Students and teachers are leveraging ChatGPT, but parents could use some help

Now that teachers and administrators alike have embraced AI's capability to enhance learning, parents are witnessing it too. ChatGPT shares 10 ways to communicate with them about students' use of AI.

Artificial intelligence is here to stay, which may not be a surprise to many. Students and teachers alike have slowly embraced its potential to enhance learning. But parents say their knowledge of tools like ChatGPT is lagging compared to their kids. And without parental help, students’ use of AI at home may go unregulated, stoking the original fears expressed by teachers during the early stages of the technology.

New polling from the nonprofit Common Sense reveals that only 30% of parents have used ChatGPT, compared to nearly 60% of students aged 12-18. Similarly, only 30% of parents have heard “a lot” about ChatGPT.

Some teachers may have issues with this, considering that many students have admitted a reliance on ChatGPT for assignments without their parents or teachers knowing. According to the data, half of students report using it for school, but only 26% of parents are aware their child uses it. Comparably, nearly 40% of students report using it without their teacher’s permission.

However, it’s not an unwelcome statistic. Although AI’s regulation and assessment are still in their early stages, both parents and children believe it’s helpful in helping kids learn. Parents (68%) and students (84%) believe their education systems should invest in AI-powered tools to improve learning.

Supporting parents

Given that many stakeholders in the K12 sphere have embraced ChatGPT in education, parents could use some help from their school systems to get them on board and on track.

For starters, parents are worried their children rely on ChatGPT too much. 82% of parents believe it “has the potential to both greatly benefit the world or cause great harm,” the survey reads. Furthermore, both parents and students (66%) see schoolchildren’s dependence on it as a major concern.

“In open-ended responses about their biggest concern with ChatGPT, parents were nearly twice as likely to express a concern related to kids becoming too reliant on the program as they were to raise a concern about cheating (their second biggest concern),” the survey reads.

As a result, they feel their school systems should effectively communicate policies and regulations for the tool. 61% believe its use should be limited until safeguards are put in place, including:

  • Establishing rules before ChatGPT is allowed for school assignments.
  • Banning its use during tests.
  • Setting an age limit.

More from DA: Why some schools are wrapping up the school year with cell phone bans

Informing parents about ChatGPT

While administrators and teachers continue to weigh the pros and cons of generative AI in the classroom, it’s important to keep parents and families in the loop too, because they can play an integral role in ensuring their child uses such tools as intended. But how should schools communicate that with parents?

District Administration asked ChatGPT itself, “How can school systems inform and educate parents and families about ChatGPT and how can students use it with integrity?”

Here are 10 steps administrators and educators can take, from ChatGPT itself, on how to keep parents in the know:

  1. Communication: Establish clear channels of communication with parents and families to share information about ChatGPT.
  2. Workshops and Training: Organize workshops or training sessions specifically designed for parents and families to provide them with an understanding of ChatGPT and its potential applications.
  3. Guidelines and Policies: Develop clear guidelines and policies regarding the use of ChatGPT within the school system.
  4. Collaborative Approach: Encourage parents, families, and school staff to work together in educating students about ChatGPT.
  5. Online Safety and Privacy: Emphasize the importance of online safety and privacy when using ChatGPT.
  6. Continuous Monitoring: Establish mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the use of ChatGPT within the school system.
  7. Transparent Communication: Be transparent about the limitations and capabilities of ChatGPT.
  8. Responsible Use Agreement: Implement a responsible use agreement that clearly outlines the expectations and responsibilities of students when using ChatGPT.
  9. Support and Guidance: Ensure that teachers, counselors, and other school staff are well-informed about ChatGPT and its use in the classroom.
  10. Ongoing Dialogue: Foster an ongoing dialogue with parents and families to address any concerns or questions they may have about ChatGPT.
Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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