The impact of ChatGPT on education
AI to support students and teachers through the learning process
Since its breakthrough in November 2022, ChatGPT has sparked significant conversations among educators. Some issued worries regarding its use in the classroom, arguing that students may exploit it to cheat on tests and assignments or even that it could undermine teachers’ position as it can provide detailed and helpful feedback.
But what if ChatGPT could support teaching and learning? What now appears as a threat to education may become a resource to innovate the experience of both students and teachers.
ChatGPT: A powerful tool for education
Given education’s increasing propensity toward personalization, ChatGPT may become a valid tool to tailor the curriculum to the learners’ needs while also training future professionals to interact with AI-based technologies.
Although some may still argue its usefulness, it is undeniable that an innovative tool for education should be more than welcomed. For example, current research shows it can solve relevant time-management and workload issues for teachers while providing students with the extra support they need to thrive through their learning path.
So, is there a future for ChatGPT teaching in education? Most likely, the answer is yes.
How ChatGPT is changing the education landscape
Nowadays, students have easy access to the internet through multiple devices, so educators should shift the way they look at technology and learn how to introduce it in their classes wisely.
Questioning how ChatGPT will change the future of education, researchers agree on three main spheres of action: time management, availability, and personalization.
No matter how prepared and capable, human beings cannot process information at the same speed as a computer. It is not necessarily a problem, but when it comes to dealing with a large class or even multiple classes, all teachers understand that it is impossible to be always reactive and on top of every student’s necessity.
Here comes the power of AI, which answers almost every question in seconds, saving time for both learners and educators. Of course, this does not apply to any lesson or class topic, but it can accelerate the solution to more marginal matters that may subtract precious time from the most pressing ones.
Nonetheless, time management can also be challenging in terms of availability: teachers often manage large amounts of students and only have school time to support them. Instead, ChatGPT is available whenever and wherever supporting students requiring more extensive support.
Finally, as much as personalized learning turned out to be pivotal in deepening the learning experience, it is still time and energy-consuming for educators. ChatGPT teaching can provide a learning experience tailored to students’ interests, skill levels, and improvement needs.
Ethical aspects and challenges of integrating ChatGPT in education
Now that we have extensively discussed the benefits of ChatGPT in education, it is time to acknowledge its challenges and potential biases, as they emerge from current studies.
The accuracy of the information provided by ChatGPT depends on the specificity of the question and the program’s ability to understand the precise facts and data the user is looking for.
Where a teacher is aware of the learning context and, therefore, is able to interpret the doubts of students, ChatGPT doesn’t own that kind of empathy. This dynamic may lead to imprecise or incomplete answers that can mislead the learners in their education path.
AI is trained through data collected on the internet. Since human beings produce online content, it presents the same general biases that characterize our society. Therefore, educators must control the use of ChatGPT in education to avoid reinforcing unrepresentative information that may affect learning and teaching negatively.
Threats to critical thinking
A supporting tool to process and obtain information can quickly become a shortcut to our thinking if misused. The key to ChatGPT teaching is understanding that it cannot replace traditional education when it comes to pushing the learner to elaborate and develop their own thoughts through problem-solving and creativity.
ChatGPT’s effects on student learning
How can ChatGPT revolutionize the learning process for students?
At home, where teachers’ guidance is not available, students can count on the support of AI to deepen their understanding of topics they addressed in class. Especially when it comes to STEM subjects, Chat GPT is a valid tool for problem-solving, but it is also a satisfactory training aid to improve writing skills.
ChatGPT can streamline the research process for the widest variety of topics. From the selection of a research matter to the identification of reliable sources, AI is able to condense the features of a search engine in one space.
Students can use ChatGPT to translate, practice their vocabulary, simulate conversations, and look for grammatical explanations.
ChatGPT and its role in teaching
How can teachers use ChatGPT in education?
Keeping students engaged is challenging for all educators, and designing curricula and lessons can take a toll on teachers’ creativity. ChatGPT is able to generate ideas for class activities aligning with specific learning goals and standards.
Teachers can use ChatGPT to review assignments by identifying improvement areas to provide specific feedback on grammar, writing, and thought processes.
ChatGPT analyzes assignments through content, structure, and logic. Even if it may not be reliable for independent grading, it can assess some of the main parameters.
Leveraging ChatGPT for special needs education
Currently, the field of special education has come to significant advancement thanks to technology: AI can further push innovation.
Students with disabilities need individualized learning following their specific necessities and studies show that ChatGPT’s personalization potential can simplify an otherwise time-consuming task for teachers.
Thanks to AI, teachers can now streamline the design of tailored content while receiving detailed data on students’ performances that can help them understand their ever-evolving needs, especially when it comes to struggles with reading comprehension.
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