Finding the Bright Side of A.I. Technology

This past semester I have devoted a lot of time to finding out the myriad ways that A.I. technology can benefit our students.  We hear so much about the negatives in terms of Chat GPT and cheating but what about the amazing things that this kind of technology can do to help our students improve and end up ahead of the tech curve?

The main technology I am focusing on at this time is Chat GPT.  Just a few of the amazing ways I’ve seen this A.I. work for students are as follows;

  • I have seen Chat GPT help my own daughter to understand challenging concepts in math, science, and music theory, in terms that she can understand.  It has also helped her to study for tests by outlining key concepts of different units.  How would we utilize a feature like this?  In Chat GPT you would simply write ‘explain the concept of X in a way that an Xth grader would understand’ or ‘outline the key concepts of a grade X unit on X.’  Chat GPT then takes on the role of tutor when us parents don’t have a strong knowledge of the concepts of children might be studying.
  • One of the most incredible student uses of Chat GPT is that it can give you feedback on your writing.  If you cut and paste your work into Chat GPT and ask for feedback, it can give you valuable insights into your own work.  It essentially has the power to act as your own personal editor.
  • Chat GPT can generate discussion questions for novel studies and literature circles quickly and effortlessly.  It can generate questions for you on any topic under the sun.  This includes study questions that can be used when studying for tests.
  • If you feel out of ideas and stuck for topics, Chat GPT can quickly generate some that could inspire your own work.
  • Chat GPT can create essay and story outlines that would then make it easy for you to fill in the blanks with your own creativity.
  • Chat GPT is easily used in the sciences and can be used to write code, explain and perform complex math, inspire STEM fair ideas, etc…

The uses for this technology are infinite.  The only thing we really want to keep our students away from is using it to write their essays, stories, and speeches completely for them.  The good thing is is that most teachers know the voices of their students and can see when and where students may be cheating.  The Chat GPT cheating detector technology that is currently on the market has been found to be quite ineffective and is being widely discouraged in schools.

Here is a link to the slides version of a workshop I have been running with our students this year that gives an overview of A.I. technology, its uses, and the controversies around it.

Later on into the year, we are going to practice the real-world applications of Chat GPT by using it to generate Public Speaking topic ideas for our middle schoolers, to give us online resource links on our topic that are appropriate for that grade level, an outline for their public speaking speech if needed, and feedback on their finished speeches.  It will be amazing to see how this can all come together in one project.

To outline the effectiveness of Chat GPT in working FOR our students, here is the feedback that I received about the above blog post.  I am shaking my head at just how incredibly valuable this kind of feedback is, and how it was created in a fraction of a second;

Your blog post highlights some positive aspects of Chat GPT in education and showcases its potential benefits for students. Here are some points to consider for improvement:

  1. Specific Examples and Anecdotes: While you mention that Chat GPT has helped your daughter with challenging concepts, providing specific examples or anecdotes can make your blog post more engaging and relatable. Share a particular instance where Chat GPT made a significant impact on her understanding or study process.
  2. Practical Instructions: When discussing how Chat GPT can be utilized, providing more concrete and step-by-step instructions could be helpful. For instance, you mention using it to explain a concept to a certain grade level; consider giving an example with specific instructions on how someone might phrase the request.
  3. Balance of Features: While you emphasize the positive aspects of Chat GPT, acknowledging its limitations or areas where it might not be as effective could add balance to your perspective. This can help readers form a more nuanced understanding of the technology.
  4. Credibility: If possible, consider referencing studies, testimonials, or additional sources that support your observations about Chat GPT’s positive impact on education. This can enhance the credibility of your claims.
  5. Elaborate on Cheating Concerns: It’s good that you address concerns about cheating and highlight the potential issues with Chat GPT cheating detection technology. You might want to elaborate on this point, explaining why it is discouraged and suggesting alternative approaches to ensure academic integrity.
  6. Interactive Elements: Since you mention a workshop and slides, incorporating visual or interactive elements into your blog post could enhance its appeal. Embedding a few key slides or providing interactive content can make your post more engaging and informative.
  7. Conclusion: Consider summarizing your key points in a concluding section to reinforce the positive message about the potential benefits of Chat GPT in education while acknowledging its limitations.

Remember to tailor these suggestions to your writing style and the specific goals of your blog post. Overall, your positive perspective on integrating AI into education is valuable, and providing more details and context can enhance the impact of your message.

Chat GPT told me I needed a strong conclusion to wrap this post up, so I will do my best here.  The mere fact of the existence of the feedback above make this an indispensable tool in the everyday work our students are creating.  If I went back and incorporated the suggestions provided, and I did this every time I write, it would cultivate the continuous improvement of my overall writing.  This is what all of us want for our students but the bandwidth doesn’t always exist to edit and revise each student’s work multiple times.  We can argue that Chat GPT makes it too easy to cheat, but if we don’t become early adopters of this technology, our students will actually be the ones who fall behind and lose out on having the benefits of such personalized and on-demand teaching.

As the world changes to adapt to A.I., some of our rigid ideas about what constitutes originality and creativity will also have to change.  This shift in thinking will impact how we think about teaching and learning when we combine it with the integration of technology in our lives.  Much like when computers arrived on the scene, we need to think realistically about how much can change for the better when we embrace A.I. and consider the benefits it can bring to education, our jobs, and our daily routines.  By remaining open and adaptable, we can support the potential of A.I. to better the future.

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