handholding them to solve computational problems. It can also review the code and spot simple errors.
  • Create reading comprehensions to help students understand text better while indirectly practising their reading.
  • Use it to explain cultural constructs. For example, language teachers can use it to explain the idea behind the polite form found in languages such as Italian or French.
  • Gathering foreign language vocabulary to help students expand their knowledge of the language. A teacher can generate a list of new words in a foreign language together with their translation and then provide it to the students as a learning resource.
  • Creating foreign language exchanges to develop scenarios or conversations, thus helping students practice dialogue skills.

However, knowing how to use the tool is not enough, and teachers must also be aware of its limitations.

They have to keep in mind that ChatGPT lacks logical reasoning, so using it with mathematical problems is not advisable. The input it accepts is limited to around 500 words, and so is the expected output. Although the information provided by ChatGPT may sound authoritative, it may occasionally produce incorrect information, harmful instructions, or biased content.

Finally, since ChatGPT was trained in 2021, it has no knowledge of facts occurring after that year.

ChatGPT is just one of many AI tools available in the classroom. While these tools may seem daunting initially, it is crucial to recognise and use the potential benefits.

As technology advances, we can expect to see other similar but more powerful tools emerge, such as Bloom, Google's Sparrow, and GPT-4 (expected to be 1000x bigger). Therefore, we have no choice since they're here to stay.

Embracing these new tools and learning how to use them effectively in the classroom is essential for the future of education.

More in People