The Ethical Implications of AI in Education

As the use of technology in education increases, so do the questions of ethics and fairness. ChatGPT and other AI technologies, while potentially useful in providing students with more answers to tests and writing essays, can also be seen as a form of cheating. This is especially concerning in light of the already existing issue of cheating in high schools and universities.

The larger problem here is not the use of technology, but our society’s obsession with testing. Education should not be about passing tests, but rather about learning and exploring new ideas. Too often, our educational system is driven by politics, leaving teachers and students feeling as though they are only being evaluated on the basis of their results on standardized tests.

Rather than relying solely on tests, we should be focusing on teaching students how to think critically and apply the knowledge they have learned. ChatGPT and other AI technologies could provide students with the knowledge they need to operate in the world, but it must be done in a fair and ethical manner. We need to shift our focus away from assessment and towards learning, in order to ensure that students are getting the best possible education.

The Evolution of Data Analysis: From Calculators to ChatGPT.

I was a sophomore at Clemson University in 1977 and was taking a course in probability and statistics. We learned the basics of statistical inference and we used our Texas Instrument calculators to compute means, medians, t-scores and more in our class.  The problems in our book were represented in this script which, we had to write out on tests and in our homework. For example, the sum of the numbers 2, 4, and 6 could be written as Σ(2 + 4 + 6) = 12. As we approached the end of the semester we received a very large set of numbers which required us to use the university’s computer center. Fortunately for me,  my roommate was a math major and volunteered to complete this assignment and I got a “B” in the course.

Thirteen years later I was a graduate student at the University at Buffalo. I took two courses in graduate level statistics where we regularly solved for ANOVA and ANCOVA along with a host of regressions and t-tests. We didn’t use Texas Instrument calculators. We were instructed to use IBM mainframes and we tediously entered our data into text files that had to be formatted “just so” so that they could run correctly and generate the data we were looking for. What a relief instead of manually pressing the ‘Sum key’ on the calculator and though formatting the text files was tedious it was far superior to the earlier method.

A couple of years later we were solving the same statistical analysis using Microsoft Excel. We could generate ANOVA and ANCOVA and all the other data without the tedious formatting. In the last fifty years we’ve seen tremendous changes in data analysis that came from improved methods of collection which include such as sensors, mobile devices and social media. We have big data tools driven by Python and R which didn’t exist 50 years ago.

We have improved data visualizations which were rudimentary and frequently inaccurate fifty years ago. These methods have improved as our tools have improved. This in turns has led to more accurate interpretation of results. The ability to use a variety of techniques and technologies has led to a greater understanding of the world we live in.

Now we have the development of machine learning,  learning algorithms and artificial intelligence that enable computers to do the work that was hitherto reserved for humans. These changes have enabled more sophisticated and faster data analysis.

ChatGPT can automate data preparation tasks, allowing data analysts to focus on higher-value tasks. It offers advanced natural language processing capabilities to provide insights, has a natural language interface for better user experience, and integrates with data visualization tools to present data insights more interactively. Ultimately, ChatGPT can revolutionize the way data is analyzed, leading to more informed decisions faster and more efficiently.

Should we return to 1977 with TI calculators and punch cards or dare we enter a new age that can enable us to have more diverse and accurate representations of the world we live in

Will ChatGPT replace journalists?

I asked ChatGPT if it would replace journalists. I think the answer is instructive.

“It is unlikely that ChatGPT or any other language model will completely replace journalists in the near future. While ChatGPT and other language models are capable of generating text that can be used for a wide range of applications, such as news articles, they are not currently able to fully replicate the research, analysis, and critical thinking skills that journalists bring to their work.

Journalists are trained professionals who have developed the ability to gather, verify and present information in an accurate and unbiased manner. They also have the ability to provide context, analysis and in-depth reporting on a subject, which is something that a language model like ChatGPT can’t do.

Additionally, ChatGPT and other language models rely on data to learn and generate text, so their understanding of the world is limited by the data they have been trained on. Therefore, they may not be able to provide accurate information or report on certain topics, especially when it comes to complex and nuanced issues.

That being said, ChatGPT and other language models can be used to assist journalists in their work, by helping them generate text quickly and efficiently. They can also be used to generate news articles, summaries, and other types of content in areas where there is a shortage of human journalists, such as rural or remote areas.

In summary, ChatGPT is a powerful tool, but it does not replace the expertise, critical thinking and analysis skills that journalists bring to their work.”

Unlocking Education Through Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons Licensing is a way for people to share their creative work with others. It lets people choose how they want to share their work, so that it can be used for things like websites, movies, songs, and books. With Creative Commons, people can choose to give away their work for free, or give people permission to use their work as long as they give credit.

Creative Commons offers a range of licenses that enable creators to share their work with the world. These licenses provide creators with the legal framework to protect their work, while still allowing it to be shared and remixed. The type of license chosen will depend on the creator’s wishes for how the work can be used, as there are different levels of restriction.

The six main Creative Commons licenses are:

1. Attribution (CC BY): This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon a creator’s work, even for commercial purposes, as long as proper credit is given.

2. Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): This license is similar to the Attribution license, but requires that any derivatives must also be distributed under the same license.

3. Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): This license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon a creator’s work, but only for non-commercial purposes.

4. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): This license is similar to the Attribution-NonCommercial license, but requires that any derivatives must also be distributed under the same license.

5. Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): This license allows for redistribution of the original work, but not any derivatives.

6. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeriv

Educators should use Creative Commons licensing when publishing their work for five main reasons. First, by using Creative Commons licenses, educators give their students and the general public the opportunity to use their work without fear of infringing copyright. Second, Creative Commons licensing can help protect the educator’s work from being used without their permission. Third, Creative Commons licensing helps spread knowledge and resources to those who may not have access to them otherwise. Fourth, educators can benefit from the potential exposure that comes from allowing their work to be used by others. Lastly, Creative Commons licensing helps promote collaboration and the sharing of ideas within the educational community.

Next time you publish consider a Creative Commons license.  Share your work. 

The Benefits of Accessibility and Open Educational Resources

When creating and distributing open educational resources (OERs), it is important to consider accessibility to make sure that everyone can benefit from these resources, including those with disabilities. By designing and developing OERs with accessibility in mind, we can help make sure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from these resources.

The use of alternative formats is an important aspect of accessibility in OERs. This includes providing text in a format that can be read by assistive technology, such as a screen reader, as well as providing captions for videos and audio content. Additionally, images and other non-textual elements should include alternative text (alt text) descriptions so that users who are visually impaired can understand the content.

An important aspect of accessibility in OERs is using web standards to make sure resources are usable by a lot of different devices, including the ones used by people with disabilities. This includes making sure the resources are responsive, so they can be used on various screen sizes and orientations, and that they work with different browsers and assistive technologies.

Creating OERs with multiple types of users in mind is key! By using uncomplicated language and summarizing key points, those with reading difficulties and non-native speakers can better understand the material. Furthermore, having videos, audio, and text available allows learners to pick the best way for them to engage with the content.

Accessible OERs are essential to provide quality educational opportunities and experiences to all learners, regardless of their disability. Collaboration between OER developers, educators, and learners with disabilities is necessary to ensure that accessibility is taken into account throughout the process. Automated and manual testing with real users of different abilities should be implemented to evaluate accessibility, and accessibility guidelines and standards should be followed.

Moreover, accessibility is not only beneficial to learners with disabilities, but also to those with temporary impairments, older adults, and people with low internet connection. Furthermore, accessibility makes content more usable for all users. Thus, it is important to consider accessibility in the development of OERs to ensure that everyone can benefit from them.

Written with an assist from ChatGPT and WordSpinner.

Reimagining Education: How Technology Is Transforming the Way We Learn

A quarter of a century ago, when we presented interactive distance learning in the public education system of Western New York State, we encountered a lot of resistance from those who had a vested interest in the status quo. Even I, as a member of the teachers union, expressed apprehension that this would result in job losses. Our initial distance learning classrooms were limited to a maximum of twelve students, when the typical class size for secondary education was twice that number.

There will always be naysayers and alarmists who forecast doom and gloom when new technologies emerge in education. I remember when an uproar arose over children carry cell phones in schools. They could call their parents without coming to the office and asking permission. Students were using video conferencing apps to communicate with each other. They were texting in class and the presumption among many was that they were cheating. Cell phones were confiscated and held in school district offices.

I thought all of this over-reaction was nonsensical and regularly lobbied school administrators to rethink their reticense and instead teach children how to use these new devices for their benefit. Eventually I was given the opportunity to do just that and in 2009 designed and implemented one of the first digital citizenship classes in New York State. Our classroom even got visited by Deputy New York State Education Commissioner John King. It was one of the high points of my career.

Here we are again at a inflection point in education with the introduction of ChatGPT and similar technologies which are deemed equally disruptive by the naysayers. “Students will cheat” they say! That’s nothing new. Students have been cheating since Christ was a corporal. Maybe it’s time to rethink how we educate and more importantly how we assess education. If your tests are multiple choice, true false and essays maybe artificial intelligence agents threaten your methods.

Maybe you ought to be testing your students at a higher level. I am licensed to drive a car. I read a book, took driver education classes and had to pass a written examination and then demonstrate that I could actually drive. I learned how to drive a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle. The dimmer switch was on the floor. Later they put those controls on the steering column. My vehicle today can steer itself and has collision avoidance (artificial intelligence agent) built into the car. When I learned to drive we used written direction and maps to navigate. Now Siri and Waze aid my navigation and I don’t want to go back. My headlights automatically dim at night.

In short we’re living in a new world and our students need to know how to navigate in that new environment. We have technologies today that translate web pages. We have intelligent devices and programs that allow visually impaired folks to read books, periodicals and newspapers. I wear digital hearing aids that make it possible for me to hear better.

ChatGPT and technologies like it are going to revolutionize our education and our environment. Our students need all the opportunities we can give them to succeed. We cannot know at this stage how these developments will impact our culture but we can be certain that they will. Are we depriving students and teachers of opportunities to learn in new and different ways?

Unlocking the Potential of ChatGPT in Education

A few weeks ago our daughter shared an interesting and insightful story about our grandson. Our grandson is in kindergarten and despite his age he is a very good reader. He reads and writes quite well. He’s also a young man who has grown up in a home that has an Amazon Alexa which he is very familiar with. He uses it often to get weather information that determines whether he can go outside after school and even what kind of clothing he can wear. He is so proficient with the technology that he ordered a movie without his parents permission a couple of years ago. He regularly listens to music and frequently sings along with what is playing.

Like most emerging readers he still has problems decoding unfamiliar words. Our daughter told us that she heard him spelling out words for Alexa and asking “her” what those words were. We have other grandchildren who are familiar with this kind of technology and use it to gather information and play music as well. These children have never known a time when there wasn’t an Alexa or Siri to answer questions. Before Google, Amazon, Apple and others put information at our fingertips we relied on encylopedias, library card catalogs and information in books, magazines and newspapers.

Yesterday New York City decided to ban ChatGPT in its public schools. This is a technology that’s just an extension of smart devices which many school children carry in their pockets. Are these folks so naive that they think that the children in their school system are not going to use these technologies despite their Luddite like approach to educational governance.

Just today I read that Microsoft is partnering with OpenAI (the founders of ChatGPT) to build a better search engine that uses this technology. Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk to students about the ethics of artificial intelligence?

Imaginative uses of AI in the classroom and beyond

Recently a friend of mine suggested I use ChatGPT to write a breaking news story about a leaf falling from a tree. I followed his suggestion and the result was hilarious. We read and hear lots of breaking news stories but rarely ever think about how they are written and how they might sound featuring mundane topics as leaves falling from trees. Writing prompts are great way to inspire creativity and that is one of the many things I love about ChatGPT and the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning in education.

Following the same line of thought I thought of using ChatGPT to generate an conversation between two imaginary characters with the intent of having them discuss their life in the forest. My writing prompt for ChatGPT was “Write an exciting dialogue between Herbert the squirrel and Leslie the deer.” Here is the result of some of the dialog that was generated.

Herbert the squirrel was running through the forest, darting from tree to tree and chattering away to himself. Suddenly, he spotted Leslie the deer standing on the path ahead.

“Hello there, Leslie!” Herbert called out. “What brings you out to the forest today?”

Leslie turned to Herbert and smiled. “Oh, just out for a leisurely stroll. The weather is so beautiful today, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to enjoy it.”

“Absolutely!” Herbert agreed. “This is the perfect day to be outside and explore. I’ve been chasing after acorns all morning.”

Try it yourself at ChatGPT

Imagine your class completing the dialogue and or incorporating it in some other way into their own writing. I see a bright future for this technology in the classroom.

What is an AI Writer?

An AI writer is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can generate written content. AI writers are powered by natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) algorithms that enable them to understand and generate written content. AI writers can be used to create content for a variety of applications, including content creation, automated news reports, and automated social media posts.

Natural Language Generation (NLG): NLG is a type of AI technology that enables machines to generate written content from structured data. NLG algorithms are used to analyze data and generate written content that is both accurate and engaging.

Natural Language Processing (NLP): NLP is a type of AI technology that enables machines to understand written content. NLP algorithms are used to analyze written content and extract meaning from it.

AI writers learn by analyzing large amounts of data. They use machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in the data and generate written content that is both accurate and engaging.

AI writers use machine learning algorithms to generate written content. Machine learning algorithms enable AI writers to identify patterns in data and generate written content that is both accurate and engaging.

AI writers can be used to create content for a variety of applications, including website content, blog posts, and articles. AI writers can generate content that is both accurate and engaging, making them a valuable tool for content creators.

AI writers can analyze data and generate written content that is both accurate and engaging, making them a valuable tool for news organizations.

AI writers can be used to generate automated social media posts. AI writers can analyze data and generate written content that is both accurate and engaging, making them a valuable tool for social media marketers.

AI writers can be prone to bias if they are not trained properly. AI writers can learn from the data they are given, so it is important to ensure that the data is unbiased and representative of the population.

AI writers are limited by the data they are given. AI writers can only generate content that is based on the data they are given, so it is important to ensure that the data is accurate and representative of the population.

AI writers are a powerful tool for content creation, automated news reports, and automated social media posts. However, there are some challenges with AI writers, including bias and limitations. It is important to ensure that AI writers are trained properly and given accurate data in order to ensure that the content they generate is both accurate and engaging. Despite these challenges, AI writers have the potential to revolutionize the way we create content and communicate with each other.

This blog post was created by HyperwriterAI.

Using ChatGPT

Earlier today I decided to begin using ChatGPT. Curiosity got the best of me. I asked ChatGPT to draw a square with Python. I’m very familiar with the ‘turtle’ module in Python and regularly use it in classes I teach for middle school students. The solution offered by ChatGPT was not one I had ever seen nor demonstrated for students. I was impressed and shared this on . Later I asked ChatGPT to draw and ‘isosceles’ triangle. I expected that it might use the ‘turtle’ module again but instead this time it used ‘matplotlib.’ Another unique solution. A response to my post on Fosstodon stated that the AI powered solution was merely repeating information that could be found with a ‘Google search.’ I liked the response and didn’t disagree. Fast forward six hours and I used ChatGPT to draw a circle with ‘C++.’ The code appeared once again. This time AI provided two possible solutions. I asked it to give me a Python program that would write haiku. Once again the answer was a code snippet I would not have thought of.

import random

haiku = [
    "Autumn leaves fall gently",
    "As the cool breeze blows softly",
    "Nature's symphony"


I ‘Googled’ the same request and yes the answers were there but I had to sift through a couple of blog posts to find the code examples. I think AI is going to significantly change how we interact with knowledge from the internet and other databases that are connected to these learning engines. What are your thoughts?