Chat GPT Friend or Foe of Education
By now I am sure that you have heard of CHAT GPT by open ai.
If not go to their website and give it a shot. https://openai.com/
It is a conversational bot that responds to users questions in ways that allow it to search large databases and create well-formed essays, legal briefs, poetry in the form of Shakespeare, computer code, and lyrics.
You can even get chatgpt to write computer programs for you.
Kevin Rose, a New York Times writer said “Chat GPT is, quite simply the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.”
My daughter needed to write a poem on world hunger in the style of Amanda Gorman.
In seconds it wrote a poem that would easily get an A.
Which has schools nervous.
Some in education fear that students will never need to learn how to write an essay.
Daniel Herman writing for the Atlantic worried that CHAT GPT spelled the end of the High School English essay.
Others have declared that the college essay is dead.
The New York city department of Education has blocked access to CHAT CPT.
So is Chat GPT something to be feared? Or is it something to work with?
This tool, like many before it, has the opportunity to revolutionize tasks at work. If your boss asks for you to research a topic, you can do it in seconds. legal contracts, stories, you name it, it can probably write it.
One of the problems with education is that it teaches students how to remember facts over time, rather than creatively developing new ways of thinking about an issue.
In a world where information doubles every 12 hours, memorization quickly loses its value. Memorization is less valuable than critical thinking, or the ability to apply knowledge to solving a problem.
Think about it, you used to memorize a bunch of phone numbers and directions. Now we trust technology to do that for us. You used to have to memorize multiplication tables, and know how to do long division.
And perhaps it’s best to compare Chatgpt to a calculator. So chatgpt could be to English what a calculator is to math.
When I was in school, we had to show our work, we couldn’t use calculators, we couldn’t bring calculators into our exams. Now our kids learn how to use calculators.
Again going back to writing an English paper. When I was in school we would go to the library, look up topics, look at encyclopedias and try to organize that data with our own thoughts and write a paper.
Then came the internet, and rather than going to the library, students search for the topic that the teacher is requesting. They find the sources, evaluate it, and put it in their own words.
Now chatgpt takes it one extra step. If students can get really sophisticated at framing questions, they can get a solid answer or first draft from chat gpt.
Students can spend more time understanding what to do with their knowledge, and how to apply it to the world around them.
ChatGPT only needs to be feared if the education system continues to pursue memorization and standardization rather than knowledge.
The old education model that has students memorize and regurgitate what they hear won’t prepare them for success outside of the classroom.
Used in the right way chatgpt can prepare students to think about issues in new ways, and research new ways to apply that knowledge.
If education can't survive new technologies, then education needs to change to accomodate it.