Berkeley, CA — Since ChatGPT was released in 2022, teachers are becoming more and more concerned about the negative impact that AI could have on education. And rightfully so. When students resort to ChatGPT to complete their homework assignments, it takes away an opportunity for learning.
As a student, I can understand that.
But I also see how AI can enhance our learning. Folks can make flashcards from class notes, get feedback on writing and create summaries of long articles for research. But AI platforms can sometimes provide inaccurate information in responses, so use them at your discretion.
Many teachers and institutions are focusing on preventing AI plagiarism. But I think they’re worried about the wrong thing. For me, the broader concern lies in our education system as a whole. I’d like to see our approach to education shift to focus on teaching students to do what AI can’t.
It’s more difficult for AI to perform well in assignments requiring personal reflection, where students create their own framing for research and focus on asking questions, as opposed to answering them in a simplistic way.
This framework can benefit students — making learning more interesting, encouraging curiosity and promoting the extension of learning to the real world.
If high school math tests only tested arithmetic, and people cheated using basic calculators, we would see the issue as a flaw in the testing — not the existence of calculators. And I see every reason to treat AI the same.
While change can be daunting, I’m optimistic about the potential for AI in education. Like it or not, AI is here to stay. So the only thing that students and teachers can control is how it is utilized. With thoughtful guidance, it could be a helpful tool for everyone — instead of something that gets in the way.
Nina Thompson (she/her), is a high school student from Berkeley, CA.
Edited by Amber Ly.