ChatGPT in the classroom: Is AI helping or hurting teachers?
Ken Browne, Barcelona

"Hello ChatGPT. Please can you help write my homework on European history in the 20th century."

It is questions like these - and the subsequent answers from a machine - that are giving nightmares to many teachers around the world. ChatGPT is an all-purpose chatbot that creates AI-generated content and is transforming education in incredible and sometimes controversial ways. In Spain some schools are already incorporating the technology in the classroom.


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CGTN reporter Ken Browne visited St. Peter's School in Barcelona to see what the fuss was about. Pupils there are already programming robots and writing their own AI Chatbots.

"It's really fun to use AI in the classroom because we can experiment with different resources and try new things," pupil Olivia told CGTN. "AI mostly learns by itself, so you don't need to be there 24/7 supervising."

It is clearly an empowering and invigorating tool. Pupils can ask the website anything - whether it's write an email, explain earthquakes, write poetry or come up with birthday gift ideas for your best friend. 

Some critics are suggesting it dabbles in the dark arts of writing long-form essays or articles.

AI is a huge boost to those wanting to learn Chinese languages./ Ponddy
AI is a huge boost to those wanting to learn Chinese languages./ Ponddy

AI is a huge boost to those wanting to learn Chinese languages./ Ponddy

These text creation bots like ChatGPT are sparking huge controversy - particularly over their potential for use in education, and in other areas, such as journalism.

"With the use of Chat GTP, AI, maybe for students, it's like plagiarizing, so it's not their natural or novel work," teacher Teresa Ferrer said. "We do embrace these tools, we let pupils embrace them but with the idea of the assessment being a little bit different."

Despite the obvious concerns, there are clear benefits. The power of AI is also changing the way languages are learned. Artificial Intelligence can help create lesson plans for teachers in minutes, and that means tailored classes for whatever language you want to learn.

Ponddy is a U.S.-based company using AI to help teach Chinese. It facilitates self or distance learning with a wide range of fun tools including gaming exercises.

So are advances in AI making teachers obsolete?

"At this moment I think human involvement is still very important, especially the teacher involvement," Franz Chen, Ponddy CEO, said. "We don't foresee AI 100 percent taking over the teacher's role.

"AI can not only help teachers to identify those critical elements that we want to learn but also make our learning more effective."

The AI robots that are so readily willing to tend to your every need haven't taken over the world just yet, but AI in the classroom looks like it's here to stay.


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