It has been a few months since my last blog about ‘Navigating the use of ChatGPT in education’, so I thought it might be time to take a deeper dive into the potential of this revolutionary tool, its implications for teachers and students, and how the education sector can adapt to this rapidly evolving technology.
The transformative impact AI is now having on day-to-day tasks is undeniable. But, as educators, our primary focus is on what it means for the future of learning and teaching, and it is this topic I want to explore further in this blog.
Expanding upon its educational potential
Following unprecedented levels of engagement in our first webinar focusing on AI and ChatGPT, we ran two further webinars on the subject. The first, in March, examined ‘Teaching with ChatGPT: Examples of Practice’ and the second, in April, was student focussed, entitled ‘Using Artificial Intelligence in Education: A Student Voice’. With over 2,500 attendees joining us at these two webinars, it was clear that the interest surrounding ChatGPT has not waned since our first discussion, rather it has intensified.
Both webinars brought together innovative ideas and examples of good practice in the use of AI in education from the perspectives of a range of stakeholders. We heard how the application of AI in education goes beyond assessment; it extends into the realms of personalised and adaptive learning, information retrieval, and even the facilitation of collaborative environments. In the face of this transformative wave, educators are finding themselves at a crucial crossroads: to ignore this technology and risk being viewed as outdated or to embrace it and adapt going forward.
The ChatGPT challenge in education
However, the decision to embrace AI tools is not without its challenges. There is no denying the potential this technology holds to enrich learning environments. Yet, there is a need for clear guidelines and procedures to prevent misuse and ensure its alignment with educational goals. The accelerated development of tools such as ChatGPT, Perplexity Bard and Bing can present particular problems for educational institutions, with policy immediately becoming out of date.
As an educational community, we need to address this challenge proactively. This starts with a commitment to understanding this technology, its capabilities, limitations, and potential impacts on students’ learning journeys. This understanding will guide our strategies in integrating these tools into our curricula and teaching practices effectively and ethically.
Creating a culture of collaboration with AI
To aid this understanding, it is essential that we foster a culture of collaboration with AI rather than a culture of competition. In the Digitally Enhanced Education Webinar Series, we have been fortunate to hear from specialists on AI in the field of education, learning from their considerable expertise and facilitating that knowledge transfer across the sector.
It is also important to foster a culture where educators do not fear AI. While AI tools can assist students and staff, they won’t replace human teachers. The emotional intelligence, social connection, and interaction a human teacher offers are irreplaceable elements of education. Therefore, AI should supplement, not substitute, the teacher-student relationship.
As such, we should strive to include AI in our classrooms in ways that enhance and complement human capacities. For example, it can be used to facilitate interesting activities, like engaging in role-play scenarios or creating discussion platforms, making learning more interactive and fun, thereby allowing teachers to dedicate more time to the creative and interpersonal aspects of teaching that AI can’t replicate.
Simulation and role-play: Example prompt
Forward-thinking pedagogy: Teaching with ChatGPT
In teaching with AI, we aim to empower our students to harness the power of tools like ChatGPT responsibly and creatively. It’s about teaching students not only how to use AI but also when and why to use them, instilling in them a nuanced understanding of the ethical, social and professional considerations surrounding AI use.
To address these complexities, the education sector must collaborate and share insights, with this being the core purpose of the Digitally Enhanced Education Webinar Series. At our next webinar, ‘AI in Education: Unleashing Creativity and Collaboration’, we will hear from both staff and students. Please do join us, A collaborative spirit will be key to successfully navigating this new era of AI in education.
To summarise, the integration of ChatGPT into education is a journey filled with excitement and opportunities, but also challenges. As we progress, we must keep our focus on the ultimate goal: enriching our students’ learning experiences and equipping them with the skills they need to navigate a technologically advanced society.