How could ChatGPT change the world of education?


How could ChatGPT change the world of education?

Technology is often at the forefront of change in the education sector, as it can open up exciting new opportunities for teachers and their pupils. This is especially the case with ChatGPT (Generative Pre-training Transformer), a language-focused chatbot. Using artificial intelligence, it has the capability to generate text-based answers from a minimal amount of inputted information.

From a teaching perspective, it could transform how classes are delivered, enabling greater personalisation and engagement, while also allowing pupils to learn at a pace that suits them. Here we explore some of the potential benefits and question how ChatGPT could revolutionise learning.

What is ChatGPT?

Having launched in late November 2022, ChatGPT relies on language technology from OpenAI – an American artificial intelligence firm. It is built on Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), and can generate text answers based on an initial prompt from a user.

Essentially, this means the technology can answer questions in sentence or paragraph form, depending on what information it is given. It therefore has the potential to be a valuable tool for language learning in schools.

One benefit, is that ChatGPT can give those learning a language the ability to have a conversation on their own at home. The platform can also be customised to specific parts of the language curriculum, enabling targeted interventions and the potential for highly tailored approaches to learning.

By logging these conversations, ChatGPT could also allow a teacher to review how a pupil is learning, as it’s possible to get a glimpse into their interactions and language use. Ultimately, this can benefit youngsters as they can get a better understanding of words and phrases to be used in certain scenario, while also broadening their vocabulary.

For teachers, the tool could be used to generate lesson prompts and storytelling opportunities, from developing English questions and challenges to creating maths or science problems.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can also benefit from the use of ChatGPT, at it provides an opportunity to explore different learning methods. It may open doors for those who do not take part in regular classroom lessons, or who struggle to comprehend certain elements of teaching, for example.

What are the pitfalls?

While learning could be improved with the use of ChatGPT, it is not without its pitfalls (as is often the case with new technologies).

The AI responses do not always make sense, or may be littered with grammatical errors, while if the machine learning element does not understand what is asked, the answer provided can end up being completely unrelated to the question. This could mean pupils end up confused, or are misled, meaning teachers will carefully need to explain the possible issues that may arise.

There are also questions around whether the technology may enable pupils to circumvent elements of any online assessments. The prospect that pupils may take advantage of the technology by leaving everything to the chatbot can also not be ignored. This could have a detrimental impact by limiting their potential learning. How ChatGPT is utilised in education will therefore need to be heavily scrutinised and carefully controlled.

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