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Enhancing Independent Schools: A Guide to Leveraging ChatGPT for Administrators

August 30, 2023 | read
Ravenna Blog Using Ai In Schools

In the dynamic landscape of education, independent schools constantly seek inventive ways to provide high-quality education while balancing resources. One recent innovation that has garnered significant attention is integrating artificial intelligence (AI) tools, such as ChatGPT.  

With an increase in independent school enrollment during the 2021-2022 school year, school administrators can leverage AI tools to continue this trend by making their jobs more efficient and filling gaps. AI can be a valuable resource that allows staff to rebalance workloads and focus on strategic initiatives.  

In this blog post, we’ll explore how administrators can leverage the popular AI tool ChatGPT, as well as tips for establishing the use of AI tools at their schools. 

What is AI and ChatGPT?  

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is the simulation of human intelligence processes by technology. AI tools can perform various activities, such as problem-solving, decision-making, language understanding, speech recognition, visual perception, and creative tasks.  

You may already use AI—think website chatbots or the Apple iPhone Siri voice assistant—which are examples of artificial intelligence at work. While many AI tools are available, one that has gained immense popularity in schools and workplaces is ChatGPT.  

ChatGPT, a tool developed by OpenAI, is a language model that can engage in human-like conversations, offer insights, and provide creative ideas. While there are several other AI language models, ChatGPT is one of the largest and most advanced. Currently, users can choose from a free version or a paid monthly subscription with advanced capabilities.  

How Can School Administrators Use ChatGPT?  

Marketing, family communication, and data-driven decision-making play a crucial role in an independent school’s success. Administrators can harness ChatGPT’s capabilities to navigate these challenges effectively. Here are three ways to boost efficiency and enhance communication with ChatGPT. 

Brainstorm Marketing Initiatives to Attract and Retain Families  

Over half of the respondents in the 2022 K-12 Trends report (59%) reported having one or fewer staff members dedicated to marketing. Yet, schools need to maintain ongoing marketing efforts to generate interest and engage existing families.   

Administrators can use ChatGPT to brainstorm campaign themes, messaging, and engagement tactics. Here are just a few of the ways ChatGPT can power your marketing campaigns: 

  • Email Marketing: Incorporate ChatGPT into your email marketing strategy. It can craft personalized emails or subject line options. For example, are you looking to run a marketing campaign that targets potential families? Tell ChatGPT what your campaign is about and have it generate a compelling email series and subject lines to garner engagement. 

Tip: Ravenna can automatically send emails based on triggers through workflow automation, saving you even more time.

  • Social Media: Leverage ChatGPT to generate compelling content that resonates with current and prospective families. Whether it’s sharing exciting announcements, highlighting student achievements, or offering valuable educational insights, ChatGPT can assist in creating posts that capture attention and spark meaningful conversations year-round. 
  • Event Themes and Promotional Materials: Event planning is a time-intensive endeavor—why not use ChatGPT to jump-start the process? Prompt the tool to brainstorm creative fundraising events or recruitment event themes. Then, use ChatGPT to draft promotional emails, social media posts, and website announcements.  

This process can save time, inspire fresh perspectives, and contribute to developing impactful campaigns that resonate with the school community and prospective families.  

Assist with Reports for Informed Decision Making  

Use ChatGPT to connect critical data points and summarize information quickly. First, identify data trends from school software, such as Ravenna. Then, use the key data points to prompt ChatGPT to generate content in a specified format. Whether it’s developing an insightful report introduction that contextualizes the findings, a concise summary that captures the essence of the data, or even brainstorming solutions to address any gaps detected, ChatGPT can help you transform raw data into actionable insights. 

Create Communication Templates for Frequently Asked Questions  

Schools can leverage ChatGPT to streamline communication by creating templates for frequently asked questions (FAQs). Administrators can compile a list of common questions and answers. Then, they can prompt ChatGPT to develop pre-drafted responses that provide accurate and consistent information. These templates can cover a wide range of topics, such as school policies, schedules, events, and resources.  

For all communication, ChatGPT should be a starting point—drafts should be reviewed and edited to ensure the language sounds approachable, provides the correct information, and adheres to school guidelines. This approach enhances communication efficiency and empowers staff to promptly address common queries, freeing up time for more personalized interactions.  

Tips for Using AI Tools for School Administrators

With any new technology comes uncertainty about when, why, and how to use it. Here are three strategies school administrators can use to set the stage for success.   

Set Guidelines  

Staff, students, and families will look to school administrators to define acceptable uses of AI tools. By proactively setting expectations, administrators can avoid confusion and the misuse of AI-powered tools. When creating guidelines, administrators may consider including guidelines about the following: 

  • A list of AI tools that may be used and appropriate functions 
  • Security best practices when using AI tools on school computers 
  • Consequences for misuse 
  • A point of contact for any questions 

Creating guidelines establishes AI as a tool for support and enhancement rather than a replacement for human interaction. Through their leadership, administrators can ensure AI tools align with the values of the educational community and foster an innovative environment.  

Provide Resources 

New technology can be confusing! In addition to guidelines, administrators may consider compiling a resource bank staff can reference to learn how to use AI tools effectively. Types of resources that can be helpful include video demonstrations, best practices, and examples of prompts that can be used with ChatGPT.  

Host Regular Discussions 

Since AI tools are evolving rapidly, school administrators may consider planning regular sessions—training sessions, discussion sessions, or even a dedicated AI committee—to ensure the most recent AI updates are accounted for. Regular training and awareness sessions for staff and students create a shared understanding of these guidelines, fostering responsible AI usage and contributing to a healthy digital learning environment. 

Continue Your School’s Digital Evolution  

Integrating AI tools is just one way schools can use technology to cultivate efficiency and enrich the experiences of families and staff. Continue learning with the Digital Transformation in K-12 Education Guide, filled with information to streamline admissions, enrollment, and financial aid processes.  

Nina Bernardi

Nina Bernardi

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