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Should we Celebrate ChatGPT or Fear it?

Over the past couple of months, it seems there is no escaping the conversation about ChatGPT. Are our students using it to cheat? Will anyone actually learn anymore? Do we need to ban it from schools? 

Once news of ChatGPT broke, we, at LessonUp, knew this could be used as another amazing tool to help teachers. What if artificial intelligence could be used to generate complete lesson suggestions for teachers? No, computers aren’t perfect and could never replace an actual teacher, but they sure could assist the teacher in creating a lesson for them.  We decided to test it and see if this was something that could work. 

Beta programme begins

At the beginning of February 2023, we received almost 1,000 applications to join the testing phase of our beta programme. Unfortunately, there was only space for 100 teachers to join. Their excitement really encouraged our tech team to keep it going. We continuously received feedback from the teachers about what they liked, disliked, and what we could add to support them in the classroom, during their lessons. This helped us improve the software along the way. 

Lesson Generator goes live

After receiving lots of positive feedback during the 1-month testing period, we decided it was time to go live for all LessonUp users. By entering a learning objective as the prompt, teachers can have a full lesson with up to 20 slides generated in less than 1 minute. These lessons can include notes for teachers, learning phases, a mind map (to activate prior knowledge at the beginning) and an exit ticket plenary. Imagine having a full lesson just by entering a prompt.

It’s truly amazing how fast you can have a complete lesson basis created, however, it’s not perfect. You still need to review it, and remove the information that’s not relevant to your class, or add some images of your choice. You know your students and their learning style better than any chatbot. You know what works during your lessons, and what motivates your students.

Do you already have lessons you like but want to enhance them? You can ‘ask AI’ to generate a quiz or poll based on the information on one or more slides. 

OpenAI cannot replace the teacher

A chatbot or AI generated slides won’t change your interactions with your students. Your role in the classroom will not be radically affected by a chatbot. It will only help reduce your workload, and hopefully, it will inspire and assist you while you are preparing your lessons. Without you, it has no purpose. You know your students and what works to activate and engage them. You also know how to guide them in their journey and help them develop a sense of purpose.

Start a free 30-day trial to give our AI lesson-making assistant a try.

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The author

Thomas Courtley is a former faculty leader and teacher from South East England, with a true passion for human culture and society. For 10 years he worked within the UK educational system, in a variety of teaching roles and, over time, as head of different departments. He worked his way up the ladder with energy and dedication, seizing his chances to implement positive changes within the secondary schools he worked in. During this period of time, he worked in various roles, starting as a trainee and later taking on responsibilities as a literacy and numeracy coordinator, a history teacher, and a geography teacher. With time, he became head of humanities, geography, PSHE and RE. His deliberate choice led him to work in the outer South East London area, primarily in comprehensive schools with a substantial population of Pupil Premium Students. His personal background served as a powerful motivation to teach and connect with students who faced similar socio-economic challenges. Thomas believes that digital tools can support teachers in expressing themselves, engaging students, and promoting equality in the classroom.

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