AI & Chat-GPT: Positive Opportunities for the Classroom

AI will give great opportunities to improve education for all students.
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AI is going to be nothing short of a revolution in education. The recent arrival of the sophisticated AI language bot Chat-GPT and its capacity to form coherent and intelligent responses to questions is nothing short of astounding.

Seemingly overnight, the essay system used to assess students has become redundant and obsolete. The level of sophistication is enough that there is no way to know if a student has been using Chat-GPT to help with their essay or even to complete the entire thing. Cities have banned its use in their public school systems. Universities are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the capability of AI to write entire student assignment, with Australian biggest universities proposing a return to pen and paper or oral exams.

There are challenges that educators now face with Chat-GPT and other AI based systems. With AI there are also huge opportunities to improve educational outcomes across the board. Including individualised learning, comprehension and accessibility. There are already great resources for educators to assist with implementation, like this free course. Most importantly, the capability for AI education to help students who are struggling in certain areas, to open new areas of learning and to “level the playing field” for many students.[1]

5 ways AI will help in the classroom

Individualised learning

AI can be used to tailor individualised learning approaches for students. Consider an application that can assess students reading or writing comprehension in real time. The AI can learn where the student is struggling and adapt its programming to target these areas. A grammatical program could see that a student struggles with the difference between present, past and present perfect tense. It can instantly change to provide questions to build strength in this area. A program with speech recognition could listen to a student talk and suggest areas for improvements in their pronunciation. Teachers with large class sizes will instantly be able to see which students struggle in which areas, and develop programs to suit their needs.

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An AI education assistant or tutor will be able to put complex concepts into simple language to aid students. AI can be used to augment learning by providing quick explanations of concepts students might be struggling with. A program “Socratic” can already help in this area. This means a boost to individualised learning, where a student can instantly remove a roadblock to understanding, allowing them to progress at a quicker rate in their learning. This also makes learning more accessible to those in areas where educational resources are limited. Just as online learning has improved access to education, AI can be used to effectively augment this education.


An AI which provides real-time speech analysis can aid a student with a hearing impairment by having instant speech-to-text translation appear on a screen in front of them. Students struggling with conditions such as dyslexia can use an AI program to assist by breaking down sentences into manageable blocks or taking their natural language speech formatting that into grammatical sentences. Images from textbooks can be translated into speech descriptions for students with vision impairments. Ultimately the use of AI for accessibility has the potential to remove hindrances that impairments previously had on students – and level the playing field.

AI and Creative Arts

AI and chat bots such as Chat-GPT will have a major impact on is in subject which require essay style analysis or creative writing. Chat-GPT can already create passable poetry, write short story ideas and outlines for film scripts – and it can do it at a level that is higher than many school students can.

AI in schools
Helping students learn more
Of our changing world.

A haiku by gpt-3.

Those who write stories know one of the hardest parts about writing is staring at a blank page. Students can use AI as a prompt or spark of inspiration. For example, tell the AI to come up with the first three lines of a sci-fi story, then the student must finish the rest. This will increase the productivity of the student as the initial stumbling block of “I don’t know what to write about” will be overcome. It might also start them with an idea they would never have thought of on their own. The student can still be tested on their writing, but it has been augmented by AI. This also allows those students who might not be quick at coming up with ideas on their own to keep up with the more creative minded students. A similar approach could be taken in music or drama for example.

AI and Visual Art

Like chat-GPT does for language, AI models are incredibly sophisticated at coming up with art and illustrations on any subject and in any style, see the program DALL-E-2.

AI generates and incredibly impressive images from prompts such as “An astronaut riding a horse, in space, in the style of Andy Warhole”. This is causing somewhat of an existential crisis in the creative art world. But, it does provide an opportunity in the classroom. Students that might otherwise be turned off visual art subjects could find a world of creativity opened up with AI image creation.

One task for the classroom could be to have the students come up with the most creative AI concept art in a given time. Importantly students who believe they are less artistically capable can still be encouraged to push their creativity and come up with new interesting ideas. Students can get easily get discouraged if they cannot draw as well as others. But, part of being an artist is coming up with ideas that are then translated onto the page or screen. With DALL-E these students will still be able to participate in the creative process and will be able to use their imagination and have it transferred into a real image where they otherwise would feel left out.

Computer and Coding

One more area which AI will assist might seem more obvious is in computing and coding, but in a new way. One major part of learning to code, is learning the language. Learning how different prompts work in different situations. The struggle for the programmer is “my code doesn’t work and I don’t know why” or “my code works and I still don’t know why”.  A lot of learning to code is trial and error. However, AI can be used to augment this learning process. The AI programming assistant Copilot, based on technology underlying Chat-GPT can already take everyday language and turn it into code.

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Students can talk to the AI in plain language and ask it how to write a certain piece of code they are stuck on. The student must then evaluate how good this code is, and how to properly apply in in their application. AI is used to augment their learning, and to remove stumbling blocks. This will enable more independent learning, and alleviate some frustration that can come with coding challenges. It will also open coding up to a broader range of students. Assisted coding is already being used by corporations such as Microsoft to improve the efficiency of their coding, and will also be able to be used to augment the learning process in the classroom.

AI into the future?

AI will be the biggest disruption to the education system we have had in a generation. But it will also provide some of the biggest opportunities. One thing is for sure: AI is already here. It is already being used. Students have already adapted to it and educators need to be able to use it in positive ways to augment the learning process. AI will change the way the world functions. This means it will also need to be taught correctly in students from an early age. We need to learn and teach ways to work together with AI, not to rely on it and not to fight it.

*Note: None of this article was written with the use of Chat-GPT

[1] For a great analysis of machine learning and its benefits in many different areas beyond education, see (Dean J, A Golden Decade of Deep Learning: Computing Systems & Applications, Daedalus, Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Spring 2022 p.58 – 74).

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