The benefits and dangers of AI in classrooms

AI benefits and dangers. Students and staff voice their opinions on whether AI is beneficial or not.
AI benefits and dangers. Students and staff voice their opinions on whether AI is beneficial or not.
Tommy Ford
AI endangers classroom integrity

Developments in artificial intelligence systems have started to have an effect in classrooms. There are promising aspects of this technology many believe will improve the quality of most students’ education. However, many teachers oppose the increasing regularity for students using AI to complete their work. 

“It’s an ethical and technical concern,” English teacher Michelle Janosik said. “When you put your name at the top of the paper, that says that those words, those ideas=— belong to you. If you’re using a machine, they are definitely not your words or ideas.” 

Many teachers have seen the use of AI in their own classrooms. The most common use of the technology among students is to use programs like ChatGPT to input questions or prompts they are given in their classes. The program will then formulate an answer from a nearly limitless number of online texts and databases. Teachers like Janosik question the integrity of these sources.

Until new rules are created to specifically punish AI usage, it will continue to be treated as a plagiarism offense.

“It is a form of cheating, and there are consequences for doing that here,” Janosik said. “I believe it is a zero on the assignment and a sixty on the quarter if it can be proved.”

Teacher Jesse Frailey, who believes there is some positive potential in artificial intelligence, has also seen the negative side effects of the emerging technology. 

“[Students] would use AI to complete assignments,” Frailey said. “It jumps out really quickly. I haven’t seen a lot of good uses yet.”

Some worries surpass general classroom integrity. The current side effects of artificial intelligence are major, but the future is even bleaker for many. 

“When we write, we have all of these loose ideas in our head, and formal writing forces us to put those ideas together in some sort of logical organization,” Janosik said. “But it also makes us question our original assumptions and the conclusions that we’ve drawn, which forces us to think. If we’re just using a machine, we’re losing that whole process, and I think that’s dangerous to have a whole generation of people essentially never learning anything for themselves.”

AI use on the rise

Any time people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they think of “The Terminator” and all the power it can hold, but AI has actually helped out a lot.

School in specific has seen such negative feedback towards AI in the past couple of years.

“It’s going to grow exponentially, but it’s going to be horrible for people that want to abuse it,” games and computer club president Keldon Holland said.

Although some people use AI for the wrong reasons, there’s more to AI than cheating on an essay.

“Some students use AI for creative purposes. I’ve seen people have great songs or ideas for videos or things like that,” business education teacher Jesse Frailey said.

AI isn’t just a cheating tool for students to use, teachers and staff all around the school can use AI as an ordinary everyday tool.

“I do have a little experience in using it [AI] to help make assignments or different sorts of activities for when I’m trying to scramble to come up with something new. That’s a good way to give you ideas for that,” Frailey said.

Many students have had positive experiences with AI, and teachers have noticed it.

“Last year in my multimedia class was when chat GPT became big,” Frailey said. “We were talking about it a lot and tried some things out. We spent a day or so creating different sorts of raps. We were having a computer rap about us and it was kind of interesting to see how the machine was learning and how predictive algorithms create strings of words that go together in a way that makes sense for the most part. It’s a cool learning opportunity to talk about how that all works.”

AI has been given a bad reputation due to how easy it is for students to use it for cheating. Although some students use it to write entire essays, others use it to help them start essays.

“I use AI to sometimes help write sentences and skip the basic format of a paragraph,” Holland said

AI can be very beneficial to those in the games and computer club. Although they haven’t done much, AI can help them in many ways with the games they play.

“Currently, we haven’t done much in the computer club, but I feel like it can help us with games and DnD, because we have a lot of people that play that,” Holland said.

AI has only recently begun to really take off. With all of these advancements, no one knows where AI will be in the near future.

“As with any other technology, it’s only going to keep advancing whether we want it to or not. Right now, it’s in its infancy. It’s working on predictive text algorithms. I think once there’s enough data out there, and there’s enough machine learning behind that—it gets better. You see the opposite with other programs like Siri on Apple, which got dumber for a while because they were relying on people’s input to make it better. Mainly, what’s going to happen is: it’s going to get good enough that it will be incorporated into everyday objects. Now you see it in telemarketing with your voices, and they’re using different programs to do things for you. I think you’re going to see that in almost every aspect again, whether it’s good or bad, it’s going to happen,” Frailey said.


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