Artificial intelligence in the classroom

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — As part of National News Literacy Week, it’s our turn to help you identify misinformation and stop it from spreading. But it is more difficult with the use of smart software.

An Alden High School teacher explained the pros and cons of using it in the classroom.

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Student laptop computer.

“We need to be ready for this new challenge because it is becoming a reality of life now,” said Colin Dabkowski, teacher, Alden High School.

Dabkowski teaches English and Multi-Media Production at Alden High School in the Alden Central School District and told me she uses the new technology software, called ChatGPT, in of his classroom. It produces text that sounds like a human voice.

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Colin Dabkowski, teacher, Alden High School.

“We actually used it and searched for my English class. My students are very interested in how many ideas there are about it. We had a good discussion about whether we should look for him in the English class,” Dabkowski said.

The latest artificial intelligence software is free and students can use it to write an essay or paper by asking it questions. But that is the cause of some concern among educators.

“I think there are a lot of things that can expand and deepen our thinking, but there are a lot of things that don’t work,” Dabkowski said.

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ChatGPT web page.

I tested the program by asking it to write an essay on ‘media literacy’ and within two seconds of hitting the return key, my essay was written.

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Ask ChatGPT to write a story.

Dabkowski describes the failures of this program.

“Undetectable plagiarism—like shortcuts that don’t help students develop their critical thinking skills,” Dakbowski responded.

But at the same time, the school teacher says he knows the benefits can outweigh the negatives.

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Student working on computer in classroom.

“One of my jobs was – I asked them to use it and then explain how they used it so we could explore that more widely,” Dakowski recalled.

The New York City School District has banned the use of the software. The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) tells me that it is up to individual school districts to decide whether the software is allowed in classrooms.

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Buffalo school students on computers.

“Like calculators were alive before the 20th century, and people stick their heads in the sand about that and look at us now – we’re not afraid. We need to understand how to we can use these things as tools,” Dabkowski replied.

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Outside of Alden High School, Alden, NY.

Alden Center School Superintendent Adam Stoltman told me that he is not banning the use of the app, in fact, the superintendent sees something that is not being discussed as a resource that can help students who special education.



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