ChatGPT Guide (2023): What Parents, Educators, & Students Need to Know

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April 24, 2023

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What parents, teachers, & students will learn in this course

  • How are students using ChatGPT as a tutor and research assistant?
  • What is a ChatGPT prompt and how can you refine it to get the information you need?
  • How should you verify information given to you by ChatGPT?
  • Is ChatGPT going to change some career fields in the future?

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Learn why parents and educators should care about ChatGPT

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!


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Table of Contents

ChatGPT is a large language model, web-based app launched in 2022 that has quickly risen to mainstream popularity. Within the first two months, ChatGPT gained over 100 million users, drastically faster than TikTok, which took nine months to reach the 100 million user mark.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that can answer questions and provide information on almost any topic. Many students are using this technological innovation as a tutor or to help them refine their writing skills; however, many teachers are concerned that using ChatGPT will lead to cheating or bring up safety issues.

We took a deep dive into the pros and cons of using ChatGPT to help students find the most productive ways to use this tool in a way that will support their education. In this ChatGPT Guide, learn what ChatGPT is and what it can do so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for your family.

Download this worksheet to follow along with the videos.

View the Full Replay of the ChatGPT Live Event

Top Concerns about ChatGPT

  • There are no parental controls, and students can access adult content through ChatGPT. Users must be 13 and have parental permission if they are under 18 but there is no age verification, so it is easy for students to bypass this
  • Cheating is possible using ChatGPT since students may use it to help write papers for example, although teachers are getting more creative and starting to assign projects that cannot be completed using an artificial intelligence language model
  • Information entered into ChatGPT is not private. OpenAI states when you accept ChatGPT terms that they use this information for research purposes, but students should avoid including personal information

What do students think of ChatGPT? (video) 

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

How Does ChatGPT Work?

  • ChatGPT uses a large language model developed by OpenAI that is extremely popular and gained over 100 million users in only two months after it's November 2022 launch
  • ChatGPT is able to quickly generate content using natural language commands, making it easy to generate responses that help support learning, even with a free account
  • ChatGPT is a web-based computer program that can understand and respond to conversational language in order to provide information or have conversations about nearly any subject as well as respond to human feedback

Is ChatGPT Free?

  • It is free to use the ChatGPT research preview. However, there is a paid version that gives you priority access to your OpenAi account, even when the server is overloaded.
  • Students can create a free account using their Google or Microsoft account
  • The paid version is currently $20/month and produces more sophisticated responses than the free version

What is ChatGPT? (For Students, Parents, and Educators) 

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Turning ChatGPT into a Tutor and Learning Assistant (For Students, Educators, & Parents)

(This student-friendly video can be shown in the classroom or at home)

Parent & Educator Tips to Keep Students Safe on ChatGPT (Video)

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

What Experts Say about Navigating ChatGPT?  (Video)

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

"Embracing ChatGPT: Security and Smart Practices" SmartSocial podcast with Guest Sarah Kimmel (Video) 

What is a ChatGPT prompt?

  • ChatGPT uses “prompts,” or text-based instructions, to tell it what kind of information the user wants to receive
  • Users can refine the answers they receive by asking follow-up prompts such as, “Make it more professional” or “Can you give me more information?” since ChatGPT remembers previous requests
  • Prompt engineering is a new term for a field that is made up of people who are experts at creating the perfect prompt to get the best information

Examples of ways students use ChatGPT   

  • ChatGPT can be used as a research assistant (similar to search engines) for students, provided they double-check all information (we recommend students verify the information with at least two valid sources)
  • Brainstorming ideas for essays, project ideas, and more is easy with ChatGPT
  • ChatGPT has dialogue applications in language learning, because the AI chatbot can be used for conversation practice. Tell ChatGPT which language you want to practice and it will generate text that you can respond to in a conversational format
  • ChatGPT can provide spreadsheet formulas, check programming code, and provide grammatical help

What limitations does ChatGPT have?

  • The ChatGPT language model has limited knowledge of events after 2021, so current events will not be taken into account with the answers it gives
  • Specific prompts need to be used in order to generate the detailed result you need
  • It may occasionally output incorrect information. This is called “hallucinating”
  • The written content it creates needs to be edited by a human to organize it and add more emotion to the text

More resources for parents, students, & educators 


There’s no doubt that ChatGPT is likely to change many things going forward. This AI tool has quickly become mainstream and has numerous benefits for students, parents, and educators, as well as professionals working in many different fields. New features are being added all the time, and we will likely see ChatGPT used to create content for many applications in the future.

There are concerns about cheating, privacy, and access to inappropriate content, which parents should be aware of. However, learning how to use ChatGPT in an academically honest way can offer many benefits to students. This technology is still emerging, so staying informed and adapting to the changes ChatGPT and other AI tools bring to education is essential. 

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