Should Adult Learners be Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Generate Content in the Classroom?

12 Dec

What is ChatGPT, and why should it matter to you?

As technology continues to advance, new tools are being developed to make our lives easier. One such tool is ChatGPT, a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that is designed to help students write essays. With ChatGPT, students can simply type in their topic and the AI will generate a fully written essay based on the information it has been trained on.

On the surface, ChatGPT seems like a great tool for students. It has the potential to save time and make the essay writing process more efficient. However, there are also concerns about the implications of using such a tool in the education system.

One concern is that ChatGPT may make it easier for students to cheat on their assignments. With the ability to generate complete essays at the touch of a button, students may be tempted to use ChatGPT to cut corners and avoid putting in the effort to write their own essays. This could be a problem for schools, as it undermines the value of education and the importance of learning and hard work.

Another concern is that using ChatGPT may not be beneficial for students’ development as writers. While the AI may be able to produce well-written essays, it is not capable of helping students learn and improve their own writing skills. In fact, using ChatGPT may even hinder students’ ability to think critically and express their own ideas, as they may become reliant on the AI to do the work for them.

It’s important to understand that AI needs access to a large dataset that it can use to learn from. This dataset is typically a collection of data points that have been gathered from a variety of sources. However, information in these datasets may not be complete or accurate, and they may contain biases. For example, a dataset used to train a machine learning algorithm to recognize faces may be biased towards certain races or genders, leading the algorithm to have difficulty recognizing individuals from underrepresented groups. It is important to teach students to think critically about where the data used to train these algorithms comes from, and to consider the potential biases that may be present in the data.

A Surprising Twist:

Now, what if I told you that absolutely everything you’ve read in this blog post up until this point was generated by ChatGPT AI? Well, it was!

Talking to you from the human perspective (it really is me now!), all I did was type “write a blog post about a new tool called ChatGPT that learners can use to write essays and whether this will be a problem or not for schools” and ChatGPT wrote my blog post in about 10 seconds:

An animated GIF demonstrating ChatGPT generating text

What implications do AI tools like ChatGPT have in education?

Educators can no longer detect AI-generated content as plagiarism since the content did not previously exist to be copied. Can learners be trusted to submit written work at home? Do we now need to insist learners write by hand while under supervision? I hope not!

Will ChatGPT become like using a calculator for language learning?

We’ve been through this before with calculators, smartphones, and tools like Google Translate.

In a math class, learners still need to work on developing math competencies but may now rely on a calculator for some of the basic or complex calculations. In a second language classroom, learners may use translation software to check the correct usage of words, phrases or verb tenses. The common element of all these tools is that when used with some guidance, they can help scaffold learning.

New AI tools like ChatGPT could be useful for learners to come up with initial ideas and refine or expand from there. If that sounds like cheating, smartphones were also once mostly dismissed as “having all the answers” until we started finding ways they could be used to enhance classroom experiences too.

In each instance, the ground shifted beneath our feet, but educators found ways to adapt and incorporate these new tools in meaningful ways, even if there were (and still are) some bumps along the way.

In writing this blog post, I’ve asked the AI to suggest different titles based on the subject matter and picked the best one. I found that very helpful. Could I have written my content in French? Yes. I just need to ask ChatGPT to write in French, and voila! It can compose an email, write a cover letter for a resume, and more. 

Where do we go from here?

Like it or not, the AI genie is now out of the bottle. The technology will only continue to improve. What’s the best way for us educators to move forward? How do you plan to address emerging tools like this in your classroom?

If you’d like to play with ChatGPT and see what it can do, the website can be found at It requires a Google or Microsoft account.

2 Replies to “Should Adult Learners be Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Generate Content in the Classroom?

  1. Wow…. That surprising twist – definitely made me look twice in detail…. That’s definitely a lot to think about. PS: I wrote this myself.

    • I know, right? I found out recently you can even ask it to change the tone of the writing. You can follow up with a prompt like “make it more exciting” or “make the language more formal” – my colleague even showed me it does math equations and explains the process. I’m writing this myself too 🙂

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