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  • Writer's pictureZoe Branigan-Pipe

How I Use GPT Chat in Education: A Comprehensive Insight

GPT Chat in Education: A Comprehensive Insight,

By Zoe Branigan-Pipe

1. Higher Education: As a Course Writer and Developer

In my role as a course writer for Brock University, GPT chat has been a pivotal tool in streamlining the creative process. It's not about having AI write the content but rather using it to organize and format my thoughts. I'm often brimming with ideas yet struggle with the initial organization. GPT chat helps me overcome this hurdle.

For instance, when drafting this blog post, I used GPT chat to lay down my thoughts in a raw, unfiltered manner instead of fretting over constant edits and revisions. This approach saves time and allows me to enter a flow state, freeing my mind to focus on creativity rather than structure.

I've been following Anna Mills and her Journey with AI in Education—sharing, learning, discussing, and posting. This is a FANTASTIC crowd-sourced document with hundreds of resources and articles!


AI EduGuide (Beta): AI education assistant providing direct links to resources.



I feel somewhat vulnerable sharing this, but this would be an example of my flow state that I wouldn't usually allow myself to do when writing. I'm a constant stop, go back, and edit kind of writer, and I am painfully slow.

Linking to pertinent resources, like the article "The Impact of Chat GPT on Education: The Good and the Bad" (Digital Learning Institute), enhances my content and provides context. Furthermore, GPT chat's ability to search for and integrate current articles into my work has been invaluable.

Using this tool aids in refining content, rewording, or simplifying complex ideas, especially when integrating specific themes or concepts. An example is using quizzes in courses—not for evaluation but for stimulating thought. I input curriculum sections or policies into GPT chat, and it generates engaging and relevant questions, a highly effective tool for interactive learning.

2. As a Course Instructor

The challenge of teaching online, especially when courses rely heavily on written assignments, is differentiating between students' independent work and AI-assisted output. An assignment that traditionally takes hours could be completed in minutes, raising concerns about the depth of learning.

I've emphasized WAY more video responses than text-based ones to address this. While this requires more time for evaluation, it ensures a richer, more authentic learning experience. Tools like Brightspace and Microsoft Flip have been instrumental in this shift, encouraging students to engage more deeply with the content.

I also discuss ChatGTP and AI tools at the very start of all my courses. I discuss it openly and ask students/participants if they plan to use it and why. I also ask them how they will use it ethically. This also holds students/participants accountable.

3. As a Classroom Teacher

Integrating GPT chat in a classroom needs careful planning and consideration, especially regarding parental perceptions and safety.

Holding information sessions to educate parents about the technology's role in modern learning is crucial.

In my role as a special education teacher, I've found GPT chat particularly beneficial for students with executive function challenges. It helps them organize their thoughts, especially in writing. For example, students struggling to structure their ideas for a story can use GPT chat to create a comprehensive outline, guiding their writing process. This is not just an aid but an essential accommodation, aligning with Universal Design for Learning principles.

Furthermore, GPT chat can facilitate language learning, create custom quizzes, and assist in preparing for standardized tests like the MCAT. My son, for instance, used it to study for his exams, inputting lecture notes for GPT chat to create tailored quizzes.

Enhanced Learning through GPT Chat: A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective

As a classroom teacher, incorporating GPT chat into the learning process has opened up new avenues for teaching and student engagement. Here are several examples and scenarios that illustrate its impact:

Personal Anecdotes and Applications

  1. Game-Based Learning: I've used GPT chat to create chess puzzles and quiz games, making learning fun and encouraging critical thinking. For instance, generating chess scenarios for students to solve enhances their problem-solving skills.

  2. Special Education: In my role as a special education teacher, GPT chat has been instrumental. Students with high aptitude but who struggle with executive functions, like organizing thoughts for writing, benefit significantly. They jot down ideas, and GPT chat helps structure these into coherent outlines. This tool has been a crucial accommodation, facilitating a more inclusive learning environment.

  3. Study Aids and Quizzes: GPT chat is excellent for creating study aids. My son, for example, uses it to prepare for the MCAT. He inputs his lecture notes, and GPT chat generates tailored quizzes, aiding in his study routine.

  4. Language Learning: For students learning a new language, GPT chat can simulate conversation, provide vocabulary exercises, and offer grammar practice, making language learning more interactive and accessible.

Encouraging Teacher Innovation: A List to Spark Ideas

  • Creating interactive and personalized quizzes.

  • Developing role-play scenarios for history or literature classes, or writing drama scripts based on a topic you are studying in class (I love doing this).

  • Generating creative writing prompts.

  • Assisting in the creation of science experiments or math problem sets.

  • Providing simulated real-world scenarios for subjects like economics or social studies.

Ethical Considerations: Students Using GPT Chat for Assignments

Students' use of GPT chat to complete assignments raises important ethical questions. It's essential to distinguish between using the tool as an aid and relying on it to complete the task. 

Here are some examples:

  1. Research and Idea Generation: For a history assignment (or any assignment really), a student could use GPT chat to gather initial ideas or historical context but should then engage in independent research and critical analysis.

  2. Outline and Structure: It is beneficial to use GPT chat to help structure an essay in a writing assignment. However, the core content and critical insights should be the student's own work.

  3. Problem-Solving Skills: In subjects like math, students can use GPT chat to understand problem-solving methods but should apply these methods to solve problems independently.

Is It Okay for Students to Use GPT Chat for Assignments?

The answer lies in how it is used.

If GPT chat is employed to understand, organize thoughts, or gain perspectives, it's a valuable asset.

However, if it's used to substitute for a student's own critical thinking or creativity, it undermines the learning process. It's crucial to foster an environment where GPT chat is seen as a tool for enhancement, not a replacement for student effort and ingenuity.

AI in Education and the Need for System Reform

The integration of AI tools like GPT chat in education is not just about enhancing learning experiences but also about prompting a reevaluation of our educational system.

It's not about replacing the role of teachers but augmenting it, allowing educators to focus more on skill development, critical thinking, and personalized learning.

As AI continues to evolve, it's vital for education leaders and policymakers to recognize its potential and adjust educational priorities accordingly. The goal should be to create an adaptive, inclusive, and forward-thinking educational environment that prepares students not just academically but also for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

 This technology prompts us to reconsider our priorities in education, particularly at the K-12 and university levels.

With AI's capability to handle content knowledge, educators can shift their focus to fostering skills like critical thinking, creativity, social-emotional learning, and practical applications like coding and programming.

The future of education with AI integration may lead to a paradigm shift, where the role of educators evolves from content providers to facilitators of deeper, more meaningful learning experiences. This shift could redefine education, making it more adaptive, inclusive, and aligned with the evolving needs of the 21st-century learner.

ChatGPT plugins

Plugins extend the capabilities of the ChatGPT model, allowing for more specialized and interactive applications. Here’s a quick guide on how to leverage these tools for your teaching needs.

I have used these plugins to create slide shows (Using content for my courses, or quizzes).

Key Plugins for Teachers:

  1. Quiz Generator Plugin: Automatically create quizzes based on your curriculum. Just input the topic, and the plugin generates a set of questions, complete with multiple-choice options and answers.

  2. Language Translation Plugin: This plugin helps break language barriers in your classroom by translating your teaching material or student responses into various languages, making your class more inclusive for non-native speakers.

  3. Historical Events Plugin: Bring history to life! Input a date or a historical period, and this plugin provides a detailed summary, key figures, and significant outcomes, perfect for history lessons.

  4. Science Solver Plugin: Ideal for science teachers, this plugin can solve basic physics, chemistry, or biology problems, explain scientific concepts, or even generate experiment ideas.

How to Use ChatGPT Plugins in Your Classroom:

  1. Select the Right Plugin: Identify the plugin that best suits your teaching needs. Whether it's creating quizzes, translating text, or providing historical insights, there's a plugin for almost every subject.

  2. Integrate with ChatGPT: Once you've chosen your plugin, integrate it with the ChatGPT interface. This process typically involves a simple activation step within the ChatGPT platform.

  3. Input Your Data: Provide the necessary information or questions to the plugin. For example, input the topic or key points you want the quiz to cover if you're using the Quiz Generator.

  4. Generate and Use Content: The plugin will process your input and generate the required content, such as quiz questions, translations, or historical summaries. You can use this content directly in your classroom, either as teaching material, assessments, or interactive activities.

  5. Feedback and Adaptation: Collect feedback from your students on the effectiveness of the material. Based on student responses and learning outcomes, you can tweak your input or try different plugins.

Benefits for Teachers:

  • Saves Time: Automated content generation means more time for interactive teaching.

  • Enhances Engagement: Interactive and diverse content keeps students engaged.

  • Customizable Content: Tailor the material to fit your curriculum and student needs.

  • Accessible Learning: Translation and simplified explanations make learning accessible to all students.


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