Thursday, 11 April 2024 04:42

14 stories from teachers about students using AI for school work

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Recently, I wrote about how different school is today compared to even 10 years ago, and the thing that stuck out most to me was the difference in technology. So, I decided to ask teachers and professors in our BuzzFeed Community how student AI use is changing their classrooms. Here are some of their most interesting stories:

1. "I teach media studies at the college level. In a nutshell, it's just absolutely baffling the level of laziness [AI use] shows. I've assigned video games for [my students] to play and write up notes on and a response to, and received responses generated by AI about an imaginary video game that does not exist, based on the game's name."

"But the funniest experience I've had was my first: in an intro course after teaching the concept of remediation, a specific media studies concept, I asked a pretty simple question in a quiz: 'Give an example of remediation.'

"The response [I got from a student using AI] was about the processes of removing chemicals from soil via the process of remediation; [nothing to do with the media studies concept].  I stared at it for about a minute and a half just trying to process what I was reading.

"I guess I learned something about soil management... thanks, ChatGPT?"


2. "AI has already taken away the ability to see what the students are actually capable of because they won't put in their real effort. They're using more effort to find ways to do as little as possible than if they just put the effort into writing. This is only going to get worse. It amazes me that students don’t know what a comma is in middle school."

3. "Spanish teacher here. With the amount of cheating using translators and essay writers only growing exponentially, I have all but gotten rid of technology in my class. Project? Handwritten, all work done in class. Quiz? On paper. Interpretive test? All the Chromebooks go on the counter where students can't access them."

"The only time we use technology is for vocab practice games and accessing study resources. 

"I think it is a good thing for students to disconnect from their addiction anyway. They spend so much time glued to their short-form content that I can hardly keep their attention for more than five minutes. It is also best practice for language learning; writing things down helps you remember things way better than typing."


4. "Creative writing and publishing student here: besides the fact that my professors will give you an automatic zero on assignments if you write them with AI, it's highly unethical because nothing it spits out is an original idea."

5. "In my state, certain documents are required to be read during the freshman year of college and then students must complete an assignment on the documents. It's been the law for a couple of years now. Students who use AI to do the assignments are breaking the law, which can jeopardize whether they get their college degree."


6. "My students are spending more time using AI on their assignments than they would if they actually just did the assignment themselves. Absolutely bonkers."

7. "It has exposed new levels of student laziness. My husband teaches history, and he literally got an assignment that began, 'As an AI, I cannot give an opinion.'"

8. "[It's] less so students using AI and more so everyone else. Standardized tests are being written using it and we can tell. The tests were already garbage and biased, but now they are riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes."

"If they've been translated into Spanish, there are often a ton of mistranslations or places where it just hasn't been translated. Districts are supplying us with curricula that make no sense and are not teachable. AI is a way for these billion-dollar companies to cheap out and screw the kids over. It's just sad."


9. "I'm not a teacher, but a mature-age student getting my BA in design. My teachers still can't tell [when students use AI]! Our online discussion board is just stupid. The discussions mean nothing. I had to lie to the girl I was doing an assignment with and tell her that universities have this new AI scanner to actually get her to do the work."


10. "AI doesn't give room for critical thinking. Students depend so much on the output of AI and give it no kind of mental review. Students do not take classroom attendance seriously; they believe AI can give them whatever is given in the classroom."

"In addition, it erases respect for teachers since students feel like they don't have to depend on them but on AI. This encourages a lack of discipline among the students. They can't recognize disinformation. They should be made to understand the need for critical thinking."


11. "The students don't know anything. They think using AI to cheat is the same as learning the information for themselves. Imagine you're having surgery, and your doctor used AI to fudge his way through medical school. Or you drive across a bridge built by an engineer who cheated his way through with AI. They think they're clever or insightful for sliding a generated response into the pile, but they're lying their way through an education that they aren't actually getting."

12. "The majority of my students either do not speak English or just learned English within the school year. I teach first graders in NYC; it is very common to have ELL students in NYC, as there are many immigrants and refugees here. We [have been] asked by the state to use online AI programs that read to the children to practice listening comprehension."

"The AI expects students to verbally reply to various prompts [within] specific time frames. The issue is, that kids who have enough knowledge of English to reply to the prompts tend to have accents that the AI can't understand.

"When the AI doesn't understand their accents, it will continuously ask the same questions and won't allow the child to move to the next questionif it doesn't understand their reply. Naturally, this frustrates kids and takes a large toll on their confidence in speaking the new language.

"And for the kids who know no English at all, the platform is useless, yet it's still required to be used by the state, thus leading to more wasted time and frustrated learners."


13. "I'm a ninth-grade Spanish teacher. My students have writing tests that they type on their computers at the end of each unit. At least three or four [students in each class] will try to use our writing assistant to write the prompt for them. It's frustrating to have to run it through an indicator if the essay looks too good."

14. And finally: "I teach computer science at the high school level. AI has transformed students from being collaborative problem solvers to lazy, unimaginative robots who attempt to plug in their assignments and copy and paste. When I give them code to correct on paper, it becomes immediately clear who knows what we are doing and who doesn't. It makes it so hard to do fun projects like building simple video games because they don't know how to problem solve on their own if they get stuck. I understand using AI to debug, I do it too, but only after I've actually written some of the code first."




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