A high school maths teacher was determined to face the issue of ChatGPT head-on, believing it better than trying to hide and hope students hadn’t figured out its existence.
Since there is no way to determine if a student used AI or not, they took it upon themselves to teach them how to use it as a “tool” instead of a “crutch.”
The teacher, who teaches remedial classes for 10th and 11th graders in Atlanta, admitted on the r/ChatGPT Subreddit that “we are in uncharted territory” and described it as a “losing battle.” They noted that students would use it with or without permission from their school.
The teacher also felt that it was “unfair” for students who weren’t using it, as those who did have a massive advantage. They compared ChatGPT to the time the calculator came out. It was a situation of “get ahead or get left behind.”
The teacher was adamant about making sure their students were aware of the tool’s limitations, such as incorrect information it may create when dealing with mathematics. They wanted to make sure no student was using it blindly, unaware of its errors.
The teacher believes that any other alternative, such as ignoring it or discouraging its use, would be futile and costly. It was clear that for this teacher, running from the issue was not an option.
The teacher acknowledged that since the Covid pandemic, the school had become a challenging environment, a “war zone,” but they are doing their utmost to handle the situation.
Reactions to the post on Reddit have been mixed.
“Crutch? Bro, I’m using it as full-on bionic legs,” one person commented on the post.
One person received 1,200 likes for their comment. “The challenge is no longer how to crunch an integral… it knows how to solve an actual problem with the tools you have. Bravo for helping the next set of kids learn!”
One person admitted to being a regular user of ChatGPT and that it has simplified their work. “I use ChatGpt in linear algebra, and it’s taught me so much,” they said. “I usually copy-paste what the book says into it, and I’m able to get explanations on the concept that these stripped-down books can’t provide, like steps they took I can’t see.”
Another person noted the pros and cons of ChatGPT, describing it as “probably one of the best inventions for learning in human history.” However, for the rest of society, who are looking for fast and easy solutions to everything, noted: “I am scared thinking about what students are going to look like in 10 years; many of them will be completely reliant on AI for extremely simple tasks and have zero critical thinking skills. We’ll get to the point where young people won’t even know how to write an email without AI helping them.”
While there is no clear answer as to what is the best way to manage this situation, one thing is certain: ChatGPT isn’t going away anytime soon.
This article, High School Teacher Shows Students How To Use ChatGPT, Describing It as a “Losing Battle,” was syndicated and produced by TPR Teaching. Reddit source.
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.