Adopting Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom

Adopting Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom
Adopting Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom

Generative AI tools can highlight our lack of imagination, and that's where real learning begins.

Especially after the introduction of OpenAI's free ChatGPT program in November, the reaction in the venerable corridors of academia has been more cautious, even if there is a large consumer interest in productive artificial intelligence (AI). There are many problems with academic honesty. There are concerns about the potential for AI-generated content to be biased, inaccurate, and sometimes even outright fake information or "hallucinations."

Houman Harouni, a former elementary and high school teacher who teaches education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says caution is to be expected.

He empathizes with educators who are trying to make sense of a rapidly changing, machine learning-driven environment.

“Technology is creating a shock,” he says. The powerful shock created by the mobile phone seems to be on a scale that even we cannot grasp from time to time.

Harouni spent a lot of time thinking about how advanced technology could affect education, including doing his own experiments in the classroom. When it comes to education, he is convinced that "the tool is part of the message". He considers it very important to encourage college and high school students to interact in virtual worlds.

“Where we want to be is where you dance with it, where you dance with the robots,” he says.

If educators are worried about waltzing with a robot, Harouni has some suggestions:

1) Stop denying its existence.

Harouni adds that educators must “help the new generation face the reality of the world” in order to “help the new generation face the reality of the world and develop the tools and ways to navigate that reality with integrity.” Students are already experimenting with technologies like ChatGPT on their own and are aware they exist, but want training on how to use them properly.

Teacher training and professional development programs should also not ignore productive artificial intelligence.

2) Work with your students and AI

Whenever possible, engage your students face-to-face while using productive AI techniques. Otherwise, have students try the technology at home, record their experiences, and present them to the class. You can even present AI-generated answers to questions during the lesson and encourage students to reflect on them.

3) Show students how to ask questions using the ChatGPT tool.

According to Harouni, “the educator's task is to understand what opportunities are left open outside of technology.”

Teach kids how to do tasks that machines can't. Students should be taught how to ask questions and examine their own questions, frameworks and answers, because unlike robots we can ask ourselves questions.

He recommends that students start with topics and questions they are interested in, and then ask ChatGPT for clarification. The skill is to inspire them to ask more questions from now on. Harouni explains her thesis with a personal story about her 10-year-old stepdaughter and new child. Harouni turned to ChatGPT to help her stepdaughter address her concern about why she was constantly warning her around the baby.

“At this point, as a teacher or a parent, you can get creative and say, 'What are you actually trying to ask? What do you really want to know?

With some patience, ChatGPT produced “lots of answers about baby frailty,” while Harouni helped her stepdaughter learn what she really wanted to know: what she could do safely with a newborn. “You know that your job as a teacher begins the moment [with artificial intelligence] discovery ends with the answer,” he says.

4) Inspire creativity with productive AI tools

According to Harouni, technologies like ChatGPT should actually encourage teachers and professors to reevaluate the projects they give their students. One of the common concerns about productive AI is that students will use it to cheat and skip the difficult task of thinking for themselves.

“You have to stop thinking that when the fundamental tool changes, you can teach exactly the way you used to teach,” he says. Harouni thinks there is a problem with the lesson if students can use ChatGPT or other AI language models to get quick answers.

As he put it, “We should design assignments that push [students] to the point where they have to question what the framework is used here and what it would mean for me to radically change that framework.”

In a recent article, Harouni described how he used ChatGPT to help HGSE students think more critically after presenting a difficult case study with no simple answers. The chatbot's thoughts were no better than the students' original responses. In contrast, he wrote in a joint paper for Wired, “Once ChatGPT gave students their imaginations failing, they were able to start thinking about options that were not easily accessible to them or any automatic language scribbler.”


📩 31/08/2023 16:11