All your students are talking about AI, now what?
The Classroom

All your students are talking about AI, now what?

Brian Krause
Apr 3, 2023

ChatGPT is a powerful AI chatbot that has been taking the internet, and education, by storm, leaving many teachers, administrators, and districts confused about how to talk about this new software in the classroom. ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence company whose main mission is to “benefit all of humanity.” It took off like wildfire, gaining over a million unique users in 5 days

Educators are asking: how do I talk about this new technology with my students? Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, ChatGPT is here and AI in education isn’t going away. As students become more curious about this new tech, Newsela can help demystify the world of AI and make historical connections to the present day to create relevancy in the classroom. 

Newsela can help teachers navigate students’ curiosity about ChatGPT and AI while creating opportunities for learning.

1. Build content knowledge about ChatGPT and AI. Discuss AI and ChatGPT safely and create classroom dialogue that empowers students’ to make informed decisions. ChaptGPT isn’t perfect, and it still can’t accomplish everything, but we must prepare our students (and educators) for what’s to come. Show them what it does, here’s a quick overview of what ChatGPT is and how it works. You can also build your students' content knowledge on the many applications of AI with this Text Set and spring them into thinking about how the world is changing around them with the power of AI.  

Build off that background knowledge and dive into how AI has changed medicine with this Text Set or even transportation with this Text Set and hit some of those crucial standards, such as finding the author’s purpose, while students engage with relevant content about the intelligent world around them.

2. Create relevancy by making connections between today and technological advances in the past. If you need to teach the industrial revolution, for example, help students understand the cause and effect of changing technology by drawing on what they know about historical events. Students can explore what the positive and negative effects of the industrial revolution were and draw comparisons between the past and present. 

Ask students what they think were the benefits and downsides of the industrial revolution? Given what they now have learned about ChatGPT and AI, what do they think are the possible consequences of this new technology?  

3. Incorporate digital literacy and citizenship. Moments like these are great times for classroom conversations and can teach our students to be great digital citizens.

For example, Newsela has some great resources on how artificial intelligence has changed the world so far. Check out this High School Text Set on the ethics of artificial intelligence and provide a debate structure for students to have healthy discourse with one another. 

Just as the landscape of AI in classrooms and the world is constantly changing, Newsela is there to help build relevancy, discourse, and content knowledge for students and teachers alike on many emerging areas and issues that aren’t always in a teacher’s back pocket. 

We shouldn’t be afraid of new technology, but we should be thoughtful and vigilant about how we’re bringing these technologies into the classroom – teachers are the conduit to creating student understanding and safety. AI can’t have that relationship. 

For more on how to build content knowledge with your students, watch our webinar!

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