If you follow the latest tech news and up-and-coming developments, you have probably heard of ChatGPT. I’ve loved reading about the hype and excitement of this new and innovative technology being developed. Let’s cover the basics first before we talk about the implications and advancements this could bring to our K-12 classrooms.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT (or Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer is an innovative and cutting-edge online program that utilizes AI (artificial intelligence technology) to provide responses to its customers with various tasks. ChatGPT was developed in November 2022 and is becoming the fastest downloaded application ever. The app looks similar to a texting app with capabilities beyond any search engine.
How to use it
I initially thought using an AI tool would be super complicated, but using ChatGPT is as easy as finding a ChatGPT application in your application store, downloading it and chatting with the program. There are free versions which allow a limited daily use and an unlimited version for a cost. Once you’ve downloaded the application, begin to use it by typing in specific questions or tasks you may have. Simply type your question or task into the text box and see what answers, engaging information or conversation develops. For instance, a relator could ask ChatGPT to help create a convincing paragraph with specific details of a residence they are selling. A small business owner could use ChatGPT to help make reservations, or schedule an appointment. This is just the beginning and the possibilities feel endless.
What can ChatGPT do?
ChatGPT feels like a little bit of all our favorite technology features rolled into one. It feels like a search engine, personal assistant, editor, research assistant, and sounding board for unbiased information. ChatGPT can do numerous tasks for its user. It’s able to help problemsolve and provide technical solutions. It can help with trip planning by providing the most up to date information about a specific area, finding local restaurants or showing news updates for where you’re going. If you need help with day to day organization it can provide alarms, daily reminders, schedules and learn new skills specific to help its user. Overall ChatGPT is designed to work with individuals who need seamless and up to date information as well as a program that works with different applications.
Benefits to ChatGPT
The benefits of ChatGPT are endless as it can continually change and adapt to meet the users needs for their specific purpose. While people would utilize popular web pages for a search engine, using ChatGPT gives them more up to date information to be as current as possible. It’s free to use and available at any time to help across numerous topics. The fact that the application grows and adapts to the specific user means it has the ability to grow and change as needed for its specific task.
Impacts on Education
As with the introduction of any new technology there are concerns from an academic standpoint. With a flood of information comes benefits as well as concerns. The main concern coming from the academic community is the idea that students will use ChatGPT to create and turn in work that is not their own. This reminds me of when students first began writing using the internet many people had similar concerns. It is important to view and think of ChatGPT as a tool for academic writing and not a means of academic writing. Think of it as a new search engine that will assist with researching, not creating. When using any type of online resource as a parent and or educator it is important to make sure to emphasize the importance for educational ethics when writing and maintaining that students need to create their own work.
There’s always some worry with any new type of technology. I like to look at what positives will come from something new to help advance our learning and provide new ways to complete daily tasks or specific job functions. Do yourself a favor and try it out and learn something new.
Jessica Stallings MA Ed. is a veteran teacher and tech writer. She is a National Board Certified Educator who values teaching the whole child and enjoys working with learners of all ages. Her favorite thing as an educator is to watch how technology motivates all different types of learners of varying ability levels. She hopes to empower learners and families to use technology to help connect them to and learn more about the beautiful world we live in. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she loves to spend time on the North Carolina coast with her family and dog, Fletcher.