Some colleges are taking a different approach to generative AI technology this school year, as administrators have decided that teaching students how to use ChatGPT is more beneficial than trying to ban it.
In November 2022, ChatGPT stormed into our lives. The generative AI technology saw businesses transform overnight to make way for this new productivity tool. However, schools saw it as a bit of a problem, as the tech could be effectively used to accomplish many academic tasks in just a few seconds.
Now, with the new school year about to start, the strategy has changed, with a number of institutions opting to embrace the technology and its future potential rather than condemning it.
Shift Trends on ChatGPT in Education
How do we know that more and more schools are embracing ChatGPT than banning it? One school administrator by the name of Lance Eaton put together a Google Doc resource that tracks AI policies across colleges and universities in the US.
While initially used to more effectively ban the technology in schools, shifting trends have shown that more and more institutions are teaching students how to use ChatGPT, rather than trying to stymie its use.
“It’s really helped educators see how others are adapting to and framing AI in the classroom. AI is still going to feel uncomfortable, but now they can now go in and see how a university or a range of different courses, from coding to sociology, are approaching it.” – Lance Eaton, administrator at College Unbound in Rhode Island
More than 70 colleges and universities have added their policies to the publicly available Google Doc, and it's always accepting more with a simple form that allows administrators to add theirs to the list.
Initial Backlash to ChatGPT in Education
If you can think back just a few short months, you'll remember that this newfound acceptance of ChatGPT is a big shift from the initial backlash to the technology in 2022 for educational institutions.
“Earlier on, we saw a knee-jerk reaction to AI by banning it going into spring semester, but now the talk is about why it makes sense for students to use it.” – Lance Eaton to CNN
Schools weren't the only organizations banning ChatGPT and other generative AI technology either. Government bodies and big businesses have also banned ChatGPT in the past, with the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Verizon all putting some kind of restrictions on the tech for their employees.
How to Teach ChatGPT
Whether you're a teacher that wants to take a proactive approach to ChatGPT or a business owner that wants your employees taking advantage of the groundbreaking tech, the ability to teach ChatGPT doesn't have to be as difficult as it sounds.
For starters, setting some boundaries is key. You obviously don't want to encourage students to cheat on tests or use it to expedite essays, so establishing clear rules about ChatGPT use in your classroom will be your best bet right out of the gate.
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Beyond that, ChatGPT is all about prompts, so finding prompts that enhance your teaching is where you want to start. You can have ChatGPT generate reading for your class, create review questions for exams, and even develop writing prompts for essays.
Simply put, generative AI technology isn't going anywhere, and it's better to encourage the future generation to get on board, because chances are, they're already using ChatGPT.