We are still beginning the journey of using AI in the classroom. Teachers and school leaders can struggle to keep up with AI tools like ChatGPT.
One thing for sure is that it isn’t going away, so it is worth exploring the benefits and ethics of using ChatGPT in schools.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of ChatGPT in education?
There has recently been more research into AI in education. One good example is Karthikeyan, 2023 which collated user experiences to ascertain their views.
One of the important themes is that users are experimenting with ChatGPT and using trial and error to discover its potential and limitations. The study has found the following:
Advantages of ChatGPT in Schools
- It could potentially increase pupil engagement.
- Round-the-clock availability for school and home learning
- Personalised content to meet individual needs.
- It provides answers to questions.
- Scaleable for whole class and school use.
Disadvantages of ChatGPT in Schools
- Answers may be factually incorrect, especially as the AI may not understand the context.
- The app works with information already supplied. It cannot be relied upon to provide or develop up-to-date, accurate knowledge.
- It cannot replace the emotional intelligence of a teacher.
- Data supplied during development may be biased or inaccurate.
- There are legitimate concerns over data privacy.
- There are ethical considerations over plagiarism and student assessments.
What should you consider when considering ChatGPT for the classroom?
Teachers must consider how they can integrate AI tools like ChatGPT in the classroom. The aim should be for the tools to complement traditional teaching and enhance learning.
As AI evolves, it is sensible for school leaders to develop a strategic plan to use its capabilities to enhance learning. It is difficult for leaders to do this right now as they have so little experience in this kind of technology.
One promising area is for ChatGPT to take over routine tasks to allow teachers to spend more time with pupils and focus on interaction. AI may also play a crucial role in curriculum development and planning.
Basic ChatGPT is free but ongoing access will have a cost. It is vital to ensure that price does not become a barrier that negatively affects those from a disadvantaged background. Decisions should always be made with an attempt to promote equality.
It is impossible to build a strategic plan without considering the ethical implications of AI in education. Data privacy will be essential. Schools must also play a part in understanding the implications of misuse in exams and coursework.
ChatGPT heralds an exciting shift in education. However, it is not without limitations that must be acknowledged to ensure it is used wisely.
As more research is published, school leaders, the government and Ofsted will have more information to enable them to develop strategies and regulations that will ensure students get the most out of AI.
In many ways, the genie has already been let out of the bottle, and whatever your own opinion about AI, its use will be unavoidable. As always in education, using research to inform practice seems the best approach.