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ChatGPT and AI in Education – What is going to be eliminated?

ChatGPT and AI in Education – What is going to be eliminated? What opportunities will be created?


Hey, this is AJ Giuliani, and welcome back to another episode of The Backwards episode.  We’re going to be sharing in this episode just some ideas and thoughts on where we are headed now that artificial intelligence AI has demonstrated that they it really can be useful in assisting all kinds of activities that once you never thought about a computer doing for a human or with a human and the reason

What is chat GPT?

I’m bringing this up because I wrote a thread on Twitter about chat GPT and I’m not sure if you’ve heard about chat GPT but chat GPT is open source it was built by open Ai and open source and available to anyone for free artificial intelligence platform that answers questions answers props follows directions for all kinds of things now this came up in the education sphere and kind of just entire field over the past week or so because you could take an SAT prop or an AP advanced placement test prompt and you can ask that prompt to chat GPT and within seconds it is going to give you a unique response paragraph multi-paragraph multi essays however long you want that to be and it’s going to give that response and each time it gives that response it’s going to be different and what we’ve heard from college professors High School teachers the people

That grade these types of you know high stakes big questions and essays is that most of these responses would score the highest a five now think of what that could be for any type of writing assignment in school things that you take home essays that you have to develop not only are you going to be able to have help right giving you ideas generating content that maybe you tweak but also it could fully develop an essay writing prompt and answer to any type of assignment that you may have it’s long been able to summarize the content and apply what the summer is to an answer but now it’s kind of taking that a step further and it’s getting better and better and so there’s an article written inside higher ed there’s an article written in the New York Times about it it has surpassed a million users in just 10 days you know for example that took Instagram two years to surpass a million users it took Snapchat a full year to surpass a million users and here we are chat GPT with a million plus users I can’t imagine what it is right now when you’re listening or watching this and so as someone who is a former English teacher and a current writer and blogger an author an entrepreneur or somebody who’s doing a lot of this creative work you know this really hits home um and we’ve seen it happen in other fields right


I remember when photomath came out and you could take your phone and you could hover it over a math problem in a textbook or written down and it would immediately on your phone show you the steps of the problem and the answer I remember the first time I demonstrated that showed that to Math teachers it was a lot like the first time I showed chat GPT to a group of social studies and English teachers to a group of elementary teachers and a group of Administrators kind of shock and awe and it makes you rethink and re-evaluate um what our role is in education right because it’s exploding onto the scene we don’t know how many students are using it but something like this a tool like this is Wildfire right and the thing is I’ve explored and used it a bunch now


I can answer the same prompt in a hundred different ways and so there’s no real way up for us to see if it was plagiarism or to just see if it was assisted right you get a prompt and you change a little bit and make it your own so you know writing assignments and assessments for a long time I believe that they kind of held Higher Ground over multiple choice quizzes and tests because you cannot guess and how to demonstrate understanding not any longer when photomath came on the scene one of the ways that Math teachers at the school


I was working with combated that they stopped giving traditional homework because they knew if the students did a traditional homework assignment they could use any of these tools to answer the questions and get the steps it was kind of pointless to give traditional homework and they changed a lot of their assignments to be screencasts and videos just like this or like the ones on Khan Academy where students would talk through the steps how they got it what their thinking was and how they got to an answer and so instead of doing 20 problems maybe they only do two or three and they would share a video it took longer to grade for the teacher it took longer to do for the students but you knew there was some validity there even if they had gotten the answers in the steps they at least had to talk through that process we’re going to see this happening now with writing assignments and a lot of different things both at higher ed

I think about all of the college programs where so much of the work is done online outside of the course and how this one tool can be used for discussion board answers and prompts short answers um group projects interaction and collaborative pieces research and there are so many different types of things it can be used for that typically in college we do outside of the class the same thing can be said for high school and middle school anything that is done outside of the class is going to have an issue here right that’s going to be an issue and for me um and for me the way I see this impacting education is a lot more than just student assignments um you know if we stick with the students for a second we could think about that if the only reason students have in your class or a course and this could be K-12 and higher ed students the only reason they have to do something um is a grade or some type of other compliance-based reason then, of course, why wouldn’t they use chat GPT right but it also can be used for plenty of other things it could be used for teachers writing lesson plans I I see you all the time we have conversations online about oh do

I really have to spend all this time writing the lesson plan and then upload it for administrators to check on me like it’s ridiculous and I firmly believe that that’s a completely extra heavy burden to put on a teacher who probably has a lesson structure that they’ve used or planning to use but to ask them to write these big long lesson plans kind of ridiculous now they can use chat GPT let’s write those lesson plans curriculum writing tends to take hours and hours and hours of time now if it’s assisted with chat GPT it could be much shorter what about administrators doing evaluations and teachers writing recommendation letters I’m just thinking about all the possibilities again not saying that this is ethically right morally correct or any of those types of things just understanding the fact that in the same way, we all want to use a calculator when we’re doing a math problem why will we not use assisted AI that is freely available that you can use on your phone or any internet-connected device to help with this process and it’s not just students right so here is the big Crux of the issue

I have taken a little bit to get here’s the big Crux of our schools and our places of learning which have honestly and we all know this been compliance based for years and years and years and years if they stay compliance-based and students who are currently apathetic don’t care they don’t have a reason to learn and a lot of these compliance-based institutions other than getting a grade if they start to use tools like photomath and chat GPT and they start to succeed and they’re getting grades and there’s this Avalanche of all different types of AI-assisted things that come down the pike which is going to happen then what are schools going to do right I’m just putting that question out there what are schools going to do because for a long time folks like me probably if you’re listening to this episode or YouTube video probably folks like you have advocated that we need to do more project-based learning inquiry-based learning design sprints

You know active Hands-On experiences in schools because it’s relevant meaningful drives curiosity interest passion all these different types of things that create ownership agency and ultimately engagement and empowerment of students but for the longest time it’s just been easier to teach traditionally and to give traditional assessments and to cover curriculum well what if all that goes out the window and none of it is valid anymore all the traditional methods and practices that we’ve had are not valid because students have a way to completely go through those Hoops go through those compliance barriers with tools like chat uh GPT and so many more that are already here or going to be coming and so what’s the next step are we finally going to say we need to focus on a curriculum that’s meaningful and relevant we need to focus on authentic learning experiences or are we going to try and fight back and you know um for me it’s even on the other side for the students that and creatives that want to write right think about people that are doing branding and marketing um content creation ad copy you know people Beyond just doing like schoolwork

Writing blog posts

I think about somebody like me who likes writing blog posts and interacting online and creating content well what if AI can create better content much quicker and faster obviously than I ever could would I not adopt and embrace that as least part of the strategy what are our students and teachers and Educators going to think what are our parents going to think um you know this isn’t some future reality this is right now right this is uh right now and so it’s not meant to fear Monger it’s just a thought process every single one of us should be going through right now especially if you work in schools right I want you to share this podcast to this video and share some of the links below with people that you work with and couch it around the idea of hey there’s probably never been a better time to re-examine our practices and what we do than right now when we think about when tools come along right for a long time we started using technology

I don’t know if you remember this but we used to use this kind of like terminology called sammer right and so a lot of times technology would substitute uh what we were using right so you think about we used to write up on the chalkboard with chalk and then maybe an overhead projector came out and we used to write on the overhead projector but we could reuse those slides over and over again and so that began to augment right and that is the substitutes augment because it made it easier we could keep those slides and put them on the overhead projector right and then you know as we go to the m which modifies it’s and if we go to the m which modifies all of a sudden we are having real modifications to what we are doing so now instead of a chalkboard to an overhead projector now we are having a smart board right and we’re able to write on that multiple people are able to come up and there are all these different types of tools and colors and different types of things that we can add to that now what happens when we take that and we take it into projected content that is shared on you know every single student’s Chromebook or iPad or laptop in the classroom and now that’s a redefinition right that’s a redefinition so that’s the samer kind of you know model but

I feel like at the end of that is an e and that’s for lemonade and oftentimes technology eliminates what we um are normally doing and there have been tons of times where technology has eliminated something uh that people are doing right the majority of folks in the country don’t have to worry about taking care of a horse or anything that goes involved in that to go with Transportation right uh the majority of people in our country don’t have to worry about um you know writing a mail to connect with each other and we can keep going on and on and it’s because of these things and transportation that have eliminated the need for some of the previous Technologies or things that we’re using and so right now you know we have to re-examine those practices the things that we are doing given the current state of advancement and all kinds of things but especially in artificial intelligence should our curriculum look the way that it does function the way that it does in light of the world that we currently live in should our instruction look the way it does function the way it does in light of the situation that we’re in right now should our assessment look the way it does and function the way it does in light of our current reality these are the types of questions that we not only have to be asking but we have to be discussing and we have to be doing it

Beyond just our School silos it’s great to have this conversation within your department it’s great to have the conversation within your school your grade level even your District but we need to be having these conversations on a much wider and broader Spectrum thick of this there’s a student who still knows that to get into a top college you have to get good grades they can go to one private school that is Project-based design based inquiry focused has a high reputation they can go to another school that is the very traditional approach and also has a high reputation which is the easier track all you’re looking to do is compliance and jump through hoops to get to your next stage why would you not go to the traditional track and use things like chat GPT go throughout the process to get your spot and worry about how things are changing there this is the long game that we’re talking about and it’s also impacting our short game right now so as a thought experiment

I want you to think about how many things you do creatively every single day or every single week that could be replaced right now or very shortly by some sort of AI-assisted tool I went through this process and I wrote down about 30 different things that I do on a daily or weekly basis that my time would dramatically reduce if I was using a tool like chat GPT or

I could completely replace the time that I spent doing something because of tools like that did this with a group of teachers and we looked at the process and there were so many ways it could benefit them in the creative work that they do then we did it as an empathy map with their students we listed all the assignments the lessons the tasks that we give students on a daily or weekly basis we said how many of those could be dramatically impacted by AI-assisted technology and the results were staggering and so I want you to be able to do that individually do that with groups talk through it mostly because if we don’t and we just try to kind of stick to what

We’ve always done or we only make little tweaks here or there think we’re going to be fighting back big time with a learner population that is already demonstrated that they’re a little bit apathetic post covid post-pandemic that they’re disengaged and bored with a lot of our current curriculum that we have that engagement levels are at a low and that we are consistently battling the attention problem of interacting with our students if we put all that into a pot we kind of say now we’re adding this AI to do a lot of the work for them that we are putting out there what does that look like right now what does that look like next year three-five years down the road so there are some of the big things that we’re talking about

I believe that right now we’re at one of those moments where technology becomes so useful that we have to talk about it in kind of an everyday conversation type thing you know uh we all remember when cell phones first came out right when they first came out and you just could call people on it right you didn’t get texts there weren’t social media apps and I I feel like the phone was more like a frog boiling in the water that each year got a little bit better than all of a sudden

We’re like how can we get our student’s attention they’re constantly 24 7 interacting with each other on this device that has fully been developed and could get their attention and now we’re just consistently battling with it and it’s led to Nations like France completely Banning cell phones in the classroom and plenty of other people doing the same thing but they still exist there’s still a part of our society our culture of what kids and just humans all of us are using all the time and I think we’re at a place right now where AI has always been assistive right from you know typing a text and having a word be replaced uh to your Google results to all different types of things we know the ads that we get uh on social media platforms because of the things that it’s seen so it’s been a part of our life but now it seems like a million users in just a couple days people are starting to see wow how can I use this for tasks I do at work tasks

The Future of Technology

I do at school things that I get paid for things that I get grades for and what does that look like for me there are many people experimenting with it right now I know I’m sure experienced with it right now I’m kind of looking at how to use it I think you should too we all should have these conversations look at the tool see how we can use them and also what it means to what we are currently doing as always on the backward episode we are talking through these things I have a post up on my website at about this very thing and some other kind of deeper thoughts and links out to all different types of things about chat GPT artificial intelligence and what we’re seeing right now in education fear so hop over to and get some more of that information and would love to see what you were thinking about this you can check with me on Twitter at ajjuliani at learningwithaj on Instagram or pretty much anywhere online I hope to talk with you about this and see how it’s going to impact all of us

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