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AI in the Classroom: Fight It or Embrace It?

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AI, short for artificial intelligence, is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. 

 AI involves creating algorithms and models that enable machines or devices to learn from data, reason and then make decisions. 

Tasks, such as answering questions and  writing essays, replicate typical school assignments.

AI has been used for years. The initial ‘boom’ of AI started in the 1950s with the first uses of AI in early computer programming. 

Since late 2022 and the launch of ChatGpt, using AI in the classroom has become more apparent. 

Many teachers advise against using AI programs, especially to complete schoolwork. But with the noticeable uprising in AI usage among students, other teachers, such as English teacher Steven Stary, are working to incorporate the use of AI into their teaching. 

It can do some things really well, like fix your grammar. It can also do some complex tasks pretty fast,” said Mr. Steven Stary about how AI can be beneficial in the classroom. 

Teachers and students are slowly embracing AI as a learning and teaching tool. AI can not only supply ideas for an essay or a lesson but can also write an entire essay or create an entire syllabus. 

AI can help with completing time-consuming jobs such as composing emails, coming up with a topic for an assignment and rewriting assignments. Small tasks can be made easier using AI.

As AI services become more available to not only students but also the general public, it must become evident that they will be used, whether they are advised against or not.

On the other hand, AI is not what it is cut out to be. Most AI assistance is generative, like when you type a sentence on your phone, and it automatically generates the next word based on certain algorithms. 

The temptation of AI is to have it write your whole paper for you, or large parts of your paper, and it’s not very good at that,” said Mr. Stary. 

English teacher Carolyn Brown agreed, saying, “I can tell when a student has used AI for their essay.  Their ‘voice’ and writing style is not there.  And sometimes students write their literary analysis on something we’ve not even talked about in class!”

“Most important to me,” continued Brown, “is the whole idea of honesty.  What is a student saying about himself if he resorts to AI to write his essay. I would hope my students respect me enough to be honest with me and respect themselves enough to believe they’re capable of doing their own work.”

One in four teachers can recognize when a student uses an AI application such as ChatGpt to complete their assignments, according to  the National Education Association. So although using AI to do your schoolwork for you is enticing, it can be recognized.

From a ‘problem solver’ aspect, instead of fighting the usage of AI in the classroom, teachers and students can work together to be educated on how to properly use AI.

 

 

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About the Contributor
Marley Atkinson, Staff Writer
Marley Atkinson is a freshman at NDA. She plays basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse. She spends most of her time working on her skills or with family. She is most interested in writing news and human feature stories or sports-related stories.

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