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Educators Hail AI After Initially Scapegoating It

A burst of recent editorials have criticized AI tools like ChatGPT as a threat to educational goals over concerns that students would abuse the technology. However, educators are beginning to come around to the value of artificial intelligence – not for students, but for the teachers themselves.

Kansas high school teacher Mike Harris said that normally, designing a 16-week drama class that adheres to state standards would take him at least a full workday. He asked ChatGPT to engage the task, however, and he said he had a workable outline in a few minutes. He also used it to break down the class into daily lesson plans. The 10-year veteran drama teacher said, “To me, that’s the wonder of the tool. This is one of those once-in-a-millennia technology changes.”

Experts recommend using caution when applying AI tools to complex tasks, particularly in the field of education, because the technology is still prone to making errors. Still, many educators would rather use their time rigorously fact-checking the output of an AI rather than starting from scratch.

Sarah Alvick is a social studies teacher who says AI is also helpful for teachers having difficulty engaging students with the task of writing. She said, “You’ll have a kid who sits for a whole week, saying, ‘I don’t know what to write about.’” With AI, she tells students to use it “to assist you, not to do it for you.” She is concerned about the loss of critical thinking, but seems to feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Technology constantly brings changes to the way we do things. We need to wisely put it to use as a tool, without it becoming a crutch or a way to avoid hard work.

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