The Power of AI in the Classroom: Why ChatGPT is a Game Changer
Thuy Pham examines AI’s role in the classroom and outlines how this new and useful educational tool could be an asset for younger generations.
Artificial intelligence was once a dreamy possibility painted in uncertainty, but with the release of ChatGPT, people are now forced to acknowledge their relationships with a not-so-human companion ready to enter their lives – and their children’s. Embracing this technology in the classroom at this point is not a choice, it is an inevitability.
According to the Walton Family Foundation’s educational survey of ChatGPT’s use in schools, teachers are using the banned tech more than their students. Compared to the 40% of teachers who use ChatGPT on a weekly basis, students reporting similar habits only amounted to 22%. The fact that the teachers are using ChatGPT more than students proves its efficacy and the undeniable fact that this platform is now a part of our working lives. This is why ChatGPT should be integrated into schools worldwide to further the power of education, give students a more personalized approach to learning, and help teachers innovate.
Although some teachers are using it weekly and 53% anticipate their use increasing as the year progresses, school districts haven’t approved their behavior yet. In Australia, swift action to impose a blanket ban has left only two states from completely banning the tech nationwide: New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmanian public schools have all banned ChatGPT. Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and more in the United States are working to do the same because of its humanlike responses that are hard to detect.
According to teachers though, prohibiting use isn’t even necessary: Only 10% of teachers claimed they’ve caught students using ChatGPT without their permission versus the 38% that encourage pupils to utilise it. School board officials are overreacting with their negative mindsets to technology in the classroom: Teachers (72%) and students (63%) feel that “ChatGPT is just another example of why we can’t keep doing things the old way for schools in the modern world.”
Education is a powerful tool that can transform the trajectory of someone’s life, so why are we purposely sabotaging its outcomes? Education should be uplifted by AI tools like ChatGPT that can revolutionize archaic foundations. Introducing AI into classrooms would bring more resources, improve accessibility, enhance student engagement, increase efficiency, and strengthen student outcomes.
When using AI in the classroom, a wealth of knowledge is at students’ fingertips: online libraries, databases, and more are easily obtainable. Acceptance of AI in the classroom would also give children with disabilities or language barriers tangible solutions like language translation and voice recognition.
With ChatGPT, students are exposed to models they can recreate and improve upon. This tactic is something I already use in my tutoring business when teaching essay writing. Templates allow students to copy structures until they’ve mastered it enough to learn more advanced techniques.
Most importantly, ChatGPT would revitalize an aging curriculum and spark creativity in students who hate current modes of learning. School becomes less monotonous when new ways to learn old concepts are explored. Overreliance on technology is no longer a feasible argument, as computers and AI encourage students to use their creativity and think critically. ChatGPT and AI’s relevance in the educational landscape must be acknowledged and utilized to help students discover new ways to learn. Text produced by ChatGPT, for example, could simply be regarded as another text to compare and contrast against.
Personalised feedback is another aspect that would add to the mental and emotional benefits of AI in the classroom. A teacher’s responsibility to give individualized feedback wouldn’t be such a burden anymore. Machines could initially do the leg work and ease the workload by communicating what each student needs, while at the same time allowing teachers more time to focus on giving students individualized feedback. Teachers who use ChatGPT and AI could complete routine tasks, such as grading and lesson planning more efficiently. A great partnership could result in the creation of a unique tool for the next generation.
Naysayers might mention privacy concerns and possible bias from data sets, but these tools won’t be commonplace in classrooms anytime soon, unless specific schools propose initiatives. In terms of privacy concerns, student data is already in systems vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. Before criticizing ChatGPT use, institutions should clean up their mediocre IT departments first. Even if schools work towards this addition, bureaucracy moves slowly enough that significant improvements will be made in the meantime.
Technology is good in moderation, like anything else. What’s important is strengthening measures for understanding what responsible technology use is. Correct implementation could give every student a higher quality of education and eradicate inconsistencies that result in unequal opportunities. ChatGPT and AI tools give us a reliable framework that doesn’t need days off and can enhance the next generation’s learning experience.
Incorporating ChatGPT and other AI tools in the classroom means embracing the technology we’ll soon be using as often as a calculator. Using ChatCPT, Teachers would shift from being the crutches holding up a slowly crumbling education systems, to being more respected and innovative in their approaches. Children around the world would have access to an expansive learning experience that is in line with modern times.
By Thuy Pham, founder and CEO of Spectrum Tuition, an online educational platform aiming to make high-quality education accessible to every student. Pham has a BA in Teaching and in Arts Linguistics, both from the University of Melbourne.
Photo by Tara Winstead