Statement Regarding AI in Writing

In recent years, artificial intelligence has made remarkable advancements, paving the way for exciting applications across various industries. However, when it comes to the field of education, particularly high school English classrooms, the rise of ChatGPT poses a significant challenge for teachers. While this AI-driven language model may seem like a valuable tool at first glance, it inadvertently undermines the role of English teachers and can have detrimental effects on their students’ learning experiences.

However, In today’s digital era, technology continues to revolutionize the way we teach and learn. High school English teachers are constantly searching for innovative tools to engage their students and elevate their writing skills. Enter ChatGPT, an advanced language model that offers a multitude of benefits to English teachers. This virtual assistant can be a game-changer, providing valuable support and resources, improving grading efficiency, and encouraging student creativity.

Given the above pargraphs, you would think I am about to talk about the benefits and downfalls of ChatGPT in an ELA classroom, right? Well, I didn’t write those paragraphs. ChatGPT did. I simply asked ChatGPT to write me two paragraphs about the benefits and the downfalls of ChatGPT in an ELA classroom and boom. There you go.

Now, I know we rely on technology to make our lives easier and more convenient, but I feel that there are some aspects of life where technology is more of a hindrance. One place specifically is a high school ELA classroom.

As a young teacher, I feel that including “cool” and “fun” technology into my classroom is something I should try to do as much as I can. And trust me, I do try to include technology where (1) I feel it is necessary and (2) I know that it will only augment student learning. To me, if I am using tech just to use it, I don’t feel any value coming out of it. One tech “tool” that has become increasingly more popular over the years is ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While I understand the benefits of ChatGPT, I also see the detrimental fallbacks also associated with the software. For example, I cannot in good consciousness give a student a passing grade for an essay they wrote with ChatGPT. While ChatGPT can be highly beneficial, the purpose of writing assignments (in my classroom at least) is to help students improve in the writing process as well. That includes brainstorming an idea, writing an outline, drafting the assignment, editing the assigment and participating in peer review, and submiting a final draft of their best work. Not a computer’s work, theirs.

Now, I have had some students try to submit work written by an AI generator, and when I asked that student why, most of them told me it was because they were worried about receiving a good grade on the assignment. While I understand where the students were coming from, I wanted them to understand that as long as they gave me their best effort and followed the basic requirements of the assignment, they did not need to “worry” about earning a good grade. Their work would earn them the grade. This is something that I am going to stress to students this upcoming school year. I would much rather see you grow and develop as a writer while turning in authentic work that receive AI generated work because you were scared about your grade.

While I know others may not agree, to me, there is a place and a space for AI, but a high school ELA classroom is not it.