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ChatGPT in Schools: Friend or Foe in Your Child’s Classroom?

In this article, we’ll explore ChatGPT, the pros and cons of using ChatGPT in schools for both students and teachers, and aim to provide insights that will empower parents to actively engage in the conversation about the role of AI in their children’s education.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education, it is no secret that technology is transforming the way our children learn. One such innovation that has become increasingly prevalent in Australian schools is ChatGPT. As parents, it’s natural to be curious and perhaps even a bit cautious about the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in our children’s classrooms.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as learning from experience, reasoning, and problem-solving. These systems aim to mimic human thinking functions, enabling machines to analyse data, recognise patterns, and make informed decisions very quickly.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model designed to engage in interactive and dynamic conversations with humans. It utilises advanced natural language processing techniques to generate human-like text responses based on the input (prompts) it receives.

The rise of ChatGPT in schools:

ChatGPT is now a familiar presence in many classrooms. This AI tool is now being harnessed to enhance traditional teaching and learning methods, offering a range of benefits and, of course, posing certain challenges.

5 ways students can use ChatGPT for school work

Let’s take a look at how ChatGPT can be used by students to help them with their schoolwork.

Personalised Learning Assistance: Students can use ChatGPT to receive personalised learning support tailored to their individual needs. Whether seeking clarification on complex topics, getting assistance with homework, or exploring additional resources, ChatGPT can provide targeted guidance to help students grasp concepts more effectively.

Writing and Research Support: ChatGPT is an excellent tool for enhancing writing and research skills. Students can leverage its language generation capabilities to brainstorm ideas, receive feedback on their writing, or gather information on a variety of subjects. The tool serves as a versatile writing assistant, aiding in the development of well-structured and coherent content.

Language Practice and Enhancement: Language learning becomes more dynamic with ChatGPT. Students studying languages can engage in conversational practice, receive instant feedback on sentence construction, and explore idiomatic expressions. This interactive use of ChatGPT can complement traditional language learning methods, making the process more engaging and immersive.

Creative Writing and Storytelling: ChatGPT is a valuable resource for students interested in creative writing and storytelling. Whether working on English assignments, creating narratives, or exploring imaginative writing prompts, students can use ChatGPT to spark creativity and refine their storytelling skills.

Coding Assistance and Problem Solving: For students delving into programming and coding, ChatGPT can serve as a helpful coding assistant. By providing explanations, suggesting solutions, and offering coding examples, the tool can support students in understanding coding concepts and solving programming challenges. This interactive learning experience can foster a deeper understanding of coding principles.

5 ways teachers can use ChatGPT for teaching

Teacher logging on to ChatGPT for lesson planning
Teacher logging on to ChatGPT for lesson planning

Let’s look at how ChatGPT can be used by teachers to enhance their teaching.

Customised Lesson Plans: Teachers can utilise ChatGPT to generate customised lesson plans tailored to the specific needs and learning styles of their students. By inputting key topics or learning objectives, the AI can assist in creating engaging and differentiated lesson content, supporting a more personalised approach to teaching.

Interactive Classroom Activities: ChatGPT can facilitate interactive classroom activities by generating prompts, questions, or scenarios for students. Teachers can use the AI to spark discussions, encourage critical thinking, and create dynamic learning experiences that actively involve students in the lesson.

Immediate Student Feedback: Teachers can leverage ChatGPT to provide instant feedback on student work. Whether it’s reviewing written assignments, assessing math problems, or evaluating language proficiency, the AI can offer quick insights, allowing teachers to identify areas of strength and areas that may need further attention.

Support for Diverse Learning Styles: With its adaptability, ChatGPT can assist teachers in catering to diverse learning styles within the classroom. By generating supplementary materials, explanations, or alternative examples, the tool supports educators in reaching students with varying needs and preferences.

Professional Development and Resource Creation: Teachers can use ChatGPT to enhance their professional development by generating resources, research summaries, or even assistance with curriculum planning. The AI can assist in staying updated on educational trends, providing insights that can inform teaching practices and contribute to continuous improvement.

Pros and cons of students using ChatGPT

As parents, it’s imperative to stay informed about the integration of ChatGPT in schools. While the technology brings forth exciting opportunities for enhanced learning, it is equally vital to understand and be able to navigate potential challenges thoughtfully. Engaging in a dialogue with educators and school administrators can provide valuable insights, enabling parents to actively contribute to the shaping of their child’s educational experience in the digital age. Some of the pros and cons are:


Personalised Learning Experiences: ChatGPT offers a personalised touch to education, tailoring learning experiences to individual student needs. It adapts to different learning paces, providing additional explanations and resources, and fostering a more tailored and effective learning environment.

24/7 Learning Support: One of the standout advantages is the 24/7 availability of ChatGPT as a virtual tutor. This means students can access learning support beyond regular school hours, allowing for immediate clarification on concepts, assistance with homework, and additional guidance.

Diverse Learning Resources: ChatGPT’s ability to generate diverse learning resources enriches the educational toolbox for both primary and secondary school teachers. From engaging lesson plans to interactive activities, the tool aids educators in creating dynamic and captivating learning experiences.


Privacy Concerns: The integration of ChatGPT raises valid privacy concerns, particularly regarding the storage and handling of sensitive student data. Parents must seek assurances from educational institutions about robust privacy measures to protect their children’s information.

Overreliance on Technology: A potential drawback lies in the risk of overreliance on technology. Striking a balance between the use of ChatGPT and traditional teaching methods is crucial to maintain a holistic approach to education, ensuring students develop critical thinking skills alongside technological proficiency.

Emotional Intelligence Limitations: Despite its capabilities, ChatGPT lacks emotional intelligence. This limitation means it may struggle to address the emotional and social aspects of learning, aspects that are crucial for a well-rounded education.

In conclusion

Determining whether ChatGPT is a friend or foe in your child’s education is nuanced. While it offers substantial benefits, such as personalised learning, 24/7 support, and diverse resources, it is not without challenges, including privacy concerns, the risk of overreliance on technology, and the need for emotional intelligence. Thus, the key lies in a balanced integration, where educators, parents, and students collaboratively navigate the landscape of AI in education, harnessing the advantages while addressing potential drawbacks.

With thoughtful implementation and vigilant oversight, ChatGPT can undoubtedly be a valuable companion in the educational journey, contributing to enhanced learning experiences for our students.

But seeing as ChatGPT wrote this whole article, it would say that, wouldn’t it! 😉

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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