One of the most powerful benefits of the artificial intelligence ChatGPT is how much time it can save you. And for busy teachers, administrators, and librarians, saving time means a lot. But in order to be more productive with the free tool, it matters how you structure your prompts. Let’s look at how you can make the most of your prompts and look at some great prompts written just for educators.
What Is ChatGPT?
Just in case you don’t know exactly what ChatGPT is, here’s a quick overview. This incredible tool is a language model that is designed to hold a conversation with a person via text entry. You type in a question or command, called a “prompt,” and the AI provides the answer or completes the task. It is able to do this because humans have taught it how to learn and search for answers. It’s completely free, although a more robust and faster version called ChatGPT Plus is available for $20/month.
How to Craft ChatGPT Prompts
The jury is still out on whether students should be actively using ChatGPT right now or not. But adults in schools should definitely be trying it out. I use it daily, and it has saved me many, many hours.
To help craft the most effective prompts, keep these tips in mind:
- Be specific: Provide as much detail as possible about what you’re asking, as well as the context intended for that prompt.
- Use natural language: Write prompts as you would ask a question to another person, using proper grammar and sentence structure.
- Consider tone and style: Write your prompt using the tone and style you desire ChatGPT to use in its response. Or specify what tone you’d like the AI to respond in by adding that to your prompt. For example, ask the AI to write in a lighthearted manner, use a professional tone, add humor to the response, etc.
- Assign a role: One of the best ways to get powerful results is to assign ChatGPT a role. For example, if you ask the question, “Explain the workings of the sun to me,” you will most likely get a response that doesn’t really help you much unless you are an astronomer. Ask the same question like this, and the answer will be something you can actually understand: “Assume the role of a primary teacher. Explain the workings of the sun to a class of seven-year-old students.”
For advanced users, you may also want to format the response in Markdown. This is a powerful language for creating web-ready content, even if you aren’t going to use the answer on the web. Consider this detailed prompt:
“Write a 250-word article on the solar system’s four inner planets. Use markup language and include a heading with a subheading for each planet. Add a table to the conclusion that includes the size of each planet and its distance from the sun.”
What you’ll get back from that specific prompt is something that looks more like an article and includes a handy table.
How Can ChatGPT Help Educators
ChatGPT Prompts for Personal Use:
- “Can you edit and improve my resume and make it a two-page document? Focus it on getting a job as an [instructional technology specialist]. [paste resume]”
- “Suggest some self-care activities for stress relief for busy [educators]. Each one should take no more than five minutes.”
- “I need a new recipe to try. Give me four different savory recipes using chicken breasts, peppers, and onions. At least one of the recipes should be low calorie.”
- “I’ve recently enjoyed watching [shows or movies]. What are some lesser-known shows or movies that are similar in style? Provide a two-sentence synopsis of each.”
- “Write a fun bedtime story for [audience], with them as a main character. Be sure to include [types of elements like dragons or magic or soccer].”
- “I want to get better at [insert skill]. I am a beginner and have no prior experience. Create a 30-day plan for me to learn [insert skill] from scratch.”
- “Ask me questions as if you are the interviewer and I am a candidate for a position as an assistant principal at a middle school. Ask me the questions one at a time and wait for my answer.”
ChatGPT Prompts for Educators:
- “Create a rubric to grade an eighth-grade informational report on the history and culture of the Cherokee tribal nation.”
- “Suggest 10 Chrome extensions for high school students designed to improve productivity while studying.”
- “Create a set of eight practice problems for third-grade students learning beginner algebra. Have the problems start out easy and get harder.”
- “What promotes student engagement? Identify and summarize articles from trusted sources over the past three years that deal with this subject. The summaries should be 200 words or less each.”
- “Create a quiz with five multiple-choice questions that assess [grade four] students’ understanding of [concept being taught].”
- “Create a step-by-step guide to instruct [audience] how to [topic]. Include important tips and tricks.”
- “Brainstorm 10 content ideas related to [topic] that [your audience like ninth grade students] would find interesting and beneficial.”
- “Pretend you are a sixth-grade student. Explain the concept of [insert concept or idea] in simple terms and provide relevant examples of how it can be applied in a real-world situation. Simplify complex terms or concepts.”
- “Give me five fun ways to introduce a lesson on the properties of water to fourth grade students.”
ChatGPT prompts for Administrators:
- “I am interviewing candidates for the role of [insert role]. Create an interview with three rounds that test for the following traits: culture fit, growth mindset, learning ability, and adaptability. Also, create one technical assignment to test their technical ability. Also, add in the answer key for each question so I can evaluate and grade their answers.”
- “Act as an expert career coach. I [explain problem]. Give me a list of five solutions that could potentially fix this problem.”
- “I need some tips on developing an effective cybersecurity strategy that will address the needs of my [school district or organization]. We have a limited budget of [give amount].”
- “Write an email to parents letting them know about the school open house event that is happening on [date] at [time]. Write it to be inviting so that they will want to attend.”
If you want to learn more about using ChatGPT to save time and brain cells, TCEA has a variety of resources:
- AI for Educators Conference – This virtual event on July 27 and recorded for on-demand listening for 30 days will help you to better understand AI’s place in education.
- Lunch and Learn Webinar: “What’s New with Artificial Intelligence and Why Should I Care” on May 31 and on-demand after that (free to any TCEA member).
- All About AI group in the TCEA Community (free to any TCEA member).
- Blogs about AI and ChatGPT (free to anyone)
ChatGPT is in its infancy and will become even more intelligent as it grows and learns. That’s why it’s important to start trying it out now. What prompts will you create today?
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