Adding more technology to classrooms has hurt students more than it has helped them, a former teacher said amid speculation about the effects artificial intelligence will have on education.
“We introduce a lot of technology into classrooms to fix the problems we see, and inevitably we end up causing more problems with the solution,” Peter Laffin, founder of Crush the College Essay and writing coach, told Fox News. “Often the cure is worse than the disease.”
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Last week, the technology company OpenAI unveiled an AI chatbot, ChatGPT, which has amazed users with its advanced features such as generating school essays for any grade level, answering open-ended analytical questions, and writing jokes, poems, and even computer code. The internet is full of predictions about the implications of this sophisticated technology, but Laffin’s main concern is the impact it will have on education.
“I personally think that we should restrict all kinds of technological tools, and this one I think for a very particular reason,” said Laffin, who was an English teacher for more than 10 years. “We want to make sure that we are teaching the children, not only the subject, but also the values.”
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Laffin fears that the ability for students to use AI to complete assignments will further impact an already struggling American education system.
Pandemic-related remote schooling affected students across the US, with 2022 national test scores showing the largest decline in math scores, while reading scores fell to the lowest levels since 1992 for fourth and eighth grade students, according to the Nation’s Report Card.
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“We brought a lot of technology into education to make our lives easier. We’ve been doing it consistently for 20 years,” Laffin said. “I think educators would do well to ask themselves, ‘How did any of this benefit us? Are our children more educated now that there is an iPad for every student in every classroom?'”
“If we can’t say it’s been a net positive, why the hell would we encourage the use of these technologies in the future?” she added.
To watch Laffin’s full interview, click here.
Ramiro Vargas contributed to this report.