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Utilizing ChatGPT: Six Time-Saving Techniques for Teachers (Professional Development for Teachers)

Updated: Feb 5

"Educators have the opportunity to streamline routine tasks effectively using the artificial intelligence tool."

ChatGPT, an AI chatbot with the remarkable ability to comprehend typed prompts and generate human-like content, has achieved unprecedented growth as a web platform. Over the past few months, I've been evaluating ChatGPT's performance across a wide range of common teacher responsibilities. While it's not flawless, this chatbot has the potential to significantly reduce the daily workload of an average teacher, which often extends to 10 hours and 40 minutes, by automating the initial stages of our most time-consuming professional writing tasks.

In the following sections, I have categorized these tasks into the following groups: planning instruction, preparing handouts and materials, addressing differentiation, handling correspondence, managing assessments, and providing instruction and feedback. Welcome to the era of transformation.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 1: PLANNING INSTRUCTION With its powerful language processing and content generation capabilities, ChatGPT can greatly streamline the planning process when you're working on the following components:

  1. Unit outline: ChatGPT can generate a unit outline that aligns with the Common Core State Standards for any grade level, subject, or timeframe.

  2. Lesson plans: You can ask ChatGPT to draft a lesson plan for a topic like "Westward Expansion," and it will compose assessments, activities, scaffolding, and objectives. You can even request adaptations for problem-based learning or a flipped classroom approach.

  3. Slide shows: When instructed to create a slide show for any topic and grade level, ChatGPT organizes the content logically and can incorporate formative assessment questions if desired.

  4. X-factor instruction: If you need a unique and creative teaching approach, ChatGPT can propose activities like integrating student-created metaphors into original stories presented through visual mediums (e.g., comic strips or storyboards).

  5. Simplified explanations: For complex concepts, you can request ChatGPT to explain them as if to a first-grader. For instance, it provided a straightforward explanation of chloroplasts: "Chloroplasts are like tiny factories inside plant leaves that use sunlight, air, and water to make the plant's food."

  6. Discussion questions: ChatGPT can assist in crafting engaging, higher-order prompts for class discussions on any subject matter.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 2: CREATING MATERIALS AND HANDOUTS

One of the standout features of ChatGPT is its ability to swiftly generate tailored text for educational materials and handouts. It excels in the following tasks:

  1. Crafting instructions outlining cooperative learning roles and expectations.

  2. Generating detailed assignment directions, including grading criteria, format requirements, and task specifics.

  3. Producing solved examples of math problems, chemistry equations, and more, complete with step-by-step explanations.

  4. Constructing prereading or advance organizers by extracting critical, unfamiliar vocabulary from a chapter and listing keywords with definitions.

  5. Offering word problems, such as those involving ratios, with problem statements, solution formulas, and comprehensive explanations.

  6. Composing syllabi with course schedules, late-work policies, and assignment grading descriptions.

  7. Making flashcards containing questions and answers.

  8. Designing posters listing classroom rules, emphasizing the importance of algebra for students' futures, or addressing the most common writing errors in high school, accompanied by brief definitions and examples.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 3: DIFFERENTIATION

For educators seeking differentiation, ChatGPT is versatile and capable of:

  1. Creating choice boards for activities with ease.

  2. Crafting passages, chapters, or book summaries tailored for students requiring additional support.

  3. Functioning as a text compactor to condense readings into more concise versions.

  4. Generating differentiated rubrics for assignments, emphasizing customized expectations and varying levels of challenge.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 4: PROFESSIONAL CORRESPONDENCE

Using ChatGPT, educators can simplify communication with parents, colleagues, and administrators through AI-assisted creation of welcome-to-class letters, newsletter content, volunteer and donation requests, supply lists, grant and field trip proposals, assembly programs, and permission forms.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 5: ASSESSMENT

Teachers can employ ChatGPT to efficiently generate a variety of assessment materials:

  1. Quizzes: Request topic-specific tests with various question formats, based on passages or literary works.

  2. Rubrics: Obtain rubrics for diverse types of student performance, including analytic, holistic, developmental, and rating scale rubrics.

  3. Checklists: Create observation checklists to document students' academic, social, emotional, and physical progress.

  4. Cloze tests: Develop Cloze comprehension tests, where words are omitted from passages for students to fill in, testing their understanding of main ideas, vocabulary, and sentence structure.

Create your own Teacher Professional Development CATEGORY 6: WRITING INSTRUCTION AND FEEDBACK

Leveraging ChatGPT, educators can enhance their students' writing skills through a range of tools and features:

  1. Prompt generator: Generate writing prompts for any genre, complete with corresponding rubrics.

  2. Essay improvement: Submit student writing sections for ChatGPT's enhancement suggestions.

  3. Grammar feedback: Direct ChatGPT to define, describe, and provide examples for correcting grammar errors made by students.

While ChatGPT significantly augments our teaching practices and automates routine tasks, it's important to acknowledge its limitations. One notable drawback is that the tool consistently maintains an authoritative tone, even when disseminating inaccurate information, underscoring the need to verify AI-produced content for accuracy and appropriateness before it reaches students. Moreover, ChatGPT's prose can sometimes appear formulaic or robotic, which may not align with the personalized communication required to engage and empower students and stakeholders. Therefore, it's essential to consider ChatGPT's compositions and curricula as initial drafts when used responsibly.

Professional Development for Teachers

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