Rogue River teacher using AI bot ‘ChatGPT’ as a tool in the classroom

ROGUE RIVER, Ore. – Artificial intelligence is just beginning to make its way into the classroom thanks to ChatGPT.

“It’s part of the future and i feel like we can only ignore it for so long,” Rogue River High School teacher Kelly Gibson said.

The AI bot is programmed to do many different activities, such as solve complex math problems, write full essays in seconds and answer almost any question.

Gibson has been using it as a tool in her AP Literature class.

“They were allowed to write a prompt to ChatGPT,” she said. “I took those home and generated all the essays at home off of it, brought the essays in, and they were able to use that essay as an assistance during their in-class essay.”

But the AI isn’t perfect, which is why her students use it as a guide for their essays and not the final product.

“You really have to go into it and figure out what works and what doesn’t, so that you can create a better essay,” senior Lily Schloegl said. “You can’t just go off the essay it gives you by itself, you have to add to it or take from it.”

“It also won’t quote properly or even use a quote that’s in the novel, which is funny, because it will just say some random stuff,” senior Ricky Cook said. “It just does its best to throw something in there.”

This hasn’t stopped students from using it as a tool to cheat.

School districts in New York City and Seattle have already outright banned the use of it.

However, St Mary’s college preparatory school principal, Jim Meyer, said they aren’t concerned about the use of AI in the classroom.

“I think there are things that we can do to use the chat in a way that allows us be better teachers and help students understand certain subjects at a better deeper level,” he said.

Teachers are finding out about ChatGPT through their students.

Including one St. Mary’s teacher who says he was amazed by it at first.

“I distinctly remember over a subject in our AP Stats class and asking it to give its definition of what i had just defined and it was pretty uncanny,” teacher Jeff Cruzan said.

Like other technology, the AI will continue to improve in the future.

Which is why Gibson believes it can become a critical asset for teachers.

“It allows us to help us write lesson plans, put together work sheets, it can do all of that,” Gibson said. “With our input obviously. If we’re going to have this in our future, which we are, it’s here. That it only makes sense teaching them alongside.”

Several local school districts tell us it’s too early to say if there will be some type of ban on ChatGPT now, or in the future.

But talking with several teachers about this, they have no doubt students are using the AI chat bot.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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