Why Teachers Are Wrong About ChatGPT

Back in the 80’s when I was in college I was the king of online access for research. While other students were spending time in the libraries researching their papers, gathering information, I was using DIALOG, a service Lockheed-Martin operated, plus a bunch of other services that I had access to. Back then those services were used by corporate types or people like me who could afford the monthly subscriptions. 


Being online changed how I assembled information, and how I put information together for papers and projects. My professors complimented me for how current my information was, versus what other students were turning in. Few ever asked how I had such current citations, and when I was asked, I simply referred to DIALOG or Compuserve, or the ENA or The Well, as places I was able to find information, or people who gave me answers to my questions.


Back then, AOL had yet to come to life, and the idea of email was something that was as foreign to professors as speaking Portuguese was in Philadelphia. So when I read how yet another school district is banning ChatGPT I just chalked it up to antiquated thinking and belief systems.


Artificial intelligence (AI) services like ChatGPT and Jasper.AI, as well as the integration of AI in tools like Notion, are revolutionizing the way students can learn and collaborate in schools and universities. If I had to spend the hours in the libraries versus log on and collect information, I’d likely never have gotten to any of my real work for the Philadelphia Flyers or been able to also be the youngest Registrar in the history of USA Hockey back then.


One of the biggest benefits of these AI services is that they allow for personalized learning. ChatGPT and Jasper.AI can answer questions, provide explanations, and even generate essays and reports, all tailored to the individual student’s level of understanding and learning style. This can help students who may be struggling with certain concepts or who need extra support to catch up with their peers. Much like what I did in the 80s, curate the information, and assemble the report, students today have the ability to gather more information, more quickly. And, if they have good comprehension skills, then their ability to assimilate information, and report on it is advanced, not retarded. 


Also, AI services and tools like Notion can help students stay organized and on top of their assignments. Notion, for example, uses AI to suggest relevant pages and tasks based on a student’s usage patterns, making it easier for them to find the information they need and stay on top of deadlines. As someone who uses Notion, as well as ChatGPT and Jasper, my productivity is up, allowing me to think more on strategy, and less time on writing base content.


Another benefit of these AI services is that they can help improve collaboration among students. ChatGPT and Jasper.AI can be used to generate group reports and projects, and Notion’s collaboration features make it easy for students to work together on assignments, even if they’re not in the same physical location.


Back in my university days, the number of hours I would spend in group meetings vs. sharing documents, traveling to a meeting place, versus using an online conferencing service, and having to print copies of documents was both time consuming and environmentally harmful.


Tools today make for easier communication, faster collaboration and smarter results. 


But there’s another side to all this.  AI services and tools like Notion can also help teachers and professors save time and focus on more important tasks. For example, AI tools can be used to grade assignments, allowing teachers to spend more time providing feedback and working with individual students.


Services like Grammarly and Hemingway can correct writing, and point out errors. Teachers can then provide the richer insight and deeper perspective to students on what they grasped or didn’t understand.


In my view AI services like ChatGPT and Jasper.AI, and tools like Notion are good for students to use in schools and universities because they allow for personalized learning, improved organization and collaboration, and can save teachers and professors time. 


As AI technology continues to evolve, it will only bring more benefits for the students and educators. That is, if the teachers don’t resort to the modern day version of “book burning.

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