ChatGPT is already changing education – how might it affect the future of learning?
Elon Musk described ChatGPT as “scary good”, while many claimed its launch would cause the death of Google (before learning the search engine giant had a rival).
ChatGPT has certainly taken the world by storm over the last few months, coming from nowhere to consistently impress its users with its ability to hold informative, human-like conversations and assist in tasks such as email writing and even composing code at great speed.
One way it has already affected the education sector is how quickly students have latched onto it to help them complete their homework. Ask the chatbot to write you an 800-word essay on any given subject, and it will do it with no fuss.
This has led one private school to take the radical step of introducing ‘flipped learning’. Instead of setting homework that tests what you have learned, students at Alleyn’s School in London will instead focus on topics to come, so students turn up to lessons prepared with questions.
So is the way schools teach about to change forever?
Is ChatGPT the end of homework as we know it?
Alleyn school’s headteacher, Jane Lunnon, said: “AI has been around for a while, so to be totally honest, there has been a quiet revolution happening in the nature and purpose of homework for quite a long time. I think what ChatGPT does is it really moves it on super quickly, because of the game-changing nature of the ease of use and the versatility of the software.”
It’s not a knee-jerk reaction to say that teachers need to think fast about what kind of work they are setting their students to do at home. Pupils can have essays written for them in seconds at no financial cost, and this makes a common homework task redundant. Not only does it mean students are really not showing they have learned anything, the information that ChatGPT gives is usually unsubstantiated. You can tell it to give you its sources of information, but more often than not, the legit-looking links it provides don’t work.
Noam Chomsky, the celebrated American scholar, and linguist bemoaned ChatGPT as a tool for plagiarism. He said: “The college essay died years ago. It’s a mug’s game in which a student sends me an electronic file that, when open, spills out a jumble of words that the sender propounds to be a finished paper.”
If how students are taught will change, it surely stands to reason that how they are assessed may change with it. Teaching methods like flipped learning may be more common as a result of ChatGPT’s influence. So if the essay is obsolete in the classroom, why should it be used to judge a pupil’s attainment in school?
Is technology a force for good learning?
While ChatGPT may seem like a threat, it is a useful tool when used correctly. This is true of all technological advancements, and the time is now to invest in applications that truly make a difference in students’ lives.
Flipped learning could change how lessons are taught, with more focus on the consolidation of their knowledge of the topic at hand. But how will teachers truly know that their students are taking everything in?
E-spaces can help with this. Our easy-to-use app gives teachers a simple way to test their students’ engagement in lessons with an interactive assessment tool that not only gives automatic feedback on what has been learned but also stores the collected data to help identify trends in every student’s performance. This gives teachers the ability to personalize each pupil’s learning more to their needs.
BETA testing is about to start. To find out more about how our app can help revolutionize school learning, fill out our contact us form.