First, a poem in honor of Black History Month:
“Oh, Black scientists, true heroes of our time,
Your courage and your genius are sublime.
You've changed the world with your discoveries,
Your work is more than just a series of successes.
From medicine to math, you've made a mark,
Your studies of the stars have lit the dark.
From physics to biology, your work is grand,
Your findings have made a lasting stand.
Your work has helped us understand the world,
You've made the future brighter, unfurled.
Your contributions are a source of pride,
Your brilliance is a light that will not hide.
Your knowledge and your skill have made us strong,
Your courage has made us carry on.
Your work is a beacon of hope and light,
Your legacy will last forever, bright.”
~ by Chat GPT.
Yes, the above poem was written by Chat GPT. I have been reading the news, like many of you, on the AI open source technology that is confounding educators and causing a stir in every industry. You may have heard Dr. Crafton, Dr. Bowman, Mr. Advento or I share that we are excited to work with students and families as they explore learning for careers that don’t yet exist. This is one of the reasons why. How we evaluate information, analyze, synthesize and utilize it will be more important than ever.
For this poem, I typed “write a poem about Black scientists in iambic pentameter.” In 30 seconds, what you read above is what the AI delivered. In my opinion, it’s just okay; however, it took 30 seconds to create, so if I were judging on speed, it’s amazing. I can talk about speed of work at another time; for this post, I want to talk about curiosity. Students will be turning to this application to write more than a poem, so what can we do as parents and educators? Let’s get curious.
For example, in the poem above, I could ask:
- Which Black scientists have “changed the world with your discoveries,” and which discovery do you think is the most important and why?
- Whose work has “helped us understand the world” and why?
- Could you include specific names of scientists in your version of this poem for each “Your?”
I also might want to ask students to curate a set of documents using an AI application, collect them in class, redistribute them, read and see what erroneous information they include, and research and find the sources that verify or contradict what they read in the material collected. AI is not perfect, and it can spit out false information. We want our students to be critical thinkers and to use multiple sources to verify their research.
So, what can you do at home? Play with the AI resources, get curious, have conversations. Share with your child that using the AI to write work that is supposed to be their own creative work isn’t acceptable at school; in fact, a discussion of plagiarism might be in order as well. In school, we are discussing how to use this technology with our students, and that will be a process, not an overnight 30-second fix. So, I’m curious, what do you see as potential opportunities for our students to use this technology? I’ll close with another poem, a short haiku, this one authored by me:
There’s no need to fear
Let’s get curious.