AI won’t replace me!
With discussions on Chat GPT and AI absolutely everywhere at the moment, I thought I would share an opinion piece on Chat GPT and AI in education; my current thoughts, how I use it and what I think it means for education.
Chat GPT or any AI will not replace human beings, especially in the field of education where relationships between learners, teachers, and parents are unique and complex. While AI may replace some aspects of education, it cannot replace the teacher’s personality or emotions involved in the learning experience for learners.
As someone who has had many roles in education, I firmly believe that relationships are at the heart of teaching and learning. The unique connections between learners and teachers, teachers and parents, teachers and teachers, and even the relationship between our school communities, cannot be replicated by AI. It is my opinion that Chat GPT or any AI will never replace me or any other educator for that matter.
However, that doesn’t mean AI can’t assist me in some of the things I do. For instance, I’ve found that using Chat GPT has saved me time and energy, allowing me to focus on building meaningful relationships and developing learning experiences that begin to meet the needs of 21st-century learners. One challenge with the changing nature of education is time, and AI can save educators time.
How I use Chat GPT/AI
- One way I use Chat GPT is for finding quick answers to straightforward questions. Instead of going through various search results on Google, I simply ask Chat GPT for help. I don’t trust its answers, I critique the answers and cross-check the answers, but it is quicker to cross reference than start from nothing.
- When I need to bounce ideas around and there is no one I can or should interrupt, I turn to Chat GPT. It’s not able to fully replicate the complex elements of my personality or my learners’ needs, but it helps me brainstorm and come up with new ideas.
- I also use Chat GPT for research purposes. Instead of spending hours searching through Google Scholar or Google Books, I ask Chat GPT to suggest some relevant researchers, authors, books, or articles. This way, I can spend more time reading the ones that are most relevant.
- I have used Chat GPT to help me come up with alternative incorrect answers for multiple-choice quizzes, saving me time and effort. Again, the responses are not always what I need but they pivot me to an idea that gets me going.
- I have also used Chat GPT to quickly jot down a process. While I still review and refine the outline, AI has done the heavy lifting for me and I can shape, change and add to it.
- I use AI to generate images from text. I am often looking for specific images and can spend way too long trying to find what I want, now I can explain what I need and get a pretty reasonable result (Chat GPT has not released this yet so I might delve deeper into the ins and outs of the options in another post).
There are lots of limitations to what AI can do in education, it must also be used with a critical perspective in mind (there are lots of ethical implications related to AI). AI cannot identify the specific social and emotional needs of each learner, or identify the subtle signs of low confidence, bullying, or insecurity. It cannot celebrate our learners’ achievements or provide emotional support and comfort when needed. It quite simply, cannot provide a truly personalised learning journey!
Now that AI is freely available to the public, it is more important than ever for education to shift towards teaching critical thinking, collaboration, problem-solving, health and well-being, emotional intelligence, resilience and adaptability, rather than just knowledge (this has been the case before Chat GPT went viral).
All in all, while AI can never replace the human connections that make education so valuable, it can certainly assist us in some areas, allowing us to focus on what matters most – building relationships and providing meaningful learning experiences that prepare learners for their future.
Fear of change is natural, but trying new technologies can help you do things better and more efficiently while preserving the value of human relationships in education.