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.
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.”
Three years ago when I first signed up for a Fosstodon account I really had no comprehension of what a wonderful universe of learning I was getting involved with. Fast forward three years and the impending erosion or collapse of the birdsite and I’m reevaluating my use of social media. I had forgotten how great it was to be with folks who posted interesting content and were more interested and engaged with what I was sharing too. I’m still a neophyte in this federated blogging world but already I can appreciate the richness of what is offered.
I am only beginning to appreciate what it means to be federated and to enjoy what the fediverse has to offer. I spent much of a good deal of my work years in public education and while I was there I worked as a school district technology leader and a classroom teacher who specialized in keyboarding, coding, staff development and digital citizenship. In addition to that I worked as a system administrator for Windows, LInux and LInux servers some of which existed as virtual machines. That unique mix of teacher and technology administrator left me with a broad skill set that I still enjoy today.
The district that I worked didn’t always have robust funding and that sent me looking for innovative solutions for teachers and students. Discussion outside of the classroom and insights from friends led me to consider Linux and open source as viable alternatives for education. I have found in the past almost twenty-five years that open source can provide answers and opportunities not found in proprietary solutions. WordPress is one of those open source gifts. When our school was struggling to afford software for our students and staff that provided a common platform for discussion I saw WordPress as that medium and I continue to believe that WordPress could easily be used in many PK12 classroom and could easily be used in most educational settings to provide an inexpensive and flexible program for home and school interaction.
I see some of those same possibilities with Mastodon and the federated blogging that it supports. At this point Mastodon has not seemed to make as many inroads into PK12 as it has into higher education. I hope that can change. I am recommending it to all of my personal learning network who are still mostly stuck at the birdsite. How can we get the word out to those folks in a way that doesn’t disparage what they are currently using. I think it’s possible to use Twitter and Mastodon. I don’t see it as an either/or but a both/and universe.