As technology continues to rapidly evolve, so too does the way in which it is being used in educational settings. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a popular tool for educators due to its ability to provide personalized instruction and help students learn more efficiently.
In this article, we will explore the current state of AI in education, specifically looking at chat GPT as a case study.
What is ChatGPT and why do we need to know?
Over the past few months, ChatGPT has received plenty of media attention prompting educators to consider its impact on teaching and learning. ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is Open.ai’s artificial intelligence chatbot that uses natural language processing to respond to user-generated prompts.
In other words, you can ask it a question, or give it a command (like Write a script for a mint commercial using the voice of Ryan Reynolds ) and it produces text for you.
Despite the sudden spotlight on artificial intelligence after ChatGPT’s launch, many AI tools have increasingly been integrated into society and education in recent years (think Netflix recommendations, customer service chatbots, Alexa, automatic translators, speech-to-text tools, and autofill on email).
Applied Artificial Intelligence has the highest innovation scores of the trends studied on the 2022 McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook. Society’s use of AI is only going to expand from here.
AI tools like ChatGPT could provide ways to personalize learning, improve efficiency, and push us to focus on higher-level thinking. Looking to the future, and in line with BFIS’s Vision for Learning, we will empower students to use AI tools responsibly and effectively.
“We aim to engage and empower our students with the creative and innovative skills and dispositions to solve real-world challenges. Our vision is to enhance students’ chances to do and learn in context and to create space for students to imagine new realities.” (A Vision for Learning 2022-2025).
Schools have a responsibility to not only teach students how to use AI but also how to ensure the ethical use and development of these tools. While we learn how to use them and how to integrate AI into our teaching practices, some worry about plagiarism, how this might change writing instruction, and even how the role of the teacher might change in the future.
It’s important to remember that AI will not replace the empathy, human ingenuity, and creativity of teachers and that we too are learners. We will learn to use these tools too and we will adapt.
“Just like we did with the calculator, Wikipedia and Google searches, students and teachers will find productive, meaningful ways to use this new technology for teaching and learning,” (Ditch That Textbook).
An Analysis of ChatGPT with an Education Lens
ChatGPT is a time saver, text producer, and summarizing tool. It provides ideas and inspiration and enhances creativity. Writing with AI assistance can be a unique learning experience if the writer is evaluating, revising, and using AI as an assistant.
ChatGPT has limited knowledge of world events past 2021 and sometimes fabricates incorrect or biased responses. If you look at the terms and conditions, you’ll see that ChatGPT now has a minimum age limit of 18 years old so students should not be using it directly, though it is fine for teachers to demonstrate or share ChatGPT-generated responses.
There is limited access during certain hours due to high use.
Media attention surrounding ChatGPT has prompted the release of other AI tools and led to increased awareness of the AI we are already using. This excitement is an excellent impetus to learn about and explore AI in our learning community.
AI reopens several debates around copyright, creativity, culture and public domain, bias, and art – important concepts for students to consider.
It prompts educators to teach new skills like Prompt Engineering, how to evaluate AI-produced text and ideas with a critical lens, and prepare students for the future by empowering them to use AI now. Students will develop an understanding of what sets us apart as humans and when to use and not use AI.
There is a fear that students will plagiarize and a threat would be teachers returning to solely in-class on-demand writing. Additionally, as AI tools are rapidly released for testing, it is important to evaluate them as we do with all educational technology tools to ensure they are suitable for student use.
Recent news about Bing’s AI tool, for example, highlighted potential dangers and misuse of AI tools. It is important not to anthropomorphize text-generative AI tools and to know instead that they perform complex mathematical operations on the words to generate sentences that make sense to us.
How do AI tools impact authenticity and academic integrity?
The production of authentic work is one of the pillars of education at BFIS and in the wider world, and this has not changed. As stated in our Academic Integrity Policy, “In the world of academics, being honest means producing schoolwork that is authentically your own, while also acknowledging the contributions and ideas of others” (BFIS MSHS Academic Integrity Policy).
This holds with artificial intelligence tools, especially in consideration of academic integrity and producing authentic work. Teachers are encouraged to talk with students about the ethical and appropriate use of AI including how they can use it to support learning.
There are great questions to prompt discussion on the If you USEME-AI infographic from Steven Taylor at WAB. The International Baccalaureate has just stated that AI tools can be used by IB students. On applicable assignments, the use of AI should be cited and or acknowledged.
Just as with outside tutors, the use of AI should not significantly impact the representation of these skills. BFIS will send out a citation guide soon.
It is possible to detect AI-produced text using programs like GPT-2 Output Detector or GPTrue; however, there are workarounds for AI detection. This could also incorrectly classify student writing as AI produced if the student uses high probability words or simple sentence structure (for example those learning a second or third language, or those still developing writing skills.)
Therefore it’s important for teachers not to rely completely on AI detection tools. Just as students should be critical of AI-produced text, teachers should be critical of AI tools meant to assess writing.
Ways to use ChatGPT (and other AI tools)
We encourage teachers to test the waters! We believe that AI tools should be tested and considered for use to improve efficiency and creativity.
- Explore the idea of prompt engineering and how being able to write simple, succinct directions for AI is a useful skill. Here are some prompts to get you started.
- Think critically about AI-generated text. Compare and contrast it to human-generated writing.
- Use ChatGPT as an assistant. Draft emails, generate discussion questions, and produce a CSV file that can be uploaded to another ed tech tool. Check out this example of using ChatGPT to create a Gimkit.
- Make use of collaborative learning and discussions. “When students discuss, they do so from their own working and long-term memory. Sure, they can look up quick answers, but to carry on a conversation, most of the work comes from their own thinking,” (Ditch That Textbook).
- Create higher-order tasks that require critical thinking and creativity, which AI is not yet skilled at, such as infographics, photo essays, sketch noting, stop motion videos, multimedia content or projects integrating art, music and robotics.
- Model how AI can be used as a starting point (inspirational tool), to compare and contrast AI-generated writing with (original) human writing, to rearrange syntax and consider word choice (because AI-generated writing IS human writing mixed conveniently by an algorithm).
- Don’t “overtech” it. Utilize classroom whiteboard walls, chart paper, post-its, maker centred learning. Check out these no-tech formative assessment ideas.
- Focus on process over product.
- Evaluate learning objectives for a specific assignment and consider what students should and shouldn’t use a tool like ChatGPT.
Other AI tools and opportunities for use can be found on the BFIS Digital Hub.
Context of Rapid Innovation
This document was created by a team of faculty made up of teachers, leaders, librarians, and members of the technology team from January to February of 2023. We recognize that AI technology is innovating rapidly and we will learn and adapt as it is released. The contents of this document will likely evolve with the technology.
If you USEME AI guide Stephen Taylor
Machines can craft essays. How should writing be taught now? Inside Higher Ed
Sentient Syllabus Project Boris Steipe
Chatgpt, Chatbots And Artificial Intelligence In Education Ditch That Textbook
Article written by Jillian Zappia, BFIS Tech Coach and Claudia Blanc, BFIS IT and Ed Tech Administrator
Collaborators: Lila Jorge, BFIS Associate Head of School; David Cevoli, BFIS MS/HS Librarian and Extended Essay Coordinator; Laura Blair, BFIS IBDP Coordinator; Kelly Zavotka, BFIS HS/IBDP English Teacher.