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Education and AI

Changing OC Coaching Parramatta 

Every generation faces its paradigm shift. More recent generations probably faced several of these changes. For those in the 1980s, we had to get used to a world where computers were ubiquitous. It soon became impossible to get by without some basic computer skills. A generation later we had the internet, soon followed by social media. We were all out of touch without a connection to these. Specialists, such as physicists, have their own paradigm shift; Newtonian mechanics with its fixed boundaries gave way to Einstein’s relativity, where velocity interacted with the passage of time. We would be held back if we stayed with the old paradigm.

The present change is AI, more specifically services like ChatGP, which can produce reasonable written tests with just a few basic facts and suggestions. Really, AI has been on the horizon for many years. And the prediction that it could replace human abilities is not to be taken lightly, even if this prediction is vague and came about a little later than expected.

OC Coaching Parramatta and AI

The concern with ChatGP is that is can basically write essays for us. We still need to put in the term and ideas, but ChatGP can organise the basic information that we feed it and produce a coherent and structured essay. It can do this even if the person feeding in the basic information has no real understanding of the topic. This looks like cheating, and like all cheating, it does not help the student to learn.

We quickly realise that everybody will have access to this same technology. So we cannot expect to have any real advantage if we use ChatGP, because everybody will have the basically same advantage. We are left with the very real possibility that every student, from the neglectful to the dedicated, the smart to the struggling, will end up with the same result. And we wonder if they are learning much if the ChatGp does most of the work.

Of course, it is not that simple. ChatGP cannot do anything new. It is just rewording what is already known. And if ChatGP has been taught a misconception it will carry over into the essays it writes. Furthermore, it can make glaring mistakes. It we write about French polish for timber AI may mistakenly write about France and Polish countries and their connection to the timber industry. This is an algorithm, not a thinking person.

ChatGP does not have much in the way of problem-solving skills or critical thinking ability. This is a severe limitation because these are the very things that education (past primary level) looks at when assessing an essay. Students using ChatGP will often end up with a generic essay that says nothing new.

Some education facilities allow the use of ChatGP. They should explicitly state this. Other institutes do not allow the use of such technology. We should presume that ChatGP is off-limits unless specifically told otherwise. The NSW education system has moved to strongly limit the use of ChatGP,

Anti-plagiarism software has been used by many education institutes for the past few years. The most common version of this is Turnitin, which recognises ChatGP with alarming accuracy. Teachers regard the use of ChatGP for essays as plagiarism. Unfortunately, this may apply even when the student actually has understood the work and written a solid essay, as the dedicated student may have just used the ChatGP for spellcheck and proofreading functions.

It is very early days. ChatGP only come online in late 2022. So, it has barely been available for a single semester. We don’t know how things will develop. Most likely ChatGp will be integrated over time, and assessment methods will be changed to something that ChatGP cannot answer. The same happened with Google. When it was too easy to look up answers online the assessments started to require an analysis/comparison of different answers. And people realized that learning to use Google correctly was a useful skill in its own right. Really, it takes some thinking to know how to ask the right questions

Turning the situation around, teachers have used ChatGP to assess their student’s work. It could be quite insightful. And while we might disagree with some of what it might produce, it was at least a different opinion.

In the end, we will be reminded that once the students have graduated they will be living in a world where ChatGP (or its successors) will be an accepted part of life. And education will always be about preparing the student for the world.

At Edukingdom OC Coaching Parramatta we help prepare students for their future lives and careers. This is a combination of teaching fundamental skills and embracing changing technology. We understand each student is an individual, and we seek to embrace and develop individuality, so that we may go on to contribute to an ever-changing world.

OC Coaching Parramatta offers comprehensive education services. We develop thinking skills and use of technology, opening future opportunities.

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