Teachers will benefit from OpenAI’s new ChatGPT updates

Users of the free version of ChatGPT are in for a treat.

Yesterday, the OpenAI Spring Update event marked a major milestone in democratizing access to the most advanced AI technology. I speak to hundreds of teachers every week as I help them integrate AI. Most use the free version of ChatGPT, which uses the older GPT-3.5 AI model.

This is no longer the case, as they now have access to GPT-4 level intelligence, previously only accessible to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. This could have enormous consequences for education, work and global entrepreneurship.

Key announcements

The star of the event was undoubtedly the launch of GPT-4o.

OpenAI has a new flagship AI model. GPT-4o brings the power of GPT-4 to everyone. They also unveiled a new desktop app for ChatGPT with an updated interface for a more intuitive experience.

While some expected OpenAI to take on Google with a new search engine, the company chose to focus on expanding the capabilities and accessibility of its conversational AI.

GPT-4o and its functions

Reflecting its multimodal capabilities across text, voice, and images, the “o” in GPT-4o stands for “omni.”

Ethan Mollick, an associate professor at Wharton, explained on LinkedIn: “The biggest factual implication of today’s OpenAI announcement is very practical: the biggest barrier I see when I lecture about using AI is that people aren’t paying for starting AI, and they use GPT-3.5 (the free model) and are disappointed. Now everyone around the world gets GPT-4 for free.”

Kunal Dalal of the Orange County Department of Education agrees: “The biggest barrier to equity in using the industry-leading AI model is now gone. This is as big as the original ChatGPT announcement in November 2022.”

Christine Stoltz, a teacher at the Baar School in Germany, believes that “free access to ChatGPT-4o for all students…provides greater educational equality.”

GPT-4o boasts impressive features such as native text, voice and image integration for more natural interactions, real-time responsiveness and enhanced non-English capabilities. Paid users get higher limits and early access to new features, while developers can use the API to deploy AI apps at scale.

Safety is also a priority. OpenAI states: “As we bring these technologies to the world, figuring out how to do this in a way that is both useful and secure is a significant challenge. GPT-4o presents new challenges for us when it comes to security , because we’re dealing with real-time audio and real-time vision, and our team has been hard at work figuring out how to build in anti-abuse measures.”

Live demos and use cases

Live demos showcased GPT-4o’s prowess in real-time speech, visual analytics, troubleshooting, code analysis and translation. The model’s emotional awareness and dynamic vocal range were on full display. GPT-4o demonstrated an impressive ability to understand human nuances, respond with wit and humor, and even adjust tone and style upon request.

For teachers, the announcement of free access to GPTs could be a game changer. GPTs are AI agents trained by users to perform specific tasks and were previously only available to paid users. Lone Star College professor Tim Mousel can’t contain his excitement: “The main new feature I’m most excited about is public access to GPTs. GPTs can now be incorporated into the classroom.”

Beyond education, GPT-4o’s natural conversational skills and multimodal understanding could pave the way to becoming the AI ​​assistant we’ve always wanted (or feared). Arriving on iPhone, Android and desktop apps, GPT-4o could bring us closer to the futuristic AI experiences depicted in films like ‘Her’.


Although GPT-4o is already available, the highly anticipated voice and video-based features shown in the demos will be rolled out gradually. OpenAI plans to launch a new version of Voice Mode with GPT-4o in alpha within ChatGPT Plus in the coming weeks, and support for GPT-4o’s audio and video capabilities will initially be limited to a small group of trusted partners.

The ChatGPT apps for iOS, Android, and the recently announced Mac app are also seeing a staggered rollout of GPT-4o. While the Mac app is rolling out to Plus users first, with wider availability in the coming weeks, Windows users will have to wait a little longer, with a planned release later this year.

Implications for education

The implications of GPT-4o for education are profound, especially given the polarizing topic of AI use in school assignments. Matthew Wemyss from the Cambridge School of Bucharest says: “We need to rethink what we teach and how. We need to focus on the knowledge and skills that will help students get the most out of this technology.”

Emma Darcy from Denbigh High School in Britain paints a compelling picture: “If used properly, this could be what true inclusion looks like. A personal tutor for every child. The ability of EAL students to communicate seamlessly together with their peers. enabling visually impaired children to interact and interact with the world around them. AI that can recognize and adapt to emotions for those who are lonely or isolated. The implications for these new technologies are almost frightening because of their size, scope and scale, but we cannot afford not to engage with them – the possibilities are too great.”

OpenAI continues to push the boundaries, as educators and society do their utmost to keep up. The Spring Update event opened the door to a new era of accessible and powerful AI tools that can transform the way we teach, learn, and interact with technology.

The full potential of GPT-4o remains to be seen and its full rollout may take some time, but it is clear that OpenAI is paving the way for a future where AI is more integrated and accessible than ever before.