September 29, 2023

Artificial Intelligence and Education

If you are not familiar with the app ChatGPT, it is an artificial intelligence (AI) application that can pretty much write whatever you need it to. If you need an essay, it can do it. If you need an email written, it can do it. If you need a lesson plan, it can write that too. Although this technology can do amazing things, the question remains, is it doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to our students and their education?

Students can use this AI to write their assignments, their essays, and many other things. Educators like myself are already faced with some students plagiarizing assignments, but this takes things to a whole different level. This AI thinks for them and writes for them. What are the students learning then?

This has sent educators in panic mode in how teachers can embrace AI and still have students learn. Because of the pandemic, some students are struggling because of how much instruction they lost during that time, and if they are now using AI, they aren’t going through the process of learning, which is very important.

As a former high school teacher and now a college English professor, I am still trying to figure out how to not view AI as a threat but more so as a tool to enhance the learning experience for students. I have also been strategic with assignments and doing more in class assignments. I also require students to write an in-class essay within the first two weeks of school to get a feel for their writing style.

I understand why teachers are concerned about AI; I have a list of concerns too. However, the chatbot is here and more companies like Google are creating their own chatbot to compete with ChatGPT. I encourage teachers everywhere to continue what you’re doing. This will not be the last hurdle we experience in education, and I believe that if we can make it through a pandemic, we can make it through anything. I also encourage parents to be involved in their child’s education and be informed and aware of what they’re doing, what they have access to, and how they are learning. I know its easier said than done, but the benefits in the long run are worth it.

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