AI in the Classroom: Revolution or Risk for Education?

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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One year on, has artificial intelligence been a classroom game-changer for you?

Exploring the educational landscape where traditional teaching practices coexist with artificial innovations.

Living with ChatGPT for one year

One year ago today, I wrote about the future of education in the context of ChatGPT.

On my travels, I’ve seen more and more teachers discover artificial intelligence, exploring the ethics, risks and opportunities that the technology can offer across education.

I’ve experimented with OpenAI for almost three years now. Over the last year, I’ve published some AI resources, played with countless tools such as Discord, and promoted some that I believe will make a difference to teacher workload. I have even developed my own, building upon tried and tested methods.

Will ChatGPT replace teachers?

I remain sceptical.

I do not believe AI will be the end of humanity, nor do I believe the emerging tools will replace teachers in the classroom. This is not to say that we should not be absent-minded about the potential harm that AI can have globally, but that discussion is not for this blog.

Nevertheless, we should all continue to show some interest in how this technology will evolve as it consumes our everyday lives, and as we get older, our students will grow increasingly familiar with this technology in their day-to-day work, especially in the classroom.

Shaping the future of AI in the classroom

At least in the classroom, we should all actively participate in the discussion around assessment, considering how AI generates content, plagiarism, how to mark assignments or exam papers, and everything else associated with determining what students know.

And here lies the rub. We must teach our young people about the benefits and risks of using artificial intelligence, including knowing how to use the technology, when to attribute its use, and, more importantly, when to avoid using it!

There is an excellent research paper by Hamilton, Wiliam and Hattie (2023): 13 things we can do to minimise the damage, which I’ll return to in a future blog. The research considers global regulations, licensing, copyright, deepfake, content and data protection, to name a few. All of these themes have to be considered in the context of education; even at the time of writing, our government is still playing catch-up.

Whilst teachers unlock academic success for our young people, they should now do so in the context of AI.

I’m going to stick my neck out here and default back to what my heart and head believe matters most. Teachers will continue to be the most influential factor in student learning success in the classroom.

My overarching conclusion? Not everyone is an expert in technology, pedagogy or implementation. It’s worth considering who is sharing what, why and how …

Header image: Created by Dalle-E (I have no idea who owns it!)

5 thoughts on “AI in the Classroom: Revolution or Risk for Education?

  1. In nutshell l will say in everything it has an advantage and disadvantage but the issue of artificial intelligence Will be good at the same time cause harm to individuals.But in terms of imparting knowledge into students the artificial intelligence should be twenty percent and with no artificial intelligence must be eighty percent.

    1. Hi Haadi,
      I suppose the blurry part is when students aren’t aware of what is AI generated or not. Currently, lots of learning takes place in the uncontrolled world of the internet. Interesting times!

  2. This is definitely a developing area with a huge potential to influence how teaching and learning work, not least of which in the areas of assessment, as you point out. I think its interesting how you have been following AI in teaching for some time. Do you feel as if learners are tending towards putting more and more “trust” in AI resources, or is there still an implicit respect for human-generated discourse?

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