Empower your ELA teaching journey with AI innovations like CoGrader and ChatGPT. Uncover the steps to implement personalized learning, streamline assessment, and boost engagement in your classroom. Get insights into the practical applications of AI for ELA teachers and navigate ethical considerations for a successful integration into education.
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Most ELA teachers dream of having time to coach students individually. However, that would require a level of attention to each student that is super-human. Reading, grading, and providing actionable feedback for each student every week is not possible. But what if you had an assistant working 24/7 with you?

As new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and LLM algorithms, which power tools like ChatGPT and Bard, continue to emerge, we seem to be inching closer to a new reality. While new technologies often introduce new paradigms, their benefits are undeniable.

AI, now increasingly pertinent in education due to the popularization of tools like ChatGPT, offers possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning experiences. As ELA teachers play a crucial role in developing students’ language skills and fostering creativity, integrating AI in ELA classrooms can offer numerous benefits, such as personalized learning experiences, efficient assessment and grading, and enhanced engagement through interactive tools.

In this blog post, we will briefly overview AI and its importance in education, focusing on how English Language Arts (ELA) teachers can use it in the classroom.

How to use AI for ELA Teachers

Personalized learning for students - using ChatGPT as a writing Coach

Generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, raise ethical concerns in multiple areas. However, they undeniably offer great utility in creating tailored experiences, such as virtual writing coaches, that provide individualized feedback and guidance to students. Using AI, English teachers can employ AI to assist students in improving their writing abilities.

Right now, the best tool to do that is ChatGPT because it’s accessible, and there are free options to tailor the experience with custom instructions.

To use ChatGPT as a personalized writing coach, you can follow these steps:

[student context]

I am a [your student grade] student and want you to act as my personal writing coach. I want you to focus your feedback on the following areas:

[rubric criteria]

  1. Grammar: point out any grammar mistakes that were made, with a description of the error and what is the correct way to write the sentence.
  2. Clarity and Focus: Present a clear central idea early in the essay and focus on proving it.
  3. Development: Use facts, definitions, and information from other sources to support and develop your central idea about the issue or topic.
  4. Organization: Include an engaging introduction and a strong conclusion. Use transitions throughout the essay to make connections clear.
  5. Language and Style: Use specific, interesting language and clear sentence structure to communicate ideas.

It’s important to note that while ChatGPT can provide valuable feedback, it won’t replace the guidance and instruction provided by the English teacher. The teacher’s expertise and feedback are essential in helping students understand and develop their writing skills since AI won’t understand nuance and context.

Efficient assessment and grading - using CoGrader to help you grade

While ChatGPT can help students on demand, you’ll still have to grade and provide feedback on writing. After all, writing can constantly be improved, and the context of each student matters. Being able to provide a fast turnaround is one of the factors that can help them learn faster and become better writers.

CoGrader was built precisely for this purpose: to streamline the grading process and provide feedback faster. It was also built to ensure student data is private while you can still identify them. Finally, any grade and feedback get reviewed by the teacher first.

To achieve that, you can take the following steps:

  1. Log in to CoGrader.

  2. Import your class from Google Classroom.

    • If you’re not using Google Classroom, create your class manually.
  3. Import the assignment you want to grade.

  4. Select a rubric or create your own.

  5. Let CoGrader work for a while.

  6. Review each assignment.

    • Make sure the feedback provided makes sense.
  7. Review the grades and proficiency levels.

  8. Once done, click “Submit Feedback” and return it to the original Google Docs.

If you’re unsatisfied with CoGrader’s feedback, you can tweak the rubric to make it more satisfactory and regrade it. You can also reach out to our team, and we’ll be glad to help out!

Enhanced engagement through interactive tools - Using ChatGPT for new ideas

Although ChatGPT struggles with facts, it’s a great brainstorming partner. English teachers can use AI, such as ChatGPT, to generate new ideas, facilitate discussions, and inspire students to explore different perspectives.

Here are some topic ideas with example prompts for each topic:

  1. Generate New Ideas:

    • Topic: Creating Innovative Solutions
    • Prompt: “Imagine you are tasked with solving a real-world problem. Use ChatGPT to brainstorm three creative and unique solutions.
  2. Facilitate Discussions:

    • Topic: Ethical Dilemmas in Technology
    • Prompt: “Discuss the ethical implications of AI technology in society. Use ChatGPT to explore different perspectives and present arguments for and against its use.”
  3. Explore Different Perspectives:

    • Topic: Cultural Diversity in Literature
    • Prompt: “Explore the importance of cultural diversity in literature. Use ChatGPT to discuss how diverse voices and perspectives contribute to a richer reading experience.

Remember to guide students in critically evaluating the ideas generated by ChatGPT and encourage them to engage in thoughtful discussions.

Practical Applications in the Classroom

AI-driven reading and comprehension tools

AI can assist ELA teachers in enhancing students’ reading and comprehension skills. AI-driven tools can analyze texts, provide vocabulary assistance, and offer personalized reading recommendations based on individual students’ needs and interests.

Writing and grammar correction software

This kind of software has been around for a while, but the improvements in AI technology have made it even more powerful. AI-powered writing and grammar correction software can support students in improving their writing skills, especially when it comes to:

  • Identifying grammar errors
  • Suggest alternative word choices
  • Provide feedback on sentence structure
  • Help students refine their writing compositions

Software like Grammarly integrates with the student workflow and provides feedback instantly.

Interactive storytelling platforms - using ChatGPT to create stories

Writing fiction can be a challenging task, especially for those who are still learning how to write. While ChatGPT may not be proficient in handling real-life facts, it’s excellent at creating imaginative stories. By effectively collaborating with platforms like ChatGPT, students can foster their creativity and develop new ideas that could take them longer to get to.

One helpful approach is for students to discuss their story with ChatGPT as if they were talking to a friend or colleague. Engaging in conversations about plot development, character names, narrative flow, and other aspects can greatly accelerate their progress in the story.

However, it is important to note that we do not want ChatGPT to generate the entire story on behalf of the student. It would be evident if the student did not write the story themselves, either through AI detection software or simply by reading their work over time.

Challenges and Considerations

Ensuring data privacy - Configure ChatGPT to not train using data

When teachers use AI tools with their students, it is crucial to prioritize data privacy. When using ChatGPT, it is essential to configure the data-sharing information properly to ensure that the platform does not collect sensitive information and complies with privacy regulations.

Instructions on how to configure the data-sharing information can be found here.

When using third-party software, it is important to know their privacy policy. For example, in CoGrader, we ensure compliance with COPPA and FERPA, as stated in our privacy policy.

However, each platform will have its own privacy policy, so it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the latest data privacy policies and the rules of your school or district. If you are unsure, please get in touch with the IT department or technologist at your school.

Balancing traditional teaching with AI tools - kids have to learn how to write by themselves

Just like calculators caused a stir in math classes when they were first introduced, AI tools are now having a similar impact in English classrooms. A lesson we can learn from the past is that calculators didn’t disappear, but rather, teachers adapted to their presence. The same should be done with AI tools.

Looking back, the impact of calculators seems obvious. However, when you’re living through it and feeling uncertain about the future, it’s a different story. Embracing these new technologies and learning to incorporate them into your teaching style and approach is challenging but highly beneficial. This is particularly important because students are familiar with these tools and may misuse them if not properly guided.

Just as calculators didn’t eliminate the need to learn math, students will still need to learn how to write despite the existence of AI text generators. The key is to view these tools as aids to help students become better writers rather than substitutes for teachers or practice. After all, AI cannot think or have feelings, so it lacks the necessary context and emotional engagement to be an effective teacher. Ultimately, it is valuable to have a partner who can assist with brainstorming ideas, correcting grammar, and facilitating clear thinking.

There are situations where these tools can be misused, but the same can be said for Wikipedia. Students can copy and paste facts from there. The point is that cheating will always exist, and methods to detect it will continue to evolve, just as plagiarism detectors evolved with internet access and the rise of copy and paste.

A helpful approach is to not think of it as cheating versus not cheating but rather as more AI assistance versus less AI assistance. This way, you can establish boundaries for when it is acceptable to use these tools and when it is not. Students desire this clarity, as they may feel guilty about using these tools and fear they are cheating. This image from Ditch That Textbook illustrates that very well:


Addressing potential biases in AI - Explain biases and hallucinations

New technologies always appear impressive at first, but they also have limitations. Currently, one of the challenges is known as hallucinations. In simple terms, these AI models struggle to distinguish between fact and fiction. They answer questions based on the best possible response, even if it involves fabricating facts.

There have been cases where AI models have generated fictional papers, court cases, and public company numbers. They write with such confidence and eloquence that we forget they are machines.

Another important aspect to consider is biases. Imagine AI models as computer programs that resemble intelligent robots. They learn from information, similar to how we learn from our own experiences. However, these AI models can sometimes exhibit unfair behavior, just like biased individuals.

For example, think about a facial recognition system you may have used. It may work well for some individuals but less effectively for others. It’s like having a friend who always remembers one person’s face but consistently forgets another person’s face. This represents a form of bias in the AI model

This occurs because the AI model is trained using data. The model may favor certain faces over others if the data does not encompass a diverse range of faces. This can result in unfair treatment or missed opportunities for individuals. To address this, we need to utilize a more diverse range of data and ensure that various individuals contribute to creating and improving these AI models.

Does this mean we should refrain from using these tools? Certainly not. However, it’s important to acknowledge their limitations. With this in mind, we can use them for appropriate purposes instead of blindly accepting their output.


The emergence of new technologies can be challenging. We must learn how to use them and integrate them into our practice correctly.

Nevertheless, we believe that by embracing and exploring AI, ELA teachers can harness its capabilities to enhance student learning experiences, foster creativity, and improve language skills.

It is essential to address the ethical implications of using these tools and teach students about them in the classroom. By establishing clear guidelines on the appropriate use of these tools, we can encourage students to take advantage of AI and accelerate their learning.

The potential for AI in ELA classrooms is promising. With careful consideration of challenges and ethical considerations, AI can become a valuable tool in shaping the future of education.