AI in Education: What is ChatGPT and Should Your Child Be Using It?
By: Kathryn Nguyen
Explore the ethical considerations, benefits, and responsible practices surrounding artificial intelligence tools in learning, and empower your child with knowledge for a digitally conscious academic journey. This article written by Kathryn Nguyen – Director of Library and Technology Integration at Calvary Christian Academy – is a must-read for parents and educators alike.
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In the rapidly changing landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the most common and well-known source of Open AI at this time is ChatGPT, although it is far from the only source competing for attention and usage.
ChatGPT launched last November as a tool that uses computer-generated natural language styles to respond to user-generated prompts. The prompts can be as varied as the thoughts in the human mind, from “Write an apology note to my grandma for missing her birthday party” to “Convince my parents that I need a cell phone”.
One common reaction from educators and parents alike is “Won’t students just use it to cheat on their homework?” We as Christians should always look at the ethical implications of using such technology. Cheating as a form of lying goes against God’s law, however, that doesn't mean that all uses of AI are cheating.
Should my child be using AI for their homework?
The short answer is: it depends.
As with most technology, the main concern with students using AI tools is privacy and security. At CCA, our mission is to disciple our students spiritually, academically, and socially, and that includes digitally in the use of technology. Students are taught to be good digital citizens, and part of digital citizenship is knowing what information you’re sharing and whom you are sharing it with.
We are all guilty of not reading the fine print of usage policies online. However, there are laws governing students' use of sites such as ChatGPT, and at this time it is “unlawful” for students under 13 to use the site (COPPA). And according to ChatGPT’s end-user agreement, all students under 18 years old must have the permission of an adult. Most AI tools store and use any input from users to “train” the source and further augment their databases. Personal data or identifying information should NEVER be used as part of a prompt for any AI source.
That being said, “banning” the use of AI in education is also not the goal. We use AI in many other parts of our lives – education should not be the exception. How many of us use facial recognition on our phones, Siri, Alexa, Google voice recognition? Even simple spellcheck and grammar suggestions use artificial intelligence. There is a time and a place for their use.
For example, while most teachers allow students to use spellcheck and Grammarly when working on an assignment, teachers may not allow those tools during an assessment. AI tools should be used to aid in learning, not misrepresent what a student knows or has created on his/her own.
At CCA, academic dishonesty is considered a major infraction because it conflicts with our mission for academic excellence and building a community of mutual trust and individual responsibility. Utilizing artificial intelligence without teacher permission to complete work would be considered cheating/plagiarizing.
Here are a few tips when considering the use of AI.
AI is not always trustworthy. Always supervise your children when using AI. Depending on their age-level, students may find it difficult to spot misinformation in the responses.
Use AI to create study guides. We all know that children learn differently. Use AI to create the study guides that best serve your child. AI tools should not be used to “learn” the material but can be used to create study guides from information that you input as the parent.
Use AI for ideas for projects or assignments. AI should not do the writing for your child, but it can aid in the development of ideas.
As a parent, you play a crucial role in helping your child navigate the digital world safely and use AI responsibly. By establishing guidelines and encouraging critical thinking, you can harness the benefits of ChatGPT while ensuring your child's overall well-being.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” –1 Corinthians 10:31
Kathryn Nguyen began serving at CCA in 2007. She is currently the Director of Library and Technology Integration. She began teaching at the elementary level over 30 years ago. She continued her education by earning her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of South Florida as well as becoming a National Board certified media specialist. She and her husband Thai have two adult daughters that graduated from CCA in 2014 and 2020.
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