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ChatGPT!! An Ed-Tech Tool??

ChatGPT is causing quite the kerfuffle, isn't it? I'm sure the majority of you have already heard about this AI platform that can spit out entire essays, analysis, summaries, scripts, dialogue, and a host of other content in a matter of seconds when given a prompt. I'm sure some of you have even given it a whirl. As an educator and instructional designer, I have been waiting for this technological evolutionary moment for years. I remember in 2014 being told of the upcoming AI revolution and could not completely fathom what it would look like in education. I do remember, however, wishing there could be a platform that could grade or provide feedback on my students' essays. And now there is...

I'm not here to debate the pros/cons of ChatGPT and what it may mean for the future of education; I'll do that in the upcoming days as I continue to research and experiment. But I am here to publish the results and reflections of my ChatGPT and other AI queries. Yes, I took it for a spin and had a blast. I cannot believe how easy, how accessible, and how accurate the work is. Here's what I did:

1) I asked ChatGPT to "Create a quote about the change and the future of artificial intelligence in the style of Albert Einstein." You can see the result in the above image. I think the 'quote' is quite appropriate given the content and future of AI.

2) I asked the AI text-to-image app in Canva to create an image of "artificial intelligence in education." You can see the result in the above image.

3) I asked ChatGPT to "Write a 500-word blog post about the use of ChatGPT in the higher education classroom. Use the writing style of Neil Postman." You can read that below. Enjoy. And while you do, I'm off to continue writing my PhD dissertation...

ChatGPT in the Higher Education Classroom

The integration of advanced technology in the classroom is always a contentious topic, and the use of ChatGPT in higher education is no exception. As with any technology, it is important to consider not just the potential benefits, but also the potential drawbacks and how it will shape the way we think and learn.

On the surface, the use of ChatGPT in the classroom appears to offer several advantages. It can provide personalized feedback, facilitate collaborative learning, and even grade assignments. However, it is crucial to question the assumptions behind these benefits. Are we truly providing personalized feedback if it is coming from a machine? Is collaboration being hampered or facilitated by the presence of an artificial intelligence? And is the focus on quick and efficient grading undermining the deeper learning that should be taking place in the classroom?

Furthermore, the use of ChatGPT in the classroom raises questions about the role of the teacher. If a machine can grade assignments, what becomes of the teacher's role as an assessor of student understanding? And if ChatGPT is providing personalized feedback, does that mean the teacher is less valuable or less important? The idea of a machine being able to replace the human element of teaching is not a new one, but it is worth considering in the context of ChatGPT.

Moreover, the use of ChatGPT in higher education also has implications on how we think, learn, and process information. The increasing reliance on automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can lead to the displacement of critical thinking and cognitive processes. The constant stream of information provided by ChatGPT may lead to a lack of attention and context. It may also contribute to a culture of technological determinism, where we start to believe that technology is the solution to every problem.

It is important to note that ChatGPT, as a tool, is not inherently good or bad. The key is in how it is used, and what assumptions and values are guiding its implementation. The integration of ChatGPT in higher education should be done in a thoughtful and deliberate manner. This means asking critical questions about its role, examining its implications, and considering its impact on the way we teach, learn and think.

In conclusion, the use of ChatGPT in higher education has the potential to provide benefits but also raises several important questions. While it may be tempting to believe that ChatGPT can solve all our problems, it is important to remember that technology is just a tool, and it is how we use it that will ultimately shape the way we think, learn and process information. Therefore, it is crucial to be critical and considerate when integrating ChatGPT in the classroom.

Neil Postman - AI bot.


Sandra's Reflections

One thing is for certain: ChatGPT is addictive. I think I must have spent an hour putting in queries. I discovered this tool could have a profound impact on my time and professional responsibilities, for I have found immediate applications for my work in education and instructional design. For better or for worse, I quickly discovered that ChatGPT crafted more articulate assignment parameters than I had and most likely will be using them (with revisions) in assignments I'm posting for my grad students (Prairie - please don't fire me).

Another thought that I have is how powerful this tool is, and I wonder about all the ways it can be used in education. Like the Neil Postman AI bot above said, "It is important to note that ChatGPT, as a tool, is not inherently good or bad. The key is in how it is used, and what assumptions and values are guiding its implementation." I look forward to exploring all the possibilities this platform offers not only to my own professional work but also to students. I also look forward to establishing ethical and moral parameters for implementation and use. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, share some ideas of how you've used ChatGPT in your professional context. I'd love to hear your stories.

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