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Going 360: How classrooms are adapting to AI

Posted: 2:00 PM, Jul 13, 2023
Updated: 2023-07-13 23:19:41-04
AI in the Classroom.jpg
Going 360: AI in our classrooms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ask a question, and ChatGPT will answer it for you — What's a good birthday gift for a 10-year-old? Explain quantum physics in simple terms.

This is only a fraction of what it can do.

If it's this easy for anyone to use, consider how easy students can maneuver the program.

After launching last November, a UBS study found ChatGPT was the fastest-growing consumer application in history, with 100 million users by January 2023.

KSHB 41 is taking this topic 360, talking with:

  • A parent
  • High school students
  • A law student studying for the bar
  • A school administrator preparing teachers for what's to come


Stephanie Manning learned of ChatCPT through her daughters, who both went to Shawnee Mission East High School.

"I do think it allows kids to be lazy if they want to be," Manning said. "It’s just so different from the way I was raised and the way I was taught."

As a parent, she lives in an in-between world where she's skeptical of too much tech.

"When my kids were in elementary school, they introduced iPads into the classroom," she said. "At first, it was upsetting to me because I wasn’t ready for my kids to be on the screen all day, every day."

Nowadays, she sees the positives as technology has grown.

"I feel like, it’s just a different medium, it’s just a different way for them to express themselves," Manning said. "It’s better to prepare them (kids) now and teach them how to use these tools."

High School Students

Rising sophomore Andrissa Hunter said she uses a laptop nearly every time she's in class.

Hunter attends Paseo High School but is taking summer classes at Manual Career Technical Center. She and her classmate, Nadria Husseini, use applications like Google Translate and Google Classroom every day.

"We needed Google translate, and now I can speak English, a little bit," Husseini said.

The two said they've only been exposed to ChatGPT on TikTok, so they're still learning about it, along with their teachers.

"You know, the teachers were talking about it in class ... she was saying she has a thing that can check if you use copy and paste or ChatGPT," Hunter said.

The teacher told her if anyone is caught, they receive an automatic zero on the assignment.

A recent survey from Best Colleges talked to 1,000undergraduate and graduate students. Of those surveyed, 43% said they've used AI, and of that, over half have used it to complete assignments.

"There’s always going to be cheating and stuff, but, you just have to rely on your students to have integrity and be honest," Hunter said.

When asked why they think it's important as students to understand this technology, Husseini said it's because all the work they'll do in the future incorporates Google and AI.

Law Student

Over at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, Caroline Schumann said she's used ChatGPT as a tool to study for the bar.

"'I want to use this word, can you give me examples of how to make it more professional?' Or, 'How do I end this sentence?'" Schumann said. "I also use it in my life to be creative. I’ve been like, 'Here’s what I have in my refrigerator, come up with a recipe for me.'"

She ended up writing her thesis on the platform and its accuracy by feeding it previous essays and test questions from the bar and judging how it ranked.

"Overall, it probably would’ve passed if it would’ve been a student," Schumann said.

But she said it's still daunting to wonder if ChatCPT will get something wrong.

"We don’t exactly know what ChatGPT has been trained on, but if you think about it being trained on the whole internet, there’s a lot of good sources out there and there’s a lot that are debatable," she said.

Schumann believes that the best way for teachers to go forward with this type of technology is to teach students how to use it as a tool, not a crutch.

"It’s the same way if you give a kid a phone, you don’t want them to be constantly on it and not making friends," she said. "I think teachers have to have an open mind, but also be knowledgeable at it."

While this may be a new, scary frontier for many, Schumann is confident it unlocks new potential.

"If teachers are to embrace it, we have no idea what that could unlock, what people can develop and create with it," she said.

School Administrator

Teachers are learning about ChatGPT and how to navigate it alongside their students.

Jenny Collier is in charge of such instruction at the Shawnee Mission School District. When asked if she's more cautious or optimistic about the technology, she said it's a little bit of both.

"ChatGPT and AI isn’t going away," Collier said. "This is what we as adults are starting to use in our work processes."

Collier, along with the district, is already thinking of ways it can enhance lessons.

"Let’s have it do a writing prompt for us, let’s have it write an essay for us so that we as a class can start to pick apart this essay," she said. "We’re always telling our kids, 'You can’t just believe everything you hear, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.' That’s ChatGPT, right?"

The goal is for the technology to not only help students but help teachers, too, in hopes to lessen the load they carry every day.

"I’m no longer spending time and hours creating an assessment and a rubric, but I can have it give me a baseline," Collier said.

The U.S. Department of Education's AI report from May reports it rejects the idea teachers can be replaced by AI. Educators like Collier agree.

"It can’t replace human interactions," she said.