February 22, 2023, School News

Principal’s Blog Edition 1 2023: Artificial Intelligence (Part 1)

The recent publicity around the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the education sphere has been interesting. Whilst AI has been a part of our digital lives for a while now, the availability and transparency of what ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) can do with respect to teaching and learning is a game changer.

So what is the current situation regarding AI, schools, ChatGPT, assessment, and learning? Who better to inform us than Artificial Intelligence? I asked ChatGPT a number of questions to gain her/his/its view:

Should schools embrace ChatGPT?

“As an AI model, I can be a useful tool for schools, but it is up to individual schools to decide whether to embrace me or not.

Advantages of using ChatGPT in schools include:

    • Access to information: I can provide students and teachers with instant access to a vast amount of information, which can be useful for research and learning purposes.
    • Flexibility: I can be used at any time and from any location, which can be convenient for students and teachers with busy schedules.
    • Improved efficiency: I can automate repetitive tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions, freeing up teachers’ time for more important tasks.
    • Enhanced engagement: I can make learning more engaging and interactive by answering questions and providing real-time feedback.

However, there are also potential disadvantages to consider:

    • Dependence on technology: Students may become overly dependent on technology and may not develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are important for success in life.
    • Limitations: As an AI model, I have limitations and may not always provide accurate or complete answers to questions.
    • Bias: AI models like me can be biased and perpetuate existing social and economic inequalities. It’s important to be mindful of these limitations and take steps to address them.

 Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to embrace ChatGPT in schools should be based on careful consideration of both the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the specific needs and goals of the school and its students.”

Will ChatGPT increase plagiarism?

“The use of ChatGPT and other AI tools can make it easier for students to access information and complete assignments, but it can also increase the risk of plagiarism. Since AI models like me can generate responses based on existing information, students may be tempted to use my answers as their own without proper attribution. This could lead to increased instances of plagiarism and undermine the integrity of their work. It’s important for schools and teachers to educate students about the importance of academic honesty and the consequences of plagiarism. They should also have clear policies in place for using AI tools and explicitly state the expectations for proper citation and attribution.

Additionally, schools can use plagiarism detection tools to identify instances of copied or paraphrased text in students’ assignments. These tools can help to deter plagiarism and promote academic integrity. In conclusion, while AI tools like ChatGPT can provide valuable support for students and teachers, they must be used with caution and in a way that promotes academic honesty and integrity.”

Well, there you have it. Immediately we can see the benefit of ChatGPT and educators have started investigating how to use it to enhance teaching and learning. For the moment, as an age-restricted app, it is not available to students through school networks, but most students will be able to access it out of school. Schools now need to develop their position statement on ChatGPT. A colleague asked his IT department to come up with a school position statement and they went straight to the source, asking ChatGPT:

What is your position on ChatGPT:  

“As a private school, we are always looking for ways to enhance the educational experience for our students. The use of technology has become increasingly prevalent in the classroom, and we recognize the potential benefits it can offer. Emerging technologies, such as ChatGPT, bring new and exciting possibilities to the table. While we acknowledge the potential impact they may have, we also recognize that these technologies are still developing and their full implications are yet to be determined. As such, we approach their integration into our curriculum with caution, carefully considering their benefits and potential drawbacks before making any decisions. We remain open to the possibility of incorporating these technologies in the future, and will continue to closely monitor their evolution and potential impact on education.”

Regards, Principal Paul Sjogren

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