WCPSS Welcomes ChatGPT

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What is ChatGPT?

Society has used artificial intelligence (AI) for years, but with the more recent creation of generative AI, the topic has made headlines again. 

GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a type of artificial intelligence model that generates human-like text based on the patterns it has learned during its training on diverse internet text data. The “chat” in ChatGPT indicates the robot’s ability to engage in conversational interactions with the user. 

ChatGPT can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the user. Common applications include education, content creation, conversation partners, research, and entertainment.

Forms of ChatGPT are a more common aspect of everyday life than you may think — every time you say “Hey Google,” or “Hey Alexa,” you are interacting with a virtual assistant that incorporates elements inspired by models like GPT.

ChatGPT in Education

(Screen Shot by Cameron Broer)

The United States Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning is responsible for the plans and policies surrounding AI learning in education. Their 71-page document discusses the present and future of technology in classrooms, including the boundless and limitational qualities of AI.

Adaptivity is seen as a major key that technology plays in improving education. By specifically using AI, students will be able to interact and build upon their strengths in order to grow their knowledge and skills. 

Another advantage of AI for students is the idea of it acting like a “tutor.” AI models are able to give immediate feedback with step-by-step instructions for the convenience and acknowledgment of the learner. 

Overall, students interact with ChatGPT in several ways, including using it as a research assistance, a study aid, to support writing, to help solve problems, and more. Students use ChatGPT as a supplement to other resources in order to expand and broaden their knowledge on certain topics. 

Ms. Huff, a Leesville media specialist, said, ¨[ChatGPT] is just a springboard for ideas, and then the students can take it from there and come up with the rest on their own.¨

Many students use ChatGPT for guidance and information on their assignments. This allows the student to be given a starting point and move forward from there. 

¨I use AI when I need a topic summarized to get a basic overview of the topic. Generally, I can use it to find relative dates and names and then search for that response on other sources. This process makes finding relative information easier,¨ said Finn MacEntee, junior. 

Teachers are also becoming more apt to use ChatGPT as it continues to rise in popularity. Educators have the ability to improve their teaching effectiveness, encourage student engagement, and promote student success through the assistance of ChatGPT. 

Similarly to how students use ChatGPT, teachers also find the AI helpful in critical thinking assignments, personalized learning, feedback and assessment, and more. 

North Carolina ChatGPT

The North Carolina Digital Learning Plan guides technological use throughout classrooms in public schools. All the objectives and goals within this plan are implemented to “create successful digital teaching and learning” in K-13 classrooms. 

There are 5 categories that fall within the framework of North Carolina´s Digital Learning Plan.

(Screen Shot by Cameron Broer)
  • Leadership and Vision – “Leadership involves effective planning and execution as well as communication and reflection, to ensure that the student learning experience is the focus of all instructional decisions. Vision governs actions that result in achieving goals and desired student outcomes.”
  • Human Capacity – “Human Capacity is the keystone to ensure that the classrooms of North Carolina’s public schools are places of opportunity, innovation, and academic achievement.”
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment – “Curriculum, instruction, and assessment are necessary components to engage students and create transformative learning experiences enhanced by digital teaching and learning.”
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity – “As digital teaching and learning experiences become more integrated into instruction, these areas are critical for     the access, safety, and success of students.”
  • Technology, Infrastructure, and Devices – “By ensuring that all students have equitable access to updated devices with modern technology and internet access, student learning outcomes improve. Regular updates and maintenance of technology, infrastructure, and devices are necessary for continuous improvement.”

ChatGPT Wake County

Wake County Public Schools, like many other school boards, have recently introduced and encouraged students to utilize ChatGPT to enhance their education.

Wake County previously had the usage of AI banned on school campus Wifi and on all school devices but this 2023-2024 school year is different

The school board is now welcoming and motivating teachers to effectively show students how to use ChatGPT in their daily learning. 

Due to the recent permit of ChatGPT in Wake County classrooms, the best action going forward is for educators to accurately show students how to correctly utilize AI.

¨ChatGPT should be built into lessons, teachers should make it a part of what they are already teaching and then model how to use it in the correct way,¨ said Huff. 

By teaching students the full benefits and resources of AI, students will be able to reach their maximum potential in learning. With the correct guidance and leadway, ChatGPT will positively lead future generations into the future of learning and technology. 

¨I think it would definitely be useful for students to be taught how to use AI because without knowing how to use it properly, it has a higher chance of being abused,¨ said MacEntee.

ChaGPT is the newest innovation and addition to schools, including those in Wake County. Although there is speculation and mixed opinions around the usage of the robot, research has proven the positive productivity surrounding AI.

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