Hold on to you beverages #onted. Right now the socials and other mediums are buzzing about ChatGpt
. There’s a lot out there and more being generated everyday.
The interesting thing about all of the content is that all of it is still being generated by humans however as each day passes, much more of that content is being organized and reorganized as new content by artificially intelligent algorithms parsing through the metaverse to organize/curate it all into passable packets of information when the proper prompts are provided.
In some ways ChatGpt is doing for writing what Adobe did for art. It is creating a middle space between cans and can’t yets that was not possible without raw talent and years of relentless practice before.
Now this might seriously upset some higher educational apple carts that have relied on an essay to winnow the wheat from the chaff in evaluating ideas organized by keystrokes, but the days of a long winded, tedious essay are nigh. Plus, this post is targeted to elementary educators. I am really positive that we aren’t still piling all of our assessment eggs into an antiquated basket are we?
Oh the Drama!
Resignedly or not, AI generated work is here to stay in our classrooms, as such you might as well get started using it too. So, this past week, that is exactly what I did. At first I asked it questions related to a text I am sharing with the class to see how the program would generate a response. This also gave me some insight on how vaguery and precision can be used as tools that dictate a desired output. I started to notice that the less information I provided in the prompts, the responses were very much surface level covering a vast scope of possibilities, but each time I refined the search in terms of precise parameters, the responses became, for lack of a better word in this moment, clinical.
I began thinking and asking about how AI could be used to help rather than hinder my students. So what better class than Drama to begin. My goal was to have ChatGpt generate some drama skits. My students love drama and improv, but since we are learning about electricity in science class, it seemed like a good idea to include it into the mix by having them perform from scripts.
First prompt: “write a comedy for 4 performers that is based on electricity, physics, time travel, and renewable energy.
” Within seconds of the prompt, a cast of characters is generated followed by a 2 page skit. I went on to generate 8 scripts in total during my prep time. As I read through them, it became clear that neither Neil Simon, David Mammet, nor Shakespeare were consulted here, but it also gave rise to a cool activity. Here’s what we did next:
In groups, read the scripts, identify the weaknesses in the plotlines and character dialogue, and fix them up. Students took to this right away and ultimately turned a basic and perfunctory script into something they could be proud to present to their peers. I also like the conversations that got started as students noticed the gender bias generated by the AI as most of the scientists, CEOs, political types, and doctors were males across the eight scripts.
Does this mean the internet is sexist? Yes.
Whoa! Math too?
With my creative juices flowing I wanted to see if ChatGpt could help me out in another subject area. Since I rarely use text books or teacher’s guides in class, it seemed like a good idea to seek out a little AI support in writing a Math quiz.
First prompt: “Write a 10 question math quiz with some word problems for grade 6 students who are beginning to learn patterning and algebra
.” Once again, within seconds 10 at level questions that mirrored the lessons I have been sharing over the past week. Imagine the possibilities if we can curate our content specific to each of learners without the burden of paying a text book company for materials that are tantamount to being stored in knowledge coffins?
In some ways ChatGPT is serving several purposes, it definitely forces educators to rethink our forms of assement and the questions we ask students to respond to with respect to content. It also is going to reveal who truly understands the words they are putting their names on. Regurgitation has never equated to competancy or mastery of a subject area. So a bot generated essay will always lack the unique worldview and experience of the individual no matter how may parameters are given. Educators know that application and synthesis of concepts are still the mountains all learners must be able to climb and conquer.
Have fun exploring. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below to keep the conversation going.
Here’s what ChatGPT generated when prompted to explain the positives and pitfalls of the platform.
Prompt: Write a summary paragraph explaining the educational value of ChatGPT .
ChatGPT has educational value as a tool for enhancing language skills and increasing knowledge in a wide range of subjects. It allows users to ask questions and receive quick and accurate answers, helping them to clarify concepts, learn new information and improve their understanding of a subject. Additionally, the conversational nature of the interaction can provide a more engaging and interactive learning experience compared to traditional forms of education. This technology can also be used as a supplement to traditional education, providing students with additional resources and support outside of the classroom.
Prompt: Write a summary paragraph explaining the educational pitfalls of ChatGPT
As an AI language model, ChatGPT has some limitations when it comes to education. Firstly, it lacks the ability to understand context and meaning, as it relies solely on statistical correlations in its training data. Secondly, it lacks the ability to provide a thorough explanation of complex concepts and ideas. Thirdly, it can provide incorrect or biased information, as it is trained on a large corpus of text data that may contain inaccuracies or biases. Therefore, ChatGPT should be used as a supplementary resource in education, rather than as the sole source of information.
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