The rise of ChatGPT promises to bring simplicity to the more mundane tasks of human existence and has also revived with new fervor an enduring question of our education system: how do we adequately prepare students to thrive in the real world? How do we design worthy learning tasks, when artificial intelligence (AI) tools can do the work of a student in a fraction of the time and nearly none of the effort?
While some call for a ban of ChatGPT in schools, I suggest something entirely different. Instead of blocking ChatGPT and tools like it, consider incorporating them into classrooms through an inquiry-based learning framework.
Inquiry-based learning focuses on developing critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and creativity. This type of active learning encourages students to ask questions, analyze information, and draw their own conclusions rather than just accepting information at face value. Due to the nature of inquiry, students in inquiry-based classrooms become independent learners who are able to think for themselves while testing and verifying the answers to their own questions.
School districts are increasingly focused on preparing students to be successful in their post-academic careers. And ChatGPT—along with other technologies like it—will be a force that leaves no industry untouched. With AI capabilities advancing at breakneck speed, developing skills beyond rote memorization and formulaic response will be the key to success in an increasingly automated world. In order to prepare our students to thrive in the future, we must prepare them to understand tools like ChatGPT and use them judiciously.
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