The Rise of ChatGPT: AI Tools Transforming Education

Explore the surging trend of ChatGPT and its potential impact on the education sector as Andy Perryer, Head of Digital Learning at Cognita Europe, outlines his expert perspective in this instalment of our thought-provoking series featuring contributions from our leading educators.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, education has had to rapidly adapt to a digital world. With this shift, Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT are becoming increasingly popular with educators around the world. Microsoft is investing billions of dollars in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, confirming that AI is no longer just a concept for the future. It’s here and it’s happening right now.

ChatGPT stands for “chatbot-based generative pre-trained transformer” – quite the mouthful! Put simply, it’s an AI system that can generate text based on input from users. It uses deep learning algorithms to understand natural language and generate responses accordingly. At its core, ChatGPT relies on two key components: a large source of data (such as books or articles) and an algorithm that can process this data into meaningful output. The algorithm takes the user’s input and searches through the source for relevant information before generating a response based on what it finds. For example, if you ask, “What is literature?” then the algorithm will search through all available texts related to literature before providing an answer such as, “Literature is any written work considered art or entertainment by its creator(s).”

ChatGPT can be used in various ways within education – from providing personalised learning opportunities through automated conversations with students to helping teachers create more engaging lessons by generating creative ideas on demand. The possibilities are endless.

Let’s look more closely at one of these benefits of using AI tools like ChatGPT in education: its ability to provide personalised learning experiences for each student based on their individual needs and interests. By having access to an AI-powered tutor or assistant, students can receive tailored feedback and guidance without needing direct teacher input all the time. This frees up valuable teaching time, which can be focused on the important social aspect of learning, while still ensuring quality instruction.

Additionally, it allows educators to quickly generate high-quality lesson plans or activities based on specific topics or themes which makes planning much easier and more efficient than before. A tool that helps alleviate time pressures whilst remaining to keep standards consistently high is one of the reasons that educators have taken such notice of ChatGPT.

Although there are many advantages associated with using AI chatbots like GTP in education, there are also some potential challenges that must be considered when implementing them into classroom settings. For example, since these bots rely heavily on natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, they may not always understand complex questions posed or accurately interpret their responses – leading to confusion rather than clarity during conversations about difficult topics.

Also, ChatGPT’s potential to generate essays could be a threat to academic integrity, as students may attempt to pass off the generated work as their own. However, this does not necessarily mean the end of homework or traditional assessment methods; instead, it should prompt educators to find new ways of assessing student understanding and creativity.

At Cognita, we believe that any technology should only ever enhance the learning experience, so we take great care when considering introducing new tools into our schools across all our regions. As part of our commitment towards understanding how best to use AI tools like ChatGPT, we will soon be carrying out a series of conversations with four key stakeholders: students, parents, teachers and school leaders. Through these discussions, we hope to gain insight into how people feel about incorporating such technologies into their educational experience as well as identifying any potential risks associated with doing so. We will publish our findings at the end of the month.

**It should probably be about now that we reveal that this is the first sentence in this article that has been written by a human (ooh, hello there!). The output above was generated via ChatGPT via a series of carefully selected prompts:

  • I asked ChatGPT to analyse my voice and style of writing from previous articles that I had written. (It noted that my tone was optimistic, reflective and informal).
  • I then asked ChatGPT to write an article about the sudden rise of ChatGPT in the education sector. With each iteration of article generated, I asked it to add certain ideas, trains of thought, as well as finish with information about what we intended to do this month at Cognita.

The second bullet is important. ChatGPT’s first attempt at my article was far from perfect; it was mediocre and lacked quality. But it does demonstrate that you get out what you put in. It’s true that ChatGPT can provide answers to questions, but only if the user knows how to use it correctly. Many have alluded to ChatGPT being a ‘calculator for English’; sure it can give you an answer, but you’ve got to know the right numbers to punch in.

Ultimately, ChatGPT is a tool – not a substitute for human creativity and skill.

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