- ChatGPT isn’t a tool to be feared–it can contribute greatly to STEM learning
- AI tools aren’t going away, and harnessing their capabilities is important
“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” – John Dewey
Back in 2007 when I was teaching Algebra I at the local middle school, the biggest question for mathematics teachers on our campus was whether students could use their calculators while doing classwork and on standardized tests. A few years later, the discussion changed to an argument about the pros and cons of using a Desmos calculator on their classroom iPads. Using Desmos was seen as being particularly egregious, as educators feared that students may have access to the internet and may surf the web while they should be learning or during summative assessments.
Each of these technologies paled in comparison to the impact of one of our students discovering Wolfram|Alpha and sharing the link with his classmates. While using the calculator allowed students to quickly compute answers and a device with internet capabilities added the possibility of researching formulas and explanations, Wolfram|Alpha used the most current artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately solve mathematics problems using natural language processing.
Teachers were faced with the idea that 21st-century technologies would fundamentally alter the way students learn and just as importantly, adjust the way teachers would need to facilitate instruction.
The ChatGPT Dilemma
In schools across the nation, educators have, once again, had to call into question how technology meshes with teaching and learning with the advent of ChatGPT.