March 9, 2023
We started punching in a couple of the parameters. I was reading it, and I was like, ‘This looks like something one of my AP students could have written.” — English teacher Hillary Wingate
We started punching in a couple of the parameters. I was reading it, and I was like, ‘This looks like something one of my AP students could have written.”
— English teacher Hillary Wingate
For English teacher Hillary Wingate, AI has become just another thing she has to worry about after hearing how multiple students have used it and earned perfect scores on their assignments.
“We started punching in a couple of the parameters,” Wingate said. “I was reading it, and I was like, ‘This looks like something one of my AP students could have written.’”
After Wingate talked with 21st century learning director Matthew Peterie about AI making its way into schools, she does not see a positive way in her classroom and has already taken action to detect AI within her students’ work.
“As an English teacher, I obviously know your writing very well,” Wingate said. “I can also see if you are in a theology, science or history class, those teachers don’t know your writing, so I can see it working in there, but I feel like it would be a little more challenging to do in an English class.”
Mitchell Ryan (name changed to protect identity) said he used AI for multiple of his writing assignments to save time on other homework, because it simply allows him not to have to think.
“It helps me get an idea of what to write,” Ryan said. “It puts it in a way of words that I wouldn’t be able to, and I have an A+ in English because of it.”
For Ryan, ChatGPT has allowed him to simply type in the criteria for assignments and create a response without having to do any research.
“I straight up copy and paste it into my assignment,” Ryan said. “It writes my assignments in under a minute, and then I just have to make a couple of tweaks.”
While AI is the newest breakthrough in cheating software, the trend of cutting corners has existed for years with technology.
“Kids always beat the system no matter what,” Wingate said.
Not all students who use ChatGPT are using it to cheat, though. The site can also help simplify difficult concepts that students might be confused about from class.
“I use AI to explain complicated ideas or help get inspiration. I will ask it to help me write prompts and ideas or explain how certain mechanics work,” freshman Spencer Moxley said. “It is able to explain things to me in very simple and straightforward terms because it can pull information from everything and boil it down to the information that you really need to know.”