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Feb 17 2023

Can Chat-GPT Do Your Homework?

With recent developments in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) has advanced enough to have an outsized impact on society. AI bots such as ChatGPT, a popular AI that can engage in online conversations through writing, have already been used to complete student assignments and essays and pose many questions for educators. What are the issues that arise from such technology? Should such technology be banned in classrooms, or should we encourage students to learn how to use it? What impact will AI have on education and the world? These are all questions we will have to answer. With the world changing at a breakneck pace, it is more important than ever to maintain a focus on future-oriented education, and prepare our students for the challenges, and benefits, that come with technological change. 


Although students might be excited about the prospect of AI-generated essays, teachers see technology as more of a tool to empower students in their learning, and further develop their skills. At BCIS, the makerspaces in the Early Childhood Center (ECC) and Elementary School (ES) and Design and Technology classes in the Secondary School (SS) provide great opportunities for students to get hands-on experience with all the latest technology. Their teachers challenge them to use that technology responsibly to create projects that help their community. While students in Design and Technology classes have the opportunity to learn with all the latest gadgets, they won’t be able to have AI complete their homework for them. “In my own class, most of what we do requires critical thinking skills that no AI is going to be able to do for them,” explains Ashely, BCIS’ Design and Technology Team Leader. 


The example of AI-generated writing from bots like ChatGPT demonstrates the importance of skills such as critical thinking, one of the four learning impacts at BCIS. Although technology may be able to streamline the process of writing, it will not be a replacement for the creativity of humans. That is why future-focused education must place emphasis on transferable skills like the BCIS learning impacts, to prepare students for the challenges of the future. Students graduating from BCIS will be able to think critically and creatively, to work collaboratively and with a purpose, giving them valuable problem-solving skills that cannot be replaced by AI. 


In addition to critical thinking, connected learning is another important BCIS learning impact in the tech space. Jenelle, the BCIS Secondary School Librarian, explains the importance of group work as it relates to AI, stating, “we also need to encourage collaboration between students. Collaborative learning can be an effective way to teach AI skills while maintaining academic integrity. Teachers can structure group projects and assignments that require students to work together and build upon each other's strengths.” She is currently collaborating with a group of about 20 BCIS teachers to discuss the impact of AI on education and how we can ensure our instruction and assessments are continuing to challenge and inspire students. 


Students also recognize the importance of becoming lifelong learners who can adapt to changes brought about by new technology. Our students expressed their ideas about what future-focused learning should look like, and many of them agreed on the importance of personalization in the curriculum. Many of our students also appreciated the opportunities to get hands-on learning experiences at BCIS that are focused on building practical experience for their future careers. As BCIS continues to be a leading provider of high-quality and future oriented learning, we recognize the importance of finding even more ways to personally empower each student to set them up for future success. 


Personalization is one of three key pillars underpinning our school’s strategic direction. Alongside leadership and collaboration, BCIS is currently hard at work ensuring that our school’s strategic direction will engage students with countless opportunities for individualized learning. Additionally, BCIS will find more ways to empower leadership within our learning community, and work collaboratively with students, parents, alumni, teachers, and staff to ensure the direction of the school provides the best possible experience for every one of our students. 


As we enter a future filled with new and exciting technology, it is more critical than ever to work together to ensure the direction of the school gives our students the best possible learning experiences. Although AI currently may be able to write simple essays, it cannot represent the many diverse opinions found within our school community. Therefore, BCIS will work closely with all our members to hear their proposals and empower them to be leaders in the direction of our school. We look forward to providing our students with an unmatched learning experience within a caring community that inspires them to explore their passions and shape the future.