OpenAI, the company that owns ChatGPT, has released an official guide for using its wildly popular chatbot in the classroom.
The new “Teaching with AI” guide is intended to arm educators with all the information they need to start using ChatGPT in their work. It includes practical starting points like suggested ChatGPT prompts, as well as background information such as how ChatGPT works and an explanation of some of its limitations.
It also features a handful of real world examples of teachers using ChatGPT with their students, highlighting how the chatbot could be used to stand in for a debate partners, help non-English speakers with their grammar, and – maybe controversially – build tests.
Schools Pull Major AI U-Turn Before New Year
Of course, ChatGPT being used in schools is nothing new. For students, generative AI tools have essentially replaced the bright yellow Cliff Notes books of the past, providing them with a “helping hand,” shall we say, when studying for tests and writing essays. As new technologies go, it has been controversial at times, especially given how hard it is to accurately detect ChatGPT plagiarism.
More recently, though, schools have started to jump on the bandwagon. With the new academic year now upon us, some US schools are promoting ChatGPT in the classroom. It's a U-turn compared to the spring semester, when all the buzz in education was about banning ChatGPT.
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With its new Teaching with AI guide, OpenAI seems to want to seize on the recent positive momentum shift and continue moving away from the ide that it basically helps students cheat more easily.
Examples of ChatGPT in Schools
While we were skeptical at first, some of the examples given by OpenAI of ChatGPT being used in schools are actually pretty interesting. Arguably the most insightful use case comes from Geetha Venugopal, a high school computer science teacher at the American International School in Chennai, India.
She reports that she uses ChatGPT to help students develop their critical reasoning and fact checking skills, noting that the chatbot's occasional unreliability encourages them to confirm information with primary sources and carefully consider what kind of information they can trust on the internet.
Beyond that, the guide also highlights how teachers can ask ChatGPT to take on the persona of a student and help them create more accessible quiz questions and lesson plans.
Guide Backed Up By New FAQ
In addition to the Teaching with AI guide, OpenAI has also bolstered its informational arsenal with a dedicated new Educator FAQ section. In this, it directly addresses some of the more obvious questions surrounding AI detectors and plagiarism, saying point blank that such tools do not yet work to a reliable standard.
“While some (including OpenAI) have released tools that purport to detect AI-generated content, none of these have proven to reliably distinguish between AI-generated and human-generated content,” it writes.
The company is referring to its own failed Text Classifier plagiarism tool, which was recently pulled due to its unreliability. Instead, the company is now simply promoting an open conversation between teachers and students surrounding AI use as the best line of defense against out and out plagiarism.
We'd broadly second that, as our experiences suggests a well-trained human eye should be able to spot many instances of AI plagiarism – and there are plenty of great free AI training courses you can try to improve your overall knowledge of the booming technology.