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Know It All: ChatGPT in the classroom (Rebroadcast)

Teachers are seen behind a laptop during a workshop on ChatGpt bot organised for by the School Media Service (SEM) of the Public education of the Swiss canton of Geneva.
Teachers are seen behind a laptop during a workshop on ChatGpt bot organised for by the School Media Service (SEM) of the Public education of the Swiss canton of Geneva.

ChatGPT is incredibly popular online, boasting more than 100 million monthly active users within just two months of its launch last November. It took Instagram two and a half years to reach that number.   

The program is powered by a language model that is programmed to produce human dialogue. Users can feed it a prompt, and ChatGPT will predict how it should respond.

This makes teachers nervous. Concerns about plagiarism among teachers have motivated the Los Angeles Unified School District and New York City Public Schools to ban its use. Educators are concerned the application will fundamentally change how writing is taught and will impact students’ abilities to craft ideas on their own.

Daniel Herman is a teacher at Maybeck High School in the Bay Area. He detailed his concerns in an essay in The Atlantic.

If you’re looking for historical analogues, this would be like the printing press, the steam drill, and the light bulb having a baby, and that baby having access to the entire corpus of human knowledge and understanding. My life—and the lives of thousands of other teachers and professors, tutors and administrators—is about to drastically change.

Other teachers are getting creative with the technology. Kelly Gibson, an English teacher in rural Oregon, is having her students analyze essays written by ChatGPT and find ways that they can be improved.

We assemble a panel of guests to discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on our schools. It’s part of our series Know It All: 1A and WIRED’s Guide to AI.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Avery Jessa Chapnick, Chris Remington