ChatGPT-Please remain calm.

We have a whole bunch of talented and passionate educators around our district. One of them is a gentleman named Keith Hannah. The list of Keith’s accomplishments and accolades would fill an entire blogpost. Trust me on this, Keith knows his business. His current title is K-12 Instructional Technology Facilitator. As with all of us in our small district, that title is the very tip of the iceberg in terms of what Keith carries on his shoulders.

So I like to use Twitter. And I’m seeing a lot of teeth grinding about ChatGPT. Kids are going to cheat. It’s the end of writing and thinking as we know it. Mankind will come to a close. And so forth.

Probably not.

Here’s part of Keith’s direct message about ChatGPT to our teachers. Note the calm.

“If you haven’t already become aware of ChatGPT – a form of artificial intelligence (AI) trained to provide natural language answers to questions on virtually anything and everything – even solve math problems and write essays incapable of currently being detected by plagiarism detectors like TurnItIn and Classroom Originality Reports – consider this your introduction to ChatGPT. I have spent the last week or so pouring over different resources addressing issues ChatGPT brings along with its potential role as a change agent in education. My “ChatGPT travels” have left me thinking about how this particular form of AI, which can seem a little nefarious or scary at first, may actually enact positive, transformative change.

Without question, ChatGPT and other forms of AI are disruptors to education. What’s more, they are only going to become more sophisticated over time. The first thing we need to pause and remember is that education has always faced technology disruptors…calculators, Google searches, and Wikipedia to name a few…and yet found meaningful ways to leverage these disrupters for educational value. The very idea that students can simply provide the interface with a prompt or question, and *POOF* an essay appears before their very eyes fills many-a-writing instructor with a certain sense of dread. Before we waste too much time worrying, however, I want to pass along a resource that many of you may find a measure of comfort in.

Click HERE to check out what I feel is probably the most comprehensive yet time-sensitive, thought-provoking, and solutions oriented resources I came across in my exploration of ChatGPT.”

This resource provides you with the following:

  • An explanation of ChatGPT
  • Potential implications for education
  • How to teach tomorrow in the face of ChatGPT
  • Ways to use this as a tool for teaching/learning
  • An exploration of blocking or banning ChatGPT
  • And, for the curious, additional resources to learn more

My favorite line of reasoning in the above? “education has always faced technology disruptors…calculators, Google searches, and Wikipedia to name a few…and yet found meaningful ways to leverage these disrupters for educational value.

I’m hearing about districts that are ‘banning’ ChatGPT. Not sure how that would work unless we’re taking kids’ computers out of their homes. How about we follow Keith’s advice and see how we can best leverage the power of this brand new tool? It ain’t going anywhere. Let’s use it.

Like Keith suggests.

Author: Jeff Nelson

Jeff Nelson Fife School District Assistant Superintendent:Teaching-Learning-Innovation 39 years as an educator. 16 years teacher 3 years assistant principal 12 years principal 8 years Assistant Superintendent BA, Washington State University MAEd, Washington State University Previous member of AWSP Legislative Committee Previous member of UW Tacoma PEAB, Administrative Certification Established and maintained Fife’s first website for 7 years Present work includes establishing the first Teaching/Learning/Innovation department in the Fife School District. Examples of responsibilities include: teacher/administrator professional development, assessment, TPEP, curriculum/materials review, 24 credit requirement, technology levy leadership, teacher/administrator bargaining. Initiatives underway in Fife, as a result of new TLI Department: AVID, OER, Curriculum and Materials reviews, Student Perception Pilot with CSTP, Google Expedition Cofounder of Educational Internet Communications, LLC. Marketed and sold one of the first online grade checking programs in the US. Consulted with Seattle Educational Internet Company for 2 years.

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