In my recent experiments with Voice ChatGPT during my daily commutes, I've discovered some fascinating insights and practical applications for educators. Before I dig into the nuts and bolts of this experience, here's an overview into of the journey of using this tool for drafting blog posts and planning lessons:
- First, I used the official app from OpenAI on iOS, but they have an official app for Android phones, as well.
- By explaining my blog post requirements to ChatGPT and engaging in a Q&A format, I found this a helpful way to draft content and think deeply about what I wanted to share with you. (Blog post coming, and we’ll see what you think.)
- While the tool worked well with a stable connection, issues arose when the connection was spotty, which led to lost content and the need to restart drafts.
- Using ChatGPT to “interview” me proved effective, but I learned to keep responses brief and focused.
- To avoid confusion, I plan to limit ChatGPT to one question per prompt in future sessions.
- To ensure I don’t lose generated content, I’ve realized that when I’m ready to generate content, I should type requests for compiling posts.
- When I use ChatGPT in lesson planning, ChatGPT adds valuable insights and suggestions for areas where I can add further complexity and integrate with other technology concepts I've taught. I was impressed.
- While sometimes ChatGPT jumped ahead to planning without having the details I wanted to have, I was impressed with its ability to help me draft structured outlines and suggest advanced features. It also helped me think through what I needed to plan, a big part of the planning process, even if I didn't use what I generated with ChatGPT. It felt like a thinking companion.
Now, let's dig into what I've learned from my two days with Voice ChatGPT.
What is Voice with ChatGPT?
First, I have a plus $20/month subscription to ChatGPT. If I want to use a GPT I’ve created with my voice, I make those on my computer. (See last week's post, How to Make Your Own GPT: A Step by Step Guide) However, when I go into the official ChatGPT app on my phone, I can open up all the chats and GPTs from my browser-based account.
Then, as you see in the screenshot above, these headphones are shown on any chat. This means I’m going to enter voice mode.
When I look at my ChatGPT account chats, you can see those that I created and had using my voice with the microphone icon beside them, although ChatGPT lets me go back and forth between voice and typing (and it is necessary, as you'll see later.)
In another post, I’ll write about the GPT I created for my eighth-grade students to plan their travel (with age-appropriate responses).
However, when students use that GPT, the chat goes to the left side with my other chats, but when I open the chat's, it continues using the GPT I created for this task, in this case the TRAVEL Assistant. (Basically, I pass my phone around the room so they can talk to their TRAVEL Assistant about any places I haven't been personally and can't advise them on.) IF you have a ChatGPT plus account, you can test the TRAVEL Assistant at this link.
How I Started Using Voice ChatGPT
So, the new Voice Chat GPT is incredible. I have a 35-minute drive to school and used it today to capture my experiences using Voice ChatGPT in my classroom. There are some nuances for using ChatGPT in this way to draft a blog post, and here’s what I found:
- In the prompt to get started, explain to ChatGPT the blog post you want and how you want it to form questions to ask you. Tell it you’re going to want it to create a blog post and put it together.
- It kept asking me questions, which was fine as long as I had a good connection.
- I could touch my screen and continue the conversation after my connection improved again. That was great.
Where Voice ChatGPT Has Room for Improvement.
One time, it said the servers were too busy. That seemed to result from me giving it too long of a response.
So, as I neared the school, the connection was spotty, but I asked it to draft the post. ChatGPT got halfway through reading a somewhat decent post it compiled with my information, and then I lost connection. So, when it picked back up, I asked it to continue reading.
Oddly, it acted like it had not written anything and started again.
Then, it read me a perfect post — spot on. I liked it. But then, drat, I lost connection again. And although it read me the whole post, when I got to the school and turned off voice, I couldn’t find anything that it crafted AT ALL.
So, I asked it to write another post, but this time, I typed in my request for the post. Oh well, another somewhat mediocre post that I’ll have to work on, but still based on my classroom experiences. Then, I asked it to craft a different angle on the post based on my experiences, which was somewhat good. I’ll be able to tweak and use it.
I’ve learned quite a bit in the three or four drives I’ve been using my voice to communicate with ChatGPT.
My Evaluation of the Results.
- The method of having ChatGPT “interview” me is GREAT.
- I need to answer in small snippets.
- Next time, I’ll ask ChatGPT to pose only one question to me and not two because I got lost in just answering one.
- When I’m ready to have it compile the blog post or paper, I’m going to have to stop driving and type in my request so that I don’t lose what it writes. This is the most significant area where I have a problem using it in this way.
- Capturing my thinking, asking me questions related to my angle (research-based best practices and practical classroom application), and the resultant output means that I’m thinking on my way to and from school.
I will post that link in the blog post I’m creating, but I have a link below for the lesson planning conversation.
So, after this first conversation, I decided to try to discuss my plans for my classroom. Here’s an outline of the conversation, which I’ve linked below.
AP Computer Science. We discussed a plan for AP Computer Science and the next four weeks in this conversation.
PhotoShop Unit for 8th Graders. Then, I moved to discuss a PhotoShop unit for my eighth graders. In this case, I want to use Photoshop’s new generative AI features, so the April 2023 update to ChatGPT’s knowledge limited it from helping me extract that. (But I fully predict it will go there.)
App Development and UX Design for 9th Graders. Then, shifting gears, I wanted to talk about the app development we’re doing in my 9th-grade class. I needed to go into some UX Experience testing and development, which helped draft a bullet-point presentation plan. Then, I wanted to think through the most common mistakes in app development, so I had it talk about common app development issues and how to plan for those proactively. I realized I needed a better structure for planning and tracking the project and ongoing feedback. So, I had it draft headings for a project tracking spreadsheet and then draft the words that go with the assignment I’ll post after the break. I will also integrate more advanced features in formatting the spreadsheet that I probably wouldn’t have considered without the suggestion from ChatGPT.
What Did I think of this experience?
- What I didn’t like: Sometimes, it jumped in to plan lessons without having details. I had to interrupt sometimes.
- It got confused about how long I had to teach and should have asked me more questions.
- I liked that I could touch the screen to interrupt or reconnect.
- Sometimes, when I interrupted it and said something was wrong, it dropped pieces of the conversation. I suspect it gives me the voice output first and then posts to the chat; I wish that were different.
- For a detailed account of my experiences and the full conversation, check out the link: Voice ChatGPT Conversation.
Where It Didn't Work At All
I tried to get Voice ChatGPT to tutor my son on trigonometry. No matter what we did, we could not get it to pause to let him calculate the answer before it responded with the answer. We'll keep working with that one!
My experiences with Voice ChatGPT have me most excited about where this is heading. I wish I had these features several weeks ago when I was temporarily struggling with vision difficulties. Still, I can see how assistants will be created that will unleash a wave of creativity for those who struggle with visual challenges.
As I continue to explore its capabilities, I’m excited not only about its potential but its ability to help me teach better, teach more, and free up time as now the time I travel is used in active, creative thought where ideas are captured and not just forgotten when I slam the car door in the parking lot.
I’d love to hear your VoiceGPT experiences. Please share in the comments below or email me at vicki at coolcatteacher dot com. I’d love to hear from educators like me who are working on ways to use this as an incredible tool!
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