Educators see upside to onslaught of ChatGPT

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW —  The explosion of artificial intelligence and ChatGPT is having a huge impact in many aspects of society.

The types of uses are seemingly endless and range from medicine to journalism to entertainment.

For those unfamiliar, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot that uses natural language processing to create conversational dialogue that responds to questions and assists the user in creating content.

Free versions are readily available online but better versions are available for a fee.

Top concerns about ChatGPT are that it opens the door for students to cheat — especially plagiarism — and that it sometimes provides false information.

But two officials from Warsaw Community Schools — Ben Barkey, director of Warsaw Community Career Center, and Dr. David Hoffert, district superintendent — offered their thoughts on the emerging issues.

While there are significant concerns, Barkey said they see plenty of upside when it comes to education.

“I’m actually a way better writer now because of my use of ChatGPT because I’ll write something and I will ask it to analyze,” he said. “It’s my own personal editor.”

Hoffert said it’s just another emerging technology that educators need to adjust to

“A lot of it is not so much a concern of what’s in the actual classroom. I think it’s a concern of where this could go or what does this mean for change education,” Hoffert said. “That’s where we really have to get ahead of the ball.”

Barkey and Hoffert made the comments during an interview for In the Know, which you can hear this weekend on Kensington Digital Media radio station.

Barkey also discussed changes at the Warsaw Career Center and a boost in intrerest among students as the department works to prepare them for careers in orthopedics.

Barkey said they combined welding with advanced manufacturing and are seeing strong results.

“Typically, we would have about ten to 12 kids entering into advanced manufacturing and 70 kids in welding, and this year’s (combined) cohort we have 80 kids in advanced manufacturing and welding and that’s just a huge testament to those teachers leaders and support from OrthoWorx,” Barkey said.

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