ChatGPT is a hot topic in education right now. Some teachers worry that students might use it to cheat on their tests. There are also concerns that tools like ChatGPT could make traditional education unnecessary. In this blog post, we argue that ChatGPT is not a way to avoid learning. It actually makes learning all the more important, especially learning digital skills such as coding.
WHAT IS ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a popular language model developed by OpenAI that generates human-like text in real time. It works well in chatbots and other conversational applications. In addition to generating text, ChatGPT can also generate pieces of code.
ADDRESSING YOUR CONCERNS
While ChatGPT is capable of generating code, it is not specifically designed to do so and may not be able to generate syntactically correct code or follow the best practices in coding. Therefore, it is still important for humans to have a strong understanding of programming concepts. As the number of people using AI applications is growing, so is the need to understand how this technology works. This means that ChatGPT and other AI tools do not diminish the importance of learning coding, but strengthen the case for it.
“Remember that ChatGPT is far from being infallible.“
Sirkku TahvanainenHead of Education Services, Code School Finland
As for the use of ChatGPT in exams, a reasonable question arises: is a school assignment that can be cheated using ChatGTP a good assignment to begin with? There are many ways to create uncheatable assessments, project-based work is one example. Also there is plagiarism detection and proctoring software that prevent all kinds of copying from the internet. The best way to prevent cheating is creating a culture of academic integrity and emphasizing the significance of doing your own work.
It is important to keep in mind that ChatGPT is far from being infallible. ChatGPT cannot generate content based on what happened after its most recent scan of the Internet in 2021. This makes some of its references simply out of date. Sometimes, ChatGPT even gets maths problems and spelling wrong. What makes things worse is that all the falsehoods, socially biased information, and other undesirable output is produced in the guise of reasonable-sounding text. This means that there is a strong need for humans to be able to evaluate and edit the outputs of ChatGPT. To be able to do this, we need skills in critical thinking and digital literacy.
The capabilities of AI applications such as ChatGPT should not be viewed as a threat for the educational system. Instead they should be recognised as a reason to invest in digital skills education. All AI tools can be powerful educational tools, provided they are used correctly. To ensure that they are, everyone using them needs to have at least some understanding of coding and AI. Investing in digital skills education will help us all use AI technology safely and to its full potential.
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